Friday, June 15, 2012

Bleached and Dyed T-Shirt

I have a bunch of men's shirts that I bought off the clearance rack and wear on a daily basis.  I like them because they are actually long enough for me and more modest than some of the women's shirts I've been seeing lately.  (That sounds a lot more prudish then it is meant.)

I have a light purple shirt that is quite blah.  I have been seeing some very inspired t-shirt treatments online and I thought I'd try one.

It actually surprised me how well it turned out.  I don't do well with dye and I definitely don't work well with bleach so having this result was astonishing.

Start with a t-shirt that you kind of like the color of.  I picked my light purple t-shirt.  You will need a box of RIT dye in a different but complimentary color.  I picked a darker purple.  You will also need some bleach in a squeeze bottle.


Make sure it is something you will never use for food.

Get your shirt damp and set on a protected workspace.  I decided on my bathtub.  It needed cleaning, anyway, so I got a two-fer. 

See the dry spots?  You don't want that.  Get it wet!

Take your bleach and run some lines across the front of the shirt horizontally.  Let it sit until you like the contrasting color.  I didn't want anything too dramatic so I let it sit to this point.

Rinse it out and toss it into a washer for a quick wash.  You want all the bleach out.

When it is done, take your still wet shirt and start twisting some spots up.  I looped it and held it in place with some rubber bands.

Be careful where you place these twists.  I didn't want anything directly over my chest so I avoided that area.  Nothing says amateur like a big circle dye spot over your boob.

Mix up your dye in a bucket or a stainless sink.  I put in the entire dye packet and two gallons of hot water.  Dip the bottom half of your shirt and hold for two minutes.  Flip it over and dip the top half for two minutes but don't dip the middle.

Wad up, set on a plastic bag and walk away for four hours.


When the time is up, take the rubber bands off the shirt and rinse.  

Keep going until the water is running clear.  At this point I toss it into the washer with some laundry soap (not my homemade stuff. . . it works too well and will fade the dye if it's not set.)  I do a quick wash in cold and then another wash with hot water and a cold rinse.  Make sure to put in a load of towels or something else that can be tinted if you didn't get the dye all rinsed out.

I also throw it in the dryer and dry it until it is completely dry.  I don't usually do that to my clothing but it seems to help set the dye so that it doesn't fade in the wash.

Here's my masterpiece!

And a side view because I was told that actresses always stand at an angle when having their photo taken.  It makes you look slimmer.

So does sucking it in and girdles.

If I do it again:

This was so much fun!  I will probably go with a contrasting color next time like a gray shirt and a blue dye or a teal dye.

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