Dying clothing can be intimidating but trust me it’s really simple. It’s a little messy but it’s completely doable and can transform an old piece of clothing to something you’ll want to wear again.
Fabrics that dye well are:
100% cotton, linen, silk, wool, ramie
Synthetics such as rayon and nylon
Fiber blends with at least 60% cotton or other dyeable fiber
Fabrics that will dye but not get the full true color:
Nylon-based plastic such as those found in buttons, fasteners, golf balls & lacrosse sticks
Natural materials such as wood, wicker, paper, feathers and cork
Fabrics that should not be dyed with store bought dye:
100% polyester, acrylic, acetate, fiberglass, spandex and metallic fibers
Fabrics with rubber backing (bath mats or throw rugs)
Fabrics with special finishes such as water repellents
Fabrics with bleach damage or extensive staining
Fabrics washable only in cold water or labeled “dry clean only”
Polyethylene plastics such as golf discs
Polycarbonate plastics such as eyeglass frames
I learned the hard way because I wanted to dye a dress I got for my sister’s wedding from white to navy. White is the best canvas to use because it’s so pure. I’ve dyed a bridesmaid dress from white to pink before and thought this would be the same easy procedure. Most dye’s can be used for a few yards of fabric so I thought I might as well dye some other clothing that could use a color makeover. My dress was white but the other clothing had color. As I immersed all the fabric in the sink, I noticed that all the tops immediately took to color but the dress did not. After about 10 minuets, I was happy with the dye on the tops but not the dress. I kept it in the bath for as long as the water was not but all it achieved was a grey color. It was then that I read the label saying that polyester does not dye with commercial dye because it’s synthetic. You have to find special disperse dye, which was too hard to find online that will actually dye polyester and in the color you want. This is also why they suggest doing a swatch dye first but I always skip that part. Besides I got the dress at Ross for $11 and got the dye half off at Micheal’s for $2. It was worth the experience to know what NOT to do now.
I did read online on ways to make polyester take to commercial dye that involved hydrogen peroxide but it just became a HUGE mess that left my hands black and blue. Maybe I did it wrong but it was not worth the process. But if you dye using the fabrics mentioned above, you will have a very easy and satisfied result.
Fill sink or bucket with enough hot water for fabric to move freely. Remember: Use 1 package of Rit powder or 1/2 bottle of Rit liquid dye and 3 gallons of hot water for each pound of fabric. Pre-dissolve powder in 2 cups of hot water. Add pre-dissolved powder or liquid to dye bath. Stir to mix.
When dyeing 1 pound of dry fabric in dark or bright colors such as Black, Dark Brown, Cocoa Brown, Navy, Purple, Wine, and Dark Green, use double the amount of dye (2 packages of Rit powder or 1 bottle of Rit liquid) in 3 gallons of water.
For more intense color when dyeing fabrics containing cotton, rayon, ramie, or linen, add 1 cup salt to the dyebath. When dyeing nylon, silk and wool, add 1 cup white vinegar to the dyebath. If possible delay adding the salt or vinegar until 5 minutes after the fabric has been in the dye bath. The delay will help to promote level dyeing.
Add 1 Tablespoon laundry detergent to all dye baths to help promote level dyeing.
For the deepest color, use a water temperature of 140ºF/60ºC. Note: If tap water is not hot enough, heat water in a tea kettle or in the microwave.
Wet fabric in hot water. Uncrumple and add to dye bath.
Stir constantly (back and forth, up and down) for 10 to 30 minutes. The longer the garment is immersed in the dye bath, the deeper the resulting color. Items can remain in the dye bath up to 1 hour as long as the water remains hot. You’ll also have to make sure the item receives constant agitation or stirring.
Garments will also look darker when wet and prior to washing.
Rinse in warm water, then gradually cooler water until water runs clear. Wash item in warm water with mild detergent and rinse thoroughly in cool water.
Wash your fabric/clothes in warm water with mild detergent and then rinse thoroughly in cool water. Machine dry or hang dry.
Clean sink or bucket immediately with chlorine bleach or scrub with chlorine-based powder, liquid, or gel cleanser.
The bridesmaid dress that I would have dyed then altered.
Just got a grey color, which wasn’t that bad until I tried the 2nd technique.
I dyed the 3 lighter colored tops
All submerged in dye bath.
Loved the results. They all came out different because of the base color.
