Monday, July 14, 2014

DIY Ombre Bleach/Dye Sweatshirt

     For this DIY project, I was inspired by these two pins: DIY Ombre Sweater and Grey Ombre Sweatshirt
     I really wanted to experiment with a bleach dip-dye, but neither of the tutorials gave directions for what I wanted.  So, I improvised.  Earlier in the winter, I bought 2 Hanes sweatshirts from Wal-Mart that were on clearance for only $2 each!  I figured I would end up doing something like this in the future.  Only now, I had  a plan.
     However, as I've mentioned in this blog before, blogging is NOT about being perfect. At all.  It's about doing what you love, sharing both your successes and your mistakes, and having fun.  Unfortunately, this DIY project did not turn out the way I'd hoped, but when I finished, I was very happy and excited with the outcome.  Art is about making something beautiful out of your mistakes.

Here's what you will need:

  • 1 solid color sweatshirt of your choice
  • bleach
  • dye of choice
  • salt (optional)
  • a bucket
  • plastic sheets (like for painting--also optional)
  • gloves (optional)
  • a stick or spoon (optional)

1. Pour about 3/4 of the bleach into your bucket, and fill with an equal amount of water.

2. Dip about 1/4 to 1/3 of the sweatshirt in bleach, and let it sit for 10-20 minutes.  (My mistake here, what that I let the first  and second layers sit too long, and it was just as white as the second. More on that later.)

3. Now dip the next 1/3 of fabric in the bleach and let it sit for just 2 minutes.
If you let it sit for a shorter period of time, it may turn out like this:

This was how my sweatshirt looked, after I wrung it out (with gloves on, of course).  I was pretty excited about the purple-pink ombre look, and if you bleach the sweatshirt for a short period of time like I recommended, you may still end up with this look.  
However, this is how my sweatshirt looked, once it dried:

     This is my sweatshirt, after it dried and I washed it.  This is where the art part comes in.  Since I still hadn't achieved that ombre/tye-dye look, I decided to put some real dye on it.

Although I would have preferred Rit dye, I used what I already had on hand.  I filled a bucket with the dye, hot water, and salt. (according to the instructions on the dye.)

With the dye, I used the same process as the bleach, leaving the bottom 1/4 in the dye longest, and the next 1/4 in for a shorter time.

Afterwards, I wrung it out again, with gloves, and hung it out to dry outside.  After washing, this was the finished product!

I'm actually really happy about the way it turned out.  

Also, you might have noticed that I changed the neckline, as well.  It's more obvious in the next pictures, but basically I cut a small triangle in front, and then snipped of about 1/2 of the neckline, leaving the seam intact. 

And here is the finished product!  I hope you find this tutorial useful, and feel free to improvise or change it however you want.

"Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own.  But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead..."
Phillippians 3:13 {ESV}

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