Two of my best friends recently moved into a new appartment and needed some new curtains. I thought what could be more fun than tye dying them some curtains! My mom had saved some white cotton sheets and Brit and I had just tried out ice dying when I visited her. I loved how the ice dying turned out and since I have a nice sized lawn, I had plenty of space to do my project.
Britt and I have a tradition of tye dying almost every year. This summer we decided to attempt it at Britt’s apartment… Instead of doing pots of dye on the stove or in buckets outside, we discovered ice dying, which was a new technique for us. We decided to try it out and see if it was more suitable for apartment-sized crafting than our usual dying method. With our new found inspiration, we set out to see how big of a mess we could make in Brit’s car port.
Rit Dye (We also tried a polyester dye for a poly/cotton blend scarf… it didn’t work as well.)
Ruber bands (You only need these if you want to do starbursts or to tie up the fabric to produce a certain pattern).
Clothing to dye
Step 1: Soda Ash
We started by dissolving a package of soda ash in a couple of gallons of water. The package of soda ash should say how much to add for water volume. Then for an hour, we soaked the clothing and fabric in soda ash as a fixative for the dye.
Step 2: Stabby stab!
We used scissors to poke holes into the plastic lid that accompanied the tin pans. This allows water to drain into the tin pan as the ice melts.
Step 3 – Optional
I love starbursts so I used tiny hair rubber bands to create them around the bottom of some shirts I was dying.
Step 4: Assemble materials!
We placed the plastic lids on the tin pans. The we put cookie racks over the tin pans that didn’t have lids.
The red package of polyester dye did not work!
Step 6: Arrange fabric and add ice.
We used one bag of store bought ice. When I ice dyed sheets a few weeks later, I needed a lot more. When in doubt, just get more ice!
Step 7: It’s time to dye.
We opened the packages of dye and shook the powder onto the ice. There isn’t really a specific method for this part, have fun!
We ended up leaving the ice to melt over night. When I dyed sheets back at home a few weeks later, I left the dye sitting for 3 hours.
In the morning we collected our ice dyed goodies from the car port and put them in the wash.
The dye had a harder time melting through and getting both side of thicker material like the tote bags and a pair of shorts. Still turned out pretty cool but it is something to take note of.
We hit the beach rocking our new ice dyed clothing!
We fit right in at Brit’s local market.
We washed the tin pans and cookie racks in the bathtub so I could take them home and do some ice dying with my friends! (The dye water dyed the soap scum in the tub, but did not dye the actual tub because we scrubbed it clean as soon as possible. Your tub might retain dye if it is old and/or cracked. If in doubt, you can do this step outside.) We used a hose outside to wash the tarp. Relatively easy and quick clean up!
Britt and I have deemed this project appartment friendly! I had so much fun ice dying that when I returned home I ice dyed some sheets to remake into curtains. Check out my post on ice dyed curtains here: https://partnersincraft.com/ice-dyed-curtains/
Ever really want a new dress for the weekend but have NO interest in sewing or searching stores? Enter the Sarong, a giant piece of fabric that, with a little help, can become clothing! When the dress-urge hit me, I was grateful to discover just such a piece of fabric in my stash. The piece was about 3 yards long and about a foot and a half shorter than myself. The fabric was somewhat drapey and featured a hippy-ish print as a bonus. Although I could have hemmed the raw edges, I skipped this step in the name of hippy-ness. (It helped that the fabric didn’t ravel very much.)
There are many ways to tie a sarong, but this is the easiest way I have found to get the most coverage from the final result. When wearing the sarong as a dress, I wear a tank or tube top and a half slip underneath. We don’t want any “wardrobe malfunctions” now do we? To begin, hold the fabric long ways behind you.
Depending on the length of your fabric, hold either the corners of the fabric or places a short distance from the corners. Start to twist the fabric at the two places where you are holding it. Cross the fabric in front of your body.
Almost done! Now take the twisted fabric pieces you are holding and tie them together at the back of your neck.
I added a belt to create a waistline and to help insure that the wrapped fabric didn’t come unwrapped! Boho jewelry was also a must!
I took my new “dress” out to dinner!
Upon discovering more fabric, I made matching sarongs for Lindee and I! We wore them as swim cover-ups and discovered that they were very breezy and comfortable. The hippies know a thing or two!
