Fabric Upcycling: how to dye fabrics
Hi guys, Sequoia from Sequoialynnsews here. Today, I am sharing an upcycle with a little bit of a flirty touch to it. First the upcycle part!
I drug out an entire tote of random lace curtains. I have these because someone said, “Since you sew, I bet you can do something with these.” That was at least 5 years ago and they have been hanging out in a bin ever since. In all fairness, I did hang one set on my French Doors in my pantry. My goal this year is to sew up some stuff that I have been hoarding for way too long. Enter stark white lace curtains. Stark white really isn’t a color I wear much and honestly it just screams, “I am a curtain!” So I picked out a few panels because if you are going to use up a bottle of dye you may as well dye several things! I picked this pile of curtains.
Step 1- I filled the hot tub AKA the washing machine with HOT water. I am using the lowest level of water for this project. I poured in half a bottle of Scarlet Red Dye, swished it around, then shoved some curtains in. The important thing is that the curtains are totally submerged in the red dye. I set my machine to run the longest cycle. On my machine, this is 18 minutes.
Step 2- Let the fabric swish around for the full amount of time, but before the dye water drains, reset the cycle back to 18 minutes. I added additional Scarlet Red dye hoping for a darker shade. Let it run the entire wash, drain, and rinse, drain cycle.
Step 3- This is where the fun begins. The big reveal! Unless you are using 100% cotton, you really have no idea what you will get. Synthetic fabrics do not take dyes as well as natural ones. My Scarlet Red turned out pink, and I am ok with it. Pink is Valentine’s Day-ish, right? I hung my fabric to dry because that’s how I dry laundry.
Tips: This will not ruin your washer, but it will dye itl. Before this load, my washer was purple inside. :) I ALWAYS run a large size load on hot with NOTHING except water and soap after I dye something. If there are any dye drips outside of the water level, I wipe them off.
** Also this is not a crime scene, even though it looks like one.
Step 4- Cut all the pattern pieces and continue like usual.
I am making the 24/7 top because it was drafted to combine knits with woven fabrics. I already have 2 versions of this top so I knew I wanted to make my front piece solid instead of using the color block option. I took my Front Bodice Top and Front Bodice Bottom pieces and taped them together overlapping for the seam allowance. I used my serger to attach the Back Bodice Top to my Back Bodice Bottom which is the lace panel. I also used my serger to finish the raw bottom edge to make hemming easier.
If you want to pick up the 24/7 I highly encourage it and thank you for using my affiliate link.