Saturday, September 14, 2013

The "upcycling" project

On Thursday, the bottles of Rit dye that I ordered from Joanne Fabrics arrived. I ordered them early last week and lucky me, they were on sale. So I bought six bottles. Hey, there's nothing wrong with some variety, especially when you find it at a sale price. You can see in the box that that there are two shades of pink. One called Rose Petal and one called Fuchsia. The Fuchsia is a very bright pink, so it's probably obvious why I bought that one.
The Rose Petal is considerably lighter but it seemed to be the color closest to those pink capris I recently bought. I thought that if I dyed one of the light grey sports bras in that color pink, I'd have something closely resembling the color of the pants that would look pretty good under that grey tank top I slashed. The others are Tangerine, Golden Yellow, and Aquamarine (of which I bought two bottles). I didn't actually dye anything yellow, the yellow was so that I could mix it with the Aquamarine. What I wanted was a neon-type green but they didn't sell that. Thankfully, Rit has a handy dandy color blending chart on their website that tells you how much of which colors need to be mixed together to achieve the desired result. Unfortunately, the green I wanted required Aquamarine and Lemon Yellow, not Golden Yellow. But Joanne's didn't have that so I took a chance on Golden Yellow with the idea that I could play with the blend a little. And that's exactly what I did! I ripped some paper towel into strips and dipped them as a sample. The first mix was too green with not enough yellow. I added a tiny bit more yellow and voila, I had a neon green I was happy with.

What's that? Enough with the art lesson? Alright, I'll get to some pictures. First off, I'm sure you all remember the horrible grey tank top (if not, look here). Well, it had a twin and here's what I did with that:
This is what the Tangerine looks like on the light grey tank top (left). The existing grey color made the Tangerine dye not as bright, but still a rich orange. I'm thinking ahead to October with this one. I also did the dark grey tank top so now all that's left in the reject pile are some browns and a black, and I think I'm going to look into whether or not I can bleach first and then dye. Here's a "before" picture for you on the right. Extremely dull. Gah, sometimes I want to go back in time and smack my past self and say, "Put that back on the shelf you fool!" Does anyone have a time machine I can borrow? I used the Fuchsia on the dark grey and after the first trip through the dye bath, here's what it looked like:
Yeah, I said -first- trip, which implies a second. You can see that it's better, but only marginally. Well darn. In pictures, it's hard to tell but there really is a pink overtone. Actually, the white tagless label inside the shirt took the dye best. Isn't that some kind of plastic or something? Whatever. All I knew is that this was going to need a second dip. This time, I used a sauteé pan instead of a sauce pan. If you don't know, the difference is that the first is wider and shallower, while the second is taller and deeper. I know that only because Bry has called them that, not because I use them to cook food. I'm the Zumbamommy not the Cookingmommy. Bry looked at me a little askance for using his good set for this project. I kind of don't blame him, but there really wasn't another option. (Sorry Babe, and thanks for being a good sport about it.) The second time I dyed this tank top I used twice the amount of dye to the same amount of water to give it an extra boost of color. I liked the way it looked while it was in the dye bath all wet. Stirring it around, I couldn't resist making a comment to Bry about how it could use some eye of newt. Heh.

So here's what it looked like after I redyed it. My Join The Party top is a really similar color. I'll figure out a way to dress this up a little, but I like it so much better than I did.

I also feel like it's wearable again. Changing the color changes my perception of this shirt. I don't look at it and go, "Ugh, what was I thinking?" anymore. Now I look at and think, "What do I have that will work with this?" Just like when I took that other light grey tank top and cut it up, it felt good to do this; like I'm making something work for me that was previously working against me.

In the other post I wrote about DIY dying, I talked about doing the rest of my sports bras. I did two more light grey bras and two out of three dark grey ones. I'm waiting for inspiration on that third one, so we'll see. I talked about the Rose Petal Pink already, so here's a picture of it for you.

You can see that the different parts of the sports bra took the dye differently. The stitching on the inside is quite a bit brighter than the outside. The original grey shows through a little, but I like the effect. Here's what happened to the other light grey sports bra... I dyed it green. This is the green that I mixed myself. I decided that the most logical thing to do was to dye the light grey sports bras in the light colors, and save the deeper, darker colors for the dark grey sports bras. On that note, here they are.
On the left is the Fuchsia. The dark grey turned it an interesting shade of maroon. At present, I don't have much that goes with this. Just my Join The Party shirt and the one I just dyed. So I think I'll just keep an I on Zumbawear and see what comes out next. On the right is the Aquamarine. It's not the neon blue as it appears on the bottle, the colored turned out as more of an indigo and I was actually pleased by this since I just got a pair of Indigo capris for my birthday; which I'm wearing in the same picture with my Join The Party shirt. So these are my results, and at the very least, they are totally unique to me. Anything unique stands out, so there you go.

But there's more to the story. You see, when I went to grab my basket of sports bras out my closet, I noticed my basket of athletic socks. Well well, what have we here? Lots and lots of white... Hrmm. Why not? Most of them were old, and while they were still holding up just fine as far as wear, they really weren't at their whitest any more. Hey, as long as I was mixing up batches of dye anyway...
From left to right: Tangerine, Fuchsia, Rose Petal, my own green concoction, and Aquamarine. Very different right? This is what the dyes look like on a white base.

Best advice: If you're going to do a dye bath in your good pots and pans, Soft Scrub is a good way to get them clean later.
Second Best advice: Wash the items you dye separately from all your other laundry for a few times before adding them in. Otherwise, you might wind up with strangely colored clothing.

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