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Friday, August 6, 2010

DO THIS: Baby Tie-Dye.

So if you've been around me for more than like... 3 minutes... you know that I adore all things tie-dye. I love the process, I love the result and I love 'unexpected' things tie-dyed or made out of tie-dyed fabric. I would say this falls into 'unexpected'... tie-dyed BABY THINGS. Most specifically onesies. (when I first told my friend B I was tie-dying baby gifts she said, "Because... the child is going to be born with a bong in it's hand?" haha) Anyway-- When I do tie-dye for infants I use all one color and usually go pastel... because you don't want to outfit to overwhelm or be louder than the child!
I've NO idea how much tie-dye experience you have... but just in case the answer is... "Not much" here's a little tutorial-ish thing telling you all about how I do it!

You will need:
1 pkg of RIT dye
An old pot and wooden spoon
rubber bands
rubber gloves
tarp/plastic drop/some kind of covering for your work surface
Baby onesies

Step 1: mix dye according to instructions on the package... You obviously make a stronger solution for more vibrant colors, and weaker for pastels. Let it heat on the stove while you prepare your work area and onsies.  Spread plastic drop over your work area and be sure to have rubber/plastic gloves handy when you start handling the dye. 

Step 2: Wet your onsies with water... and ring them out well. You get a nicer design if you go ahead and button the crotch of the onesies before you twist and band.

Step 3: Twist and band. There are hundreds of different designs and ways to tie-dye. I am just going to show you my two favorite... they probably have official names, but I call them swirl and rocket.
Swirl: Pick a spot on the garment and pinch it, then twist you hand around... pulling the rest of the fabric around it. You might have to carefully arrange folds in some places, that's okay, take your time. :) once it is one large round-ish swirl, wrap rubber bands around it, crossing in the middle. You you dye it, you will notice you have made 'pie' sections... if you are doing multiple colors in your dying, your want to do each section a differt color for a cool swirl effect.
Rocket: I think this is usually called the bulls-eye, but I call it a rocket... because... well, it looks like a rocket to me when it is all banded up! Pick a point on the garment and pinch it up and band off just that section. pull the rest of the garment down and place another rubber band tightly around the entire thing a little ways away... repeat until the entire garment is banded. (it looks like a rocket, does it not?) you can use this same method, just in multiple places on the garment and that looks cool too. It kinda looks like coral when it's all bound up like that... but that's just me. When you dye it, if you are using multiple colors, you will want to put a different color between each rubber band for a bulls-eye effect.

Step 4: Dye according to instructions above, per your design. Dye can be applied by dunking (note: not soaking), plastic squirt bottles, or I often just spoon it onto my creations as well. Let the garments set, depending on how vibrant you desire your color to be... longer it sets the darker. RIT dye will set in nicely in 20-40 mins.

Step 5: Rinse in HOT water, then in cold til water runs out clear. Wash your garments using a small amount of detergent on a normal cycle (in the machine) and dry in the dryer... then iron and fold nicely... wrap a stack in ribbon or put with an outfit as a lovely gift for a baby.

Mine pictured are all pink (lots of friends having baby girls...) but I have made blue ones in the past that are just charming for a little boy.

Another thought on tie-dying onesies: I have a friend who decided she wanted to tie dye a bunch of old onesies of her daughter's that were CLEAN but stained from diaper blow-outs, puke, baby food, and other yucky baby stuff. So she went to town on a pile of onesies... and they were super cute, and you couldn't even tell they had yucky stains on them anymore. Her daughter C wore funky little tie-dyed onesies with jean skirts and it was ridiculously cute. Re-use, re-purpose, re-cycle. I love it!
Happy Tie-dying! :)

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