Saturday, 23 June 2012

How I spent my evening...

So I said in my last post that I would do it, and I have! After a hard days work (and several arguments with my sewing machine) I got to work on dip and tie dying two of my old pairs of shorts. I picked up some Dylon fabric dye from John Lewis- these small packets for hand use are perfect for dying just one or two items. They come in so many amazing colours but I went for "Intense Violet" and "Bahama Blue". 

Dylon Hand Wash Packets

Pink Levi's AFTER tapering 
My flamingo pink Levi's required some tapering before they were fit to be dyed. The bottoms of the shorts were originally turned over which meant they were ridiculously unflattering! I used my denim hot pants to get the measurements exact and the result was some great fitting shorts. After sewing the bottoms of both pairs of shorts (we can't have them fraying!), the first port of call was to soak the shorts in warm water. However, prior to this, I dip-dyed my pink Levi's in bleach (29p from Tesco)- it created such a nice effect that I was tempted to stop my dying there! The bleaching meant that not only did the shorts absorb the fabric dye far better, but they also had an awesome striped effect by the end of the process. 


For my pale denim shorts, I decided on tie dying which meant bunching up the shorts into elastic bands like so....

... followed by soaking them in a mixture of 6ltrs of warm water, 250g of salt and the fabric dye mixed w/ 500mls of warm water. The hardest part of the whole process is not splashing dye everywhere- my kitchen was covered in small purple and blue splodges and I successfully dip dyed two wooden spoons by the time I had finished! Once in the mixture, I left the shorts for 45 minutes and stirred regularly. 

For my pink Levi's I chose dip dying, which was a HUGE success! Following the same method of mixing the dye and water etc, I held the shorts into the dye so only the bottom few inches were submerged- this allowed the dye to soak up the shorts but still left a stripe of bleached material. I left them slightly beneath the water for the whole 45 minutes, but ensured that the dye was not continuing to rise- I was desperate for that bleached stripe...

These caused my kitchen some problems...  

I'm really pleased with how my shorts turned out- the best part about doing this was that it only cost me about £8! So worth it considering the fun I had and the fact that the Topshop equivalent are a shocking £34.

Here's the finished result- I hope you all love them as much as I do! 

Tie dyed hot pants!
Dip dyed Levi's!

Here's a quick list of instructions for the tie dye method;
1. Bunch up garment using elastic bands- the more the better! 
2. Soak garment in warm water until wet all over 
3. Fill a bucket with 6 litres of warm water, then mix in 250g of salt
4. Mix the packet of dye with 500mls of warm water
5. Add the mixture of dye to the bucket of salt and water
6. Submerge garment in bucket completely- stir for a couple of minutes 
7. Leave garment in bucket for 45 minutes and stir at regular intervals (every 15mins) 
8. Remove garment and rinse in cold water until dye no longer runs 
9. Wash garment, then leave to dry and your done! 

As soon as I get hold of some money I plan on ordering some studs and embellishing the back pocket of my Levi's, perhaps with a cross! I can't wait to style an outfit to wear with them- I have a feeling they're going to look great on holiday in Florida. I also spotted some colourful, half price, day of the dead skull bracelets in the Topshop sale which would look great with them- I'm going to sneak in before work tomorrow to see what I can find... 

You can definitely expect to see some more of my creations in coming posts!