Crafty Saturday!

I've recently been cleaning out my clothes horse middle child's drawers/closet and culling out things that she no longer wanted or that didn't fit.

The Children's Place
circa 2006
 After collecting a bag full for donation, I asked her about this white cotton dress from The Children's Place. It had belonged to her sister a couple of Easters ago and it still fits my little fashion plate to a "t", but she's not a big fan of white. When asked "Do you want to keep this?", she replied, "I don't like the color. Can you make it a different color? Then I want to keep it." I asked what she'd prefer and her response was "hot pink". In the words of Iago from Disney's Aladdin, "I'm gonna die of not surprise". She's my pink girl, that's for sure.

Image credit here
As for the dye, I've used Rit, Dylon and iDye, and of those three readily available products, I have to say that Dylon is my absolute favorite. It doesn't stink like iDye and the colors are truer to the example on the packaging than Rit. There aren't a million shades of Dylon available, but Flamingo Pink fits the bill nicely. If you click here, you can see the range of Dylon colors available.

The process of changing the color is pretty simple. I've dyed tshirts before and dyed polyester dresses before with the expected result. I use my humongous stock pot and place it in the work sink on the back porch to make sure I don't splatter anything important.

The finished product hanging on the line!

Instructions should you care to do something similar

From the package:
1. Weigh dry fabric. Wash thoroughly, leave damp. 2. Using rubber gloves, dissolve dye in 4 cups warm water, stirring thoroughly. 3. Fill bowl/stainless steel sink with enough warm water for fabric to move freely. 4. Stir in 4 Tbsp salt. Add dye and stir well. 5. Submerge fabric in water. 6. Stir for 15 mins, then stir regularly for 45 mins. 7. Rinse fabric in cold water. Wash in warm water and dry away from direct heat and sunlight. Helpful Hints: * You will need 1/4lb salt(4 Tbsp) * One pack dyes up to 1/2lb fabric (e.g.large shirt) to full shade shown below or larger amounts to lighter shade. * Suitable fabrics: Cotton, linen,ramie and rayon. Wool, silk and polyester/cotton mixes will dye to lighter shade.* Not suitable: Pure polyester, acrylic, nylon & fabric with special finishes. * Wash separately for first few washes to remove any excess dye. * Please note: Color mixing rules apply (e.g. blue on red gives purple.) WARNING: Eye irritant. Exposure may cause allergic reactions. Precautions: Avoid skin contact. Keep away from eyes. Keep out of reach of children. First Aid: If eye contact occurs, rinse with tap water for 5 - 10 minutes. If irritation persists, seek medical care. For further health information, contact a poison control center.
Here's how I do it.
  1. Forget weighing and washing. Rinse in warm water and then squeeze out most of the water.
  2. Dissolve the dye packet in the 4 cups of warm water using a wooden stirring apparatus. I've used paint stirrers, leftover bits of moulding and wooden spoons. I don't use gloves.
  3. Fill up my stock pot almost to the brim with warm water amd add the salt.
  4. Put items to be dyed in the pot and shove down with the stirring apparatus. If I'm going for a gradient effect, I'll hang whatever it is on a hanger and dip the bottom edge in and let the dye creep up the garment. I'll dunk the garment up and down a bit and then submerge a little deeper to make the dye move farther up for the gradient design. Otherwise I shove the whole thing down, swish it around and then leave it there for an hour or so.
  5. Remove item once I'm satisfied with the result.
  6. Transfer to washing machine and set to COLD wash/rinse. Delicate cycle or handwash with extra rinse. While the washer is filling, I rinse the item under the water stream and then add a teeny bit of mild soap.
  7. Remove once wash/rinse cycles are complete and hang on the line outside so any drips of dye go in the dirt and not all over.
  8. Thoroughly scour my stock pot with HOT water and a scouring pad so that I don't poison my family next time I make a batch of Pho Ga.


Laura Nash said...

Love your little girls *new* pink dress. I did the same Y-E-A-R-S ago to a blouse I loved. I was surprised when the plastic buttons on the blouse turned pink too! It looks great, and thanks for the tutorial...followed you from Sew Chic. Thanks!

llama,llama not yo mama said...

I've had more success with "regular" fabric dye changing the color of polyester than special dyes made for poly. I will say that you do have to be careful... Sometimes the result isn't what you're expecting!