Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dippity Doo Dye

 
This was a dyeing experiment.  It's not perfect, but I still like it.
 
I was inspired by Carolyn's red velveteen skirt.  Of course I thought the dip dyeing was cool, but what I really liked was that she over-dyed her skirt.  Over-dyeing is so unusual and unpredictable.  I like the muddy, earthy colors that are created.  I've done a fair bit of dyeing lately.  Mostly on things from my closet that were not worn for various reasons.  It's a nice way to change an unloved garment in to something wearable.  But this is the first time I sewed a garment solely for the purpose of dyeing it.

Here it is before dyeing.


It looks radioactive, doesn't it?  It is the brightest lime green I've ever seen without being fluorescent.  This was a case of colors may not be accurate on your computer monitor.  I ordered it online last summer and was shocked when it arrived.  It's nice quality stuff- a heavy but soft linen.  But I couldn't think of any item of clothing I wanted in electric lime green.

Enter Carolyn's skirt.  I instantly thought of this electric linen when I read her post.  I knew if I over-dyed it I would end up with an earthy, much more pleasant color.  But I was still surprised with how it turned out.

Here is my hillbilly dip dye set up.


This is my best impression of MacGyver.  I tied the hem of the dress to a hanger and then tied the hanger to a rope.  You can't see in the photo, but I strung the rope up through the handles on the cabinets above my slop sink.  Then I pulled on the rope to dip the dress in to the dye bath to get the ombre effect.  It was much easier than wearing out my arms.  I used Rit dye, navy blue.  Speaking of Rit dye, have you seen their color formula guide on their website?  Pretty neat.  After I dipped for a while, I let just the bodice sit in the dye bath for about thirty minutes.

Unfortunately, it didn't exactly work.  You can see my dress is pretty splotchy, though the splotches are subtle.  I think the problem was that my bucket was not big enough.  The dress didn't have enough room to move around freely in and the dye did not settle in evenly where there was a lot of gathering.

So it looks a little bit homemade (or home-dyed).  But I still think it's cool.  I love the dull greenish black.  Not what I was expecting, but then you never really know what to expect when over-dyeing.  That and the fact that it's made out linen gives it a distressed sort of look.  I'll never iron it, by the way.  I like the way it looks wrinkly.  Maybe I'll try dyeing it again to get rid of some of those splotches.

I used Simplicity 1801, a Cynthia Rowley pattern.  I skipped the facings and bound the neckline and sleeve edges with bias.  I closed the neckline up quite a bit higher.  It's one of those so low you can see your belly button v-necks.  I also nipped and tucked the bodice/midriff at the side seams and the center front seam.  Beware that there is a lot of ease in this pattern. 
I'd love to make the version with sleeves at a later date.


The gathering at the belly isn't too unflattering, is it?
I feel like I should be at some sort of outdoor festival in this dress.  Which is why I ventured down in to the yard for pictures. I needed some greenery.  I have no idea what sort of plants are in this photo.  The previous homeowner was a landscaper and every spring all sorts of things pop up in our backyard.  It's kind of fun to see what's out there.

  
What about you?  Have you ever dip dyed anything?  Any methods for successful dip dyeing? Does this look too homemade to wear out and about?  

33 comments:

  1. That looks so cool! I love the color combination. Oh and cute hair cut!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I chopped it off! I made the decision and five minutes later was walking in to a salon. I was hot.

      Delete
  2. I've never dip dyed anything but from where I'm sitting I totally think you can wear this out and about! The color combo is great, the dress looks really comfortable, and I would like to second the cuteness of your haircut

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! It really is comfortable.

      Delete
  3. I absolutely love this. I've been seeing lots of summer maxi dresses being posted about, but this is the first one to make me think I need to get on board with the trend. Makes me think of a day spent at a farmers market/art fair, eating lunch from a food cart and winding up with an outdoor concert at a winery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly what I feel like I should be doing in this dress.

