I’m pretty simple when it comes to newborn clothes and stick with onesies, gowns, and leggings for the first couple months. All things that are comfy.
So dyeing bodysuits is a good way to throw style in the mix.
I’ve shared a couple tutorials before about dyeing fabric and dyeing elastic. And last fall I dyed a slew of onesies for baby shower gifts. (Update: Check out the end of this post for a new dyeing VIDEO tutorial!)
This time around I went with bright colors for Clara.
Yipee! Lemon yellow!
Of course when Clara wore it to church on Sunday (with a little skirt) two old men asked how old my baby boy was. Eh. People often asked if baby Lucy was a boy or girl, and she was wearing pink with butterflies. Fashion over…gender?
So, here’s what I did….and shouldn’t have done.
I followed the same steps used in the tutorial above.
Mixing, dunking, stirring, rinsing, washing, drying, etc.
And ended up with some beautiful shades.
But it’s always experimental. Not everything turns out as I hoped, some fabrics are splotchy, sometimes I make dumb mistakes. The adventure is always fun though.
These two turned out great.
(RIT liquid dye in colors Lemon Yellow and Purple):
These two turned out the worst.
They were both dunked in RIT Liquid dye, Aquamarine. The onesie on the right went in first and I have a feeling the dye wasn’t mixed very well with the water. There are huge color splotches all over the neck and cuffs. The fabric on the left went in second and stayed in the dye for a very short period of time and looked beautiful (see above photo of wet fabric). But….then I washed it with the purple onesie above.
The color totally changed.
These two turned out okay.
They have some slight splotching here and there, due to the onesies themselves. These were both old worn-out bodysuits and had slight pilling on the surface and a few milk stains. So the dye gravitated to those areas, resulting in splotches. Additionally, when using new onesies make sure you wash them once before dyeing to remove any “sizing” from the fabric which is a slight starch sometimes found on commercial clothing and fabric.
Of course bits of splotching + cute baby can still = successful project.
She’ll get good use out of them.
(note on the blanket: sorry no pattern link for it. I picked it up at a thrift store and wish I had better info to share!)
So in summary….
TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL DYEING:
• Make sure the dye is mixed well with the water (just like making jello)
• Use a large bowl so the fabric can swim freely. In the photos above I used small plastic containers since I was only dyeing one item per color. But the containers were too small. The fabric was too bunched up inside.
• Use the hottest water from your sink. A large bowl is helpful with this too since a large quantity of water will stay warm for longer (rather than the small containers I used above).
• Make sure your fabric is thoroughly wet and saturated with normal water before dunking it in the dye bath.
• Only rinse and wash fabric with fabrics of the same color for the first few cycles. After a few washings you should be able to wash the dyed items with other clothing as well.
• When using old fabric and onesies, old stains may dye differently than the rest of the fabric. But hey, might as well give them a shot. Throw them in the dye bath and see what happens!
• When using new onesies/clothing, wash them first before dyeing to remove any “sizing” from the fabric which is a slight starch sometimes found on commercial clothing and fabric.
And that’s about it.
Please feel free to leave your own tips in the comments!
Check out the Celebrate BABY archives HERE.
Click the play button below to see a fabric dyeing tutorial in action!
If you’re new around here, MADE EVERYDAY with Dana is a fresh and fun sewing show, where we create everyday items you will love and use.