If you haven't visited Sabra's blog, you really must. She has a page full of tutorials, and her Kids Clothes Week projects were amazing...I need her skills.
Hi, I’m Sabra from Sew a Straight Line. I have four kids I love to sew and create for. But who I really love to make stuff for the most is me. There, I said it. I love making my own clothing, and revamping store-bought items for myself. And today I’m going to show you how I took an old item from my closet and updated it with no sewing and very little effort.
Meet my old, boring cardigan
A couple of hours and a little bit of dye later, and now it’s a unique and trendy top!
Ombre is totally on-trend right now and it is ridiculously easy to apply to pretty much anything and everything, including some of your old tops that were destined for the donate pile.
All you need to ombre-fy an old friend from your closet is…get ready for it…
A pack of dye, hot water, and some salt.
I’m telling you, easy.
I’ve done a lot of dyeing in my past. My favorite dye for natural fibers (cotton, etc) is Dylon. WalMart and JoAnn both carry it, so it’s pretty easy to find. It doesn’t come in as many colors as Rit, but the end results are far more long-lasting and vibrant. I’ve mixed colors of Dylon before with great results, too. Use whatever brand you like, but I recommend Dylon.
You’re going to want an apron. Even if you’re careful, it’s super easy for a little dye to get splashed on yourself. Since this dye is meant to stain clothing, it’s best to not risk it coloring the wrong clothing. Also grab some gloves. I once dyed my hands a horrible shade of green. It took over a week to fully wash out of my nails. Wear gloves if you don’t want dyed hands.
I have a dye bucket. Okay, I actually have four dye buckets. I told you, I’ve done a lot of dyeing. Just cheap $1 buckets found anywhere. I like using a bucket because I don’t have to worry about cleaning out a sink, and I can easily transport my wet, dripping-with-dye cloth to my washing machine when I’m done with the actual dyeing.
Start by getting your fabric wet. Make sure you get it thoroughly soaked where ever you want the dye. Anywhere that is left dry, the dye won’t bond with the fibers as well. Since we’re going for an ombre effect, leave the top of your fabric, or where ever you want NO dye, completely dry. Even as the rest of the fabric, where it’s wet, soaks up they dye, the dry areas create a sort of barrier. So, all areas to be dyed totally wet, all areas to not be dyed leave dry. Got it?
Add your dye to super hot water and dissolve the dye completely.
Next add salt. I at least double the recommended salt when I dye. Probably more like triple or quadruple. The salt is what makes the dye bond to the fabric fibers. The more salt, the more intense your final color.
After the salt is dissolved, carefully dip your garment into the dye. Dip just below where you want the top layer of dye to end. See above where the dye is starting to “climb” the fabric, bleeding into the wet areas of the sweater that aren’t in the dye? Eventually that dye will work it’s way all the way up as far as the sweater is wet, fading in color as it climbs.
Every ten to 15 minutes, pull the fabric up a few inches out of the dye. Wait another 15 minutes, pull it up another few inches. Continue until you’ve worked your way all the way to the bottom of the fabric/garment.
Leave the bottom in the dye for another 30 minutes or so.
Remove the fabric from the dye and rinse with the darkest edge hanging.
Do a hot rinse in your washer followed by drying in the the dryer on hot, to set the dye. Don’t worry about your colors running on themselves in the washer in your rinse. Mine never do. I don’t rinse with any other garments or fabric, but have never had a problem with the colors moving more up the ombre-dyed fabric in the wash.
And that’s it!
Just a little bit of time, but super easy for a trendy look.
You can use ombre dyeing on pretty much anything.
But it’s especially fun for giving new life to an old top.
Thanks so much Sabra. I love how your sweater turned out.