I have very wide (fat) feet so I wear out the pinky part of my shoes pretty fast. This is really horrible for my running shoes because 1) they are not old yet 2) running shoes are the only shoes I will spend money on so I can’t be buying new ones so often 3) I downgrade my running shoes to workout shoes once they reach their miles.
I am only concerned with having good running shoes. For all other workouts like trail running, weights, DVD’s and such, I always wear my old running shoes. I don’t need the support in those workouts like I do in running, but my wide feet creates a hole. The main shoe itself still perfectly capable of serving it’s purpose.
I have no shame in wearing these ghetto shoes but the hole keeps getting bigger and I’m tired of the stares. So here’s a quick and simple way to salvage your workout shoes from just an aesthetic perspective.
Stretchy material (I used an old swim bottom)
Needle and thread
Cut a square just a little larger than the hole.
Place the square inside the shoe where the hole is. Open the laces so you can fit your hand inside easier. Also make sure you have your thread ready. I just used black because it blends into the shoe. Hold the fabric from the inside and start stitching. I don’t even care to keep the stitches small or discreet. No one will really notice it.
Stitch all the way around. Make sure you grab sturdy fabric from the shoe to attach to the fabric. Once all the way around, tie off the string and your done!
All done and my pinky has room to stretch, that’s why I used the spandex fabric.
These are perfectly fine shoes that will continue to work. Don’t let little things like holes force you to waste money on new products. Don’t be embarrassed either. No one notices and if they do then they obviously aren’t really working out to have time to pay attention to you 😉
I like halter tops on my bathing suits. It has less tan lines and better support plus the position of the straps really show off defined shoulders and draws attention to the feminine collar bone.
So what do you do when you love your swim top but it’s not a halter? A simple quick no sew solution to the rescue.
Simply go to the back and cut off the little tab that attatches the strap to the back of the bra. Usually there is a metal hoop that connects the two. If it’s just the strap sewn right onto the back fabric, just cut as close to the fabric as possible so frays wont show.
Once cut, just tie the tip off into a knot and cut off the access. Do it to both. This shows one cut and tied and one not cut and tied.
Voila! Instant halter top with no sewing involved.
Need a bracelet for that one outfit but don’t want to spend money? I just take a skinny belt that I already own and wrap it around my wrist for a funky edgy wrap bracelet. I like having the buckle show for a unique look.
This one is my leather studded belt that make me feel really rockerish. I like stacking on accessories so load up on rings. I’m also really into rose gold right now and rhinestones. I got this Kenneth Cole Unlisted watch on Groupon for $20.
The only thing worst than jean shopping is swimsuit shopping right ladies? No female wants to see herself in those fluorescent lights in front of a three way mirror in barely there fabric that shows our every flaw (which is mostly just in our heads). I’ve always thought that underwear was more flattering but there’s the little problem of underwear not being the most water friendly so….. how to solve this problem?
While cleaning my closet, I realized that: 1) I have a lot of clothes and 2) I want so much more clothing. Since I am super cheap and refuse to spend money, I decided to just alter the clothes I no longer wanted. I had an old lap swim suit and bra that I no longer wanted. Why not use the lycra to cover up the bra? If it doesn’t turn out I was just going to donate anyways. Reasons why this is a good idea: 1) Bras have an underwire that lifts and supports. 2) You already have the basic foundation for a bikini top. 3) New top without spending money.
lycra fabric, preferably from an old swim suit
old bra of any style and color
needle and thread, preferably in the color of the fabric but not needed
Here are my fabrics. Cut the straps off the bra. I’ll use the teal as the main color.
Then I cut the teal portion of the suit as my main cover up. Pin over cups and hand stitch. With the underwire and odd shape I found it easier but more time consuming to hand stitch.
I took the brown portion to cover the band which I cut a little from the top to thin it out. Cut the brown in the general shape of the band and pin down to hand stitch. I left the original hook and eye in place. Cover the band completely that has the hook but you don’t have to cover the eye section because it’ll get covered up once you hook in place.
It doesn’t have to look pretty on the inside. Just make sure it’s sturdy. Lycra doesn’t fray so you don’t have to worry about making clean edges. I just took the straps of the original swim suit, cut it in half and used to make a halter strap for the bra top. With the extra strap material, I made a loop to create separation between cups.
Voila! All done and super flattering and water proof. I didn’t have enough fabric to make bottoms so I’ll have to figure that out or have the guts to rock a thong (that will never ever ever happen). I have converted regular underwear into bottoms which I will post those instructions later. They are just so much more flattering than swim bottoms but always make sure to do a shower test first before debuting them in public.