April 11, 2013

Fashion Friday: Bringing Back Tie-Dye

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You know what’s cool? When you can alter your own clothes. I’m always in awe of people with sewing skills; it must make life so much easier. I would love to be able to change buttons on a jacket, take in a dress or shorten my jeans. I feel a like a whole world of DIY-inspired creations would slowly fill my closet. Every time a page in a magazine opens up to a “how-to” page, I immediately skip it. I don’t know what it is; something about the act of pulling a needle through fabric is impossible for me. Maybe my hands are too big. Or perhaps my fingers are way too clumsy to be able to follow patterns. Hell, I can’t even pull the thread through the eye of the needle. Thankfully, I have an amazing roommate who knows how to sew, so whenever my shirt rips I can just hand it to her and she does some voodoo magic and makes it disappear (thanks, Emma).

However, just because I don’t know how to sew properly doesn’t mean I don’t like DIY fashion. Actually, I love it! I scour the internet and periodicals to find awesome projects to do. There’s no better feeling when you’ve found a new purpose for your old clothes. I hate being wasteful and throwing things out, so I feel extra good about myself when I find an awesome project to do. Recently, I came across a cool way of transforming old clothes into fancy, new duds without breaking a sweat, and, most importantly, without breaking out the needle and thread: tie-dying.

Yup, no longer is tie-dying reserved for summer camp activities. It is an awesome (and cheap) way of transforming your old clothes into colorful new creations. Seriously, you can tie-dye almost anything and make it look cool. But if it’s your first try, I suggest you get an old white t-shirt that you never wear anymore and practice on that first. All you need is two or three colors of your own choosing, rubber bands, rubber gloves and some stainless steel pots.

After boiling about two gallons of water for each color, stir in 1 package powder dye or 1/2 cup liquid dye (you can find them at your local arts supply store). For one of the easiest designs to start off with, randomly tie up the shirt with the rubber bands. Then immerse it in the lightest color first. Let it sit there until the color of the shirt turns a little darker than you want it to. Continually stir it with a utensil. Once you’re done with that color, rinse under cold running water until it starts to run clear. Cut the ties and repeat the procedure with the running water again. Crumple the t-shirt and tie once again. Repeat entire process with the second and third color. Let dry. Unravel and then “ooh and aah” at your creation.

This is a cool site to check out for more awesome tie-dye patterns and ideas. If you’re looking for a video tutorial, check out this one. In general, there are tons of websites and YouTube videos that you can look at for inspiration.

Original Author: Eleni Konstantopoulos