Lately tie dye has been a big trend. At first I wasn’t really been into it- I didn’t need tie dye sweats. Then I thought- maybe if I dyed something that I’d want to wear in rainbow, then I could get onboard with this trend! To I went out and bought a dress and had the best time making it over! Here is my take on this trend- a rainbow tie dye dress!
how to make a tie dye rainbow dress
Let’s start with the video tutorial so you get an overview on what I did. Then, I’ll dive in with more details below:
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step 1- select the right dress
First of all, when you are selecting items to dye, they need to be no more than 40% synthetic fibers like polyester. Polyester will NOT hold dye, so you want to look for a cotton or silk or linen dress for this project. The dress I found is 55% cotton and 45% rayon. Rayon is made from wood pulp so it takes dye well.
For the napkins, I used 100% cotton napkins I had on hand. We’ve used these for years so they’re pretty dingy. Fresh white napkins would give for a much better result.
Choosing the right item to dye is probably the most important step!
step 2- prep the fabric
Next prep the fabric. If you haven’t already, wash the clothes to remove any chemicals that might be on them.
For the look I want, having the dye bleed is ideal. To facilitate that, I got the fabric wet before dying.
Then I twisted the napkins in one bundle and the dress in a second. I bound them with rubber bands. I tried to place the rubber bands at equal distances. I used 4 rubber bands to mark where I want the dye to go- each section will get a different color of dye. Note, I wish I had done two bundles of napkins since having 4 together was too much and 2 didn’t get much dye.
Above you can see where I applied the lemon yellow. But I also tried to dye the fabric with the apple green. Nothing happened. It was a waste of $4.50. So don’t buy that color. Or use way more dye.
step 4- dye
It’s finally time to dye the fabric! To prep the workspace, I put plastic over my table. Since it’s wood, I didn’t want to ruin it with dye. Then I covered that in an old towel. For dying over, I used two cookie sheets with baking racks inside them. This helps it so the dye doesn’t puddle on the fabric.
Then I removed the rubber bands. At this point, I saw some white spots I missed on the dress. So I used more dye on those items.
Let the dye sit for 30 minutes so it has time to set. Another thing I did to get the dye to set was I poured hot water over the fabric. Lastly, I put the fabric in the washing machine with the towel I dyed on top of. The towel picks up any excess dye.
Note, if, after you wash your dress, you think the color is too vibrant, you can soak it in Oxyclean and it should remove some of the dye.
Eep!! Here’s the finished dress- straight out of the dryer! I love, love how it came out! You can tell that the eyelets didn’t take the color and I kind of love that detail. I also really like how the color blend together.
One interesting thing is that the card pink and the lighter pink totally blended and you can’t tell a difference. If I was to do this again, I wouldn’t use the fuchsia and mix petal pink and yellow to make a coral color.
The napkins turned out a little more tie dye looking. If they weren’t so dingy, they’d look even better. I think the tie dye look is cute though! Now I want to tie dye all the things! Shoes, a matching shirt for Don. Sign me up!
Anyway, there you have it! How to make a rainbow tie dye dress! I wore mine around all last night and it’s such a comfy dress! Plus it has pockets. I think the colors are really cute with how they turned out. I’m a fan and super relieved this project turned out.
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