      Delete
  4. I love the dress. Yes I've dip dyed, tie died even painted zig-zags with bleach in the past. I am impressed with your Macgyver-ing. Why didn't I think of that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, painting zig zags with bleach.... Sounds fun. I had to rig it up. Where the slop sink is situated it's too hard to lean over it.

      Delete
    2. It was actually spots of bleach in a zig zag pattern all around the bottom edge of a summer tank top I was bored with. Turned out great!

      Delete
  5. I like your new hair cut (I might be biased). I usually prefer to use liquid dye and dyeing in my washing machine to avoid said blotchiness though of cause that woudldn't have worked for an ombre effect. But I'd say, you're right, whenever I use a too small bucket/pot, it gets patchy. It's still a nice dress. It looks very feminine, especially from the side.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I think I may dye it again. I'm going to let it sit for a while to see how much the splotches bother me.

      Delete
  6. I think this turned out great. Now I want to try dip dyeing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love your haircut and the dress is fantastic - the fit is perfect and the dye job looks very cool. I want to try dip dyeing now too!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your dress is gorgeous, so nicely fitting and summery.I like the slighty variegated dying at the gathers, it looks very relaxed with a slightly hippie influence to me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh, I think this is just completely and utterly gorgeous, and I think we can both agree that it far out-coolifies my own efforts, but thank you for the shout-out! I'm glad it turned out so fabulous for you!
    And your new haircut is a-dor-a-ble!

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is gorgeous!! You're very brave, I wouldn't have the nerve to try this! I like that there are bits that aren't so dark. And the plant with the purple spikey flowers is a hosta, and a very nice one too! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Outstanding!!! I love, love, LOVE your dye job! Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think it's awesome! A bit hippie-chic, but that's not a bad thing, especially in the summer. A BIG improvement on the "before"! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love love love this! I want to make one right now! I love the color combination. So great.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Totally love this! I really like that the hem is lighter, an unusual look in ombre. It really works. I've occasionally tried to dye yardage, but nothing very successful. I am always tempted by others' projects, though, and you're not helping.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love it. Sometimes the unintended results are more interesting than what we imagine. I just overdyed some fabric too, and it came out a bit more electric than I had anticipated, but once it's sewn up I'm sure I will love it.

    ReplyDelete
  16. P.S. I like the new "do" too.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love the dress and the dye experiment. I also love the original color, but it's cool just at the hem, too!

    ReplyDelete
  18. WOW! Firts things, that dress fits you supremely - it's made me think twice about that pattern & maxi dresses - fab. But the ovedying is goreous, love the effects & colour combos. It is awesime & very neat hair :-)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love this pattern I am in the middle of making it myself. I love your fabric dying I think it has turned out really well.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Love this! It's a great looking pattern in general (and I like lime green too, heheh, come to think of it, I just make a lime green maxi dress), but the dyeing turned out really lovely, in my opinion. The slight splotchy is a nice rustic look, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love it! I think you can definitely wear it out in the real world. I like the difference in colours.

    PS-I have exactly the same sink as you. Exactly. Even the taps are the same.

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is really cool. I think the splotchy effect is part of the charm. Seeing you in it makes me feel like I should be at a music festival. Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh, how lovely! I actually really like the slightly splotchy look, it looks very natural, especially in combination with the linen fabric. The colour is beautiful, and you're right, it works beautifully outside, you totally should go to a festival!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Beautiful. I love the dress especially with the dip dye!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi! I love your dress ~ I have the same pattern but I cut the wrong size so it's just been sitting there. Now that I've seen your dress I am inspired to go back and finish that dress. I love the cut on it and it looks very nice on you. Good job! Hope to see more of your projects in the near future!

    ReplyDelete
  26. This is my new favorite dress. It's beautiful. I've been wanting to try that pattern, but I really love what you've done with the dyeing. I don't think it looks homemade at all! It looks like you paid a fortune for it in some resort town.

    ALSO, I want your hair. WAY CUTE. Did you just chop off a bunch? Maybe I should do the same. I'm having hair issues.

    ReplyDelete