I wasn’t kidding last week when I said that I loved my newly refashioned button-up shirt! Although the refashioning took time, I was able to make a custom top from something that didn’t fit before! (See the tutorial here!) Now, I love the shirt’s length, comfiness, and styling options. I was certain I could use it to create some vintage inspired looks! First up, an outfit inspired by the 1930’s…
This outfit made me think of the comfy “beach pajamas” from the 1930’s! Wide-leg pants, a breezy top, and a big hat equaled summer sun readiness!
My earrings, hat, and pin are favorite thrift store finds. The scarf was a gift from the fabulous Heather!
Next, my top and I visited the beach by way of the 1940’s! I left out the matching belt this time and instead tucked the top into an A-line skirt.
I love the nautical feel of those stripes! I just wish it was slightly less windy!
My skirt, belt, and earrings were thrifted, while my hat was a homemade project based on a vintage pattern. More on that later!
Ship ahoy, Matey! Be on the lookout for more refashioned projects coming soon!
I love the idea of button-up shirts, but I have a hard time finding ones that fit… Enter the button-up refashion- a project that utilizes a large shirt and transforms it to your specifications! Although this project is pretty straight forward, it does take time. Be sure that you actually like some feature of the large shirt! My shirt came from a fabulous family member who, like me, has a thing for red! I love the color and nautical stripes!
I started out by laying the shirt flat on my work surface and then folding the shirt in half. (In hind sight, I should have put a few pins in strategic places on the shirt when it was laying flat. The pins would have kept the fabric from moving around as much when the shirt was folded.) Next, I used a button up blouse as a “pattern.” Note: Do NOT use a form fitting or stretchy shirt for the pattern! (The button up’s fabric won’t stretch like a T shirt’s fabric would.) You want to cut the button down bigger than you need, then sew it smaller! Notice my ruler in the picture? I used that and a disappearing fabric pen to mark roughly 2 inches extra around my pattern shirt. The added inches will hopefully give me enough fabric for seam allowance AND for adjusting the fit. Better to cut too big than too small!!
Turning our attention to the sleeves! I made the decision to go sleeveless after noticing that the shoulder seam of the shirt was long enough to create a cap sleeve length on me. I used my handy dandy ruler and pen to mark about an inch and a half from the shoulder seams. I did this all around the arm and then trimmed the fabric at those marks. Note: In hind sight, I would probably have left 2 inches of fabric past the shoulder seam. Would have made life easier in the next step.
Here’s what the shirt looks like opened up. The side seams have been cut, and the sleeves have been removed. At this point, it’s a great idea to pin the side seams of the shirt closed so you can (carefully) try it on. You want to make sure that the cut shirt is big enough to fit you before you put more work into it. (Have I cut a shirt too small before and had to abandon the project? Yes!)
Now to finish those arm holes! The 1 and a half inches of extra fabric will become a rolled hem around the arm holes. First, I folded the extra fabric until it met the shoulder seam. Then, I folded the folded part over on itself and pinned.
Here is the arm hole in its pinned stage and its finished, stitched-up result!
And now for the body of the shirt! I pinned the side seams closed and quickly stitched with big, loose stitches. At this point, I just wanted to know how the shirt fit. There would be plenty of time for finalized seams later.
The next step took a couple tries. After trying on the shirt, I took the side seams in a bit, stitched them quickly, then tried on the shirt again. I repeated this process until I got a fit that I liked. Eventually, I ended up curving the seams inward slightly near waist level, creating a gradual hourglass shape. I also decided to open the seams several inches from the bottom of the shirt to allow a little extra leaway over my hips and bum. I used the seam allowance to roll mini hems for the openings.
Once I was happy with fit, I made my final hems of the side seams. YIPEE!!!
I could have stopped there, but decided to create a belt for the shirt for a little extra shaping and style! Yes, it was more work (sigh…), but I thought it would increase the ways I could wear the shirt. (Check out next week’s post to see if I was right!) To make the belt, I cut open the sleeves, and attempted to cut 2 strips from each sleeve. I marked off strips that were (I think) 4 inches wide and as long as the sleeve fabric would allow.
After cutting the strips to the same length, I pinned the ends right sides together and stitched. All that work to create a piece of fabric long enough to become a belt!
I folded the long piece of fabric in half with the right sides together. I pinned and then stitched the fabric into a long tube. It took a while, but I eventually turned the tube right side out!
To finish the ends, I rolled the raw edges into the tubes. I pinned the openings closed and stitched them. Viola belt!
I wore my cute (and comfy!) new top with some favorite homemade cut offs! (To learn how to stamp the strawberries on the hem, check out this post here!)
I love this new top so much, that I have worn it repeatedly since making it! Stay tuned for some vintage-inspired red n’ white looks next week!