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.

Here is my finished top! I love the Cheetah Print French Terry I used from Sew Blessed. Let me know what you think about my curtain upcycle and be sure to visit my blog. SequoiaLynn Sews

If you want to pick up the 24/7 I highly encourage it and thank you for using my affiliate link.

Click Here for the 24/7.   


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