A few weeks ago, I was invited to be a strike sewist for a newer custom fabric group: Over the Selvage. Once we were shown the designs for the round I got really, really excited. The round is called Color Outside the Lines and is all about dyeing fabric – which I feel like is pretty unheard of in custom fabrics. We had the choice of not doing anything to the fabric (because the designs are awesome on their own already), dyeing them in any way we wanted or using fabric markers. The creativity that I’ve seen from my fellow sewists is incredible. I love the idea of ice dyeing and I want to try that out some time, plus I love how some of the hand colored pieces look.
So, of course I had to choose something super hard that I didn’t know if it would work.
I decided I wanted to make a sweatshirt from Phluff, the new poly based fabric that’s been showing up. I knew that people have been calling it a stretch minky, which clued me in to what it felt like, but I wanted to see it myself and of course had to challenge myself more than necessary. By the way, it’s pretty damn amazing. The fabric came in while I was in Nashville, and I got a video of Miss Sass cuddling with it and almost singing about how soft it is. I was just as amazed when I got home and knew I made the perfect choice.
To start with, I wanted to sew first, for a few reasons.
1. If I messed up the dye really badly, at least I had pictures of the original.
2. I wanted an ombre dye, so dyeing the yardage before cutting would make a nightmare to piece together in the right way
3. It put off the dyeing process longer to give me sufficient time to freak out haha
I used the Serenity sweatshirt from Petite Stitchery and I think it turned out awesome! I’ve gotten a lot of compliments (and also some confusion about why I have a big hole in the back lol) and let me tell you IT IS SO WARM. This Phluff is pretty darn awesome for warmth. I’ve already got a few more yards on my order list to make the kids sweatshirts, too. They’re only a little jealous.
I’m not sure why I felt like this should be a thing… but I documented my process for prepping my sweatshirt. Because I wanted to do an ombre dye, I wanted to be pretty specific about how it went it. I wanted the back drape to have the whole color spectrum and I wanted the wristbands to be about the same depth of color as the wasitband. So, here’s my process:
Step 1: fold the back drape so that it lays flat
Step 2: Lay the back yoke on top of the draped piece, make sure the whole sweatshirt is flat
Step 3: I folded the sleeves in so that the sat in the placement I wanted
Step 4: Fold in thirds (to actually fit into the pot)
Step 5: I got a pole left over from Halloween stuff and began rolling the sweatshirt onto it
Step 6: Final roll, leaving some out to reach to the dye liquid
I don’t have pictures from here because we ended up video chatting with my sister while dyeing… but it went REALLY quickly. As in within 5 minutes I was rinsing everything out in my sink. I used RIT’s DyeMore line and mixed together Tropical Teal, Peacock Green and Kentucky Sky. I can’t tell you amounts, though, because I eyeballed the color and tested it a bunch. You can see in the picture above how the color changed as I added more of the green, and then more teal when it got too green! Plus, getting the mixture to the right heat also made a big difference: the first 5 pieces are before it reached 200°
The color isn’t exactly what I wanted, but for my first time not only dyeing, but mixing dye colors and using a fabric base that may or may not hold the dye – I think I did pretty well! Does it remind you of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream?