Monday, March 9, 2015

Dyeing escapades of underwear, socks, and shirts…but don't tell anyone.

Hello lovely people.
I hope your week is planned and going well.

As I touched on in my last post, I have been cleaning my place. Dusting, reorganizing, and just putting stuff in order. I FINALLY got my sewing area all put away, sorted fabric, patterns, books and notions. I feel quite accomplished in that respect.

I also looked through a lot of my clothes, mostly my causal stuff. You know how it is, you suddenly realize that white shirt is stone gray, threadbare, has holes…socks, too. Yeah, I was at that stage.

It was time to buy new socks, t-shirts and undies. If I had the means, I'd have bought all new bras too, but for now, let's just go with the basics. As I was thinking what I was going to buy, I thought about color. Then I thought, shit, I can dye it. Yeah, I thought that. I could have my socks, underwear and shirt all match and only I would know! (Can you IMAGINE if I had dyed my bras!?) Why the hell not!?

So I bought white t-shirts, cotton socks and undies online. That's how I do. I then picked up some dyes for cotton as well as polyester.

I had never used iDye Polly before but knew I'd need it for the elastic and thread in the garments I bought. The package has this packet of intensifier inside and I strongly suggest you use. The dye really does not work without it, as I discovered when I did my first dye bath in yellow in my big black trash can.

This was indeed a learning experience.

The next batch I did I realized that I'd have to do it over the stove in order to keep the water hot enough for the polly dye to take. All cotton, in the black trash can was fine. Polly blend, I needed to cook the stuff.

The thing with the polly dyes is that they don't exactly match the natural fabric dyes. You are supposed to "get coordinating dyes" but because the polly dyes are so limited in color choices, don't set your heart on exact matching. 

I don't dye for exactness, I dye for the variation. Depending on the fabric, the concentrations of the dyes, and even the stage of the small batch dyes I did, the colors will differer adding choices to my wardrobe.

The top is a mix of yellow (cotton and polly dyes) in the black trash can with no polly intensifier. 
The dark green (it is green) is with the remaining yellow polly dye with the intensifier over the stove. The green had no effect on the polly at all. So you can see what I mean by limited color choices.

Still the variants were quite beautiful.

All of these variations came from the same dye bath. I dyed in small batches. Socks and undies and one shirt first, then a few other shirts next, then a few more. Again with the dye matching, I used violet and purple, dyes with a warm and cool tone, and it showed.

With the blue, I also dyed some rather horrid "flesh" colored vintage cotton stockings. They turned turquoise and look amazing on my skin. That color has always done well on me. The rick rack started a pale lavender and dyed quite well.

(I also didn't use the polly dye on the stove for the red. If I did I'm sure it would have been much more intense.) 

You can totally see the color differences in the dyes in the socks and undies.

Those two greens (olive), they are from the same dye bath (different steps). That was the most astonishing color variant. It was like all the dye was just sucked out of the dye bath after its second go. None of the other colors lost their potency so abruptly.

All in all I am extremely pleased with the results. If I had the space I bet I could have gotten more consistent results, but I did these in my home and was extra careful of splashing. I have plenty of dye left and a lot of white fabric for when I make some blouses and dresses.

These are clothes that will mainly go under my dresses and for casual wear.
Dyeing is SO much fun! I could do it forever!

Are you all successful in dyeing? Please share.
Have a lovely day!


Lisette said...

How fun! I've only dyed in a class once, and have been too chicken to try it again. Plus the mess factor.

Robin said...

I used to dye my bras to match my panties. It never worked out--I used Rit and never heard of the better dyes. My next step is to make my own bras and undies and experiment with colors.

Gail Ann Thompson said...

Excellent!! What an inspirational, encouraging post! Thank you Miss Shelly.

Honora said...

Your Mastiff is adorable. The dying project looks like much fun indeed!

Shelley J said...

Aw, thanks you all!

Ette Ett said...

Wow, these look great! I would have never thought of dying my undies, but yeah, why not. And it sounds so easy when you describe it, I should definitely give it a go (maybe when it gets warmer I can do it on the balcony, safer than my teeny tiny bathroom I suppose). And I love the turquoise stockings, I just bought myself a pair in a very similar colour, but dying standard ones should be much less expensive.

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