Wednesday, July 16, 2014

DIY Summer Tie Dye

Nothing says summer like a tie dyed T-shirt, tank top or scarf? Tie-dye can be so versatile and fun. There are tons of techniques you can use and each provides endless possibilities. If you are looking for a way to breath new life into an old garment or you are simply looking to add a splash of colour to your decor, consider tie dying.

Today's projects only took about an hour and were super fun to make. The first item is a scarf (thrift store find) and the second is a 100% cotton tank top.

The original scarf (left) and the finished tie-dyed scarf (right). The scarf was scrunched on the ends and
dip dyed to create an ombre effect.
Plain tank top (left) and the finished dip dyed tank top (right). The tank top was loosely twisted
while being placed into the dye bath (see below).

Dye packet (1)
Salt (based on instructions)
Garment (tip: use cotton, silk, linen or other natural fibre for best results)
Pot, large basin or bucket (tip: consider purchasing a stainless steel pot at your local thrift store)
Rubber gloves
Rubber bands
Large spoon
Measuring cup

What we used:
1 Tin Dylon hot water dye in "Windsor Purple"
100% Cotton tank top
Scarf from thrift store (unknown fibre)

Step1 - Prepare garments by washing and rinsing thoroughly. Squeeze out the excess water and keep damp. Fold, twist or scrunch the fabric as desired and hold in place with several rubber bands.

Step 2 - Prepare dye bath as instructed on the dye package.

The Dylon dye we used required mixing in boiling water to dissolve the dye. The dye mixture was then added to the pot and water was added, just enough to cover the garments. The salt was added and stirred into the dye bath. The mixture was brought to a simmer for twenty minutes while stirring constantly.

Step 3 - Allow the garment to sit in the dye bath to intensify the colour and to get a stronger result.

Step 4 - Rinse fabric until water runs clear and remove the rubber bands as you are rinsing. Hang to dry, away from heat or direct sunlight.

Tips: Using the salt, ironing and/or placing the item in the dryer can help to set the colour.

If you are looking for a natural dye option check out our post on: Making Natural Dyes.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sewing: McCall's M6111

This McCall's M6111 pattern has been in my pattern collection for some time now. One of my younger students made a really cute peach cotton version of the dress in my beginner sewing class. She did such an amazing job, that I just had to add it to my own summer sewing list. I made the dress several weeks ago, and it even made its' debut on a sunny beach in Trinidad and Tobago. It is simple but very cute (especially over a swim suite), and can be easily modified to make it more unique.

I chose a lightweight cotton print and selected dress style "B." I used a French seam (using the ⅝" seam allowance) along the sides and finished my raw edges with a serger. It was fun to make and is a great project for all skill levels.

I have been doing a lot of sewing lately and I hope to share more projects with you. Let me know what you think about this pattern and share a pattern that you like.

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Flowers and Butterfly Magnets

My youngest son and I were at the craft store recently, when suddenly he was at my side with a sprig of flowers that had a butterfly attached at the top. He had a beautiful smile and handed me the sprig of flowers and said, "this is for you mommy." Needless to say, he was rewarded with a big hug and kiss. I purchased the flowers as his gift to me, but really did not have a purpose for them. After giving it some thought I got the idea to make magnets. I will have a useful purpose for them, and it is a great way to show my son how much I appreciate his thoughtful gift.

With the use of a scissors, some hot glue and a small magnet; several really cute magnets were created.

My little guys love the magnets and really enjoy playing with them on the refrigerator.

I think that they are really cute and will make a fun gift. If you are interested in making these magnets, they are really easy to make and are lots of fun. Just cut the back of your flowers as close to the base as possible, then hot glue it to a small magnet. For a full magnet tutorial, check out decorative magnets and the super cute bottle cap magnets.

I hope that you will try making your own flowers and butterfly magnets. Enjoy!

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