CrazySexyCrafty: Fabric Dyeing

Damn if Brooklyn Decker didn’t totally rock this! On the back, it’s also a cover and she’s wearing the cutest Military jacket. Military style is big for fall this year and I had no intention of joining the trend! Until I saw this cover on the September issue of Women’s Health! Yes, sometimes I do get swayed by the media! I’m not always immune to their very persuasive tactics that they spend alot of money on!

I remember seeing a pack of camo collection tees from Hanes and I knew that those would be perfect for me to make a camo style t-shirt dress. So, I went off the where I saw them to get me a pack.

They didn’t have anymore!

I was so upset! I kicked myself for not buying them when I saw them the first time. I thought they were so cool, but I convinced myself not to get them, because they were a 2XL. The size is not the problem. I always take big t-shirts and cut them to fit me. It was the price. 2XL and 3XL sizes always cost more.

While I was walking around bummed, my inner voice kept saying, “Why don’t you try dyeing?” I beat back the idea for a few minutes, but then I started to realize that it would be a good learning experience, since I’ve never immersion dyed anything before.

Since this was my first time trying this, I went ultra cheap. I do have Procion dyes, but I didn’t want to use them my first time around. I bought a box of Rit Dye in Dark Green. Not exactly the same Forest green color, but I was okay with that.

I got home and got everything together. I didn’t want to dye directly in the washing machine, cause if somebody else’s clothes turned out green accidentally, I would never hear the end of it. So, I devised a bucket/machine method that worked great for me.

Assemble your tools. You’ll need your dye, gloves, a bucket (I always save my cat litter containers. They are so handy for organizing), measuring spoons and a measuring cup used only for dyeing (get one at the dollar store), a face mask, sea salt (I got this at the dollar store too, but forgot it in the pic!) and a broom with a plastic handle.

Wash your t-shirts. No fabric softener. Don’t dry. Put them in your bucket. Run your hot water cycle and let the drum fill up with water about halfway. Dip your measuring cup in several times to transfer the hot water to your bucket. I found this to be the easiest way for me to get hot water. Fill bucket per directions for your dye.

Protect your face and cover your hands. In your measuring cup, mix your dye with water per manufacturer’s instructions. I had to mix the powder dye with water before putting it in the bucket. I dipped my measuring spoons in to get 2 cups and mixed together until dye was dissolved. Add dye, amount of salt and anything else you need per the directions in the bucket.

Mix with your broom handle. My directions said to agitate for thirty minutes. Next time, I’ll do it for much longer, maybe 60-90 minutes. You don’t have to stand over it for that long, just make sure you agitate after some time, like maybe every ten minutes. During the agitation phase, drain your washing machine of the hot water.

When the time is up, squeeze out as much of the dye liquid as possible from your fabric and put it in the washing machine. Run through one cycle with no detergent. Run another cycle with detergent. Dry separately. I covered my bucket with the lid and let the dye liquid cool. I then just pour it out in the backyard.

These didn’t come out too badly. My first experience went pretty well. I wasn’t expecting great results, but everything came out better than I thought. I did notice that when a iron hits the dyed fabric, it changes color, but it goes back to it’s original color when cool. I’ll be washing the dyed shirts separately for a while until I’m sure nothing else will turn green!


Luxury is a concept!

There is a great post over at Carly Cais’ blog, Chic Steals. Here’s a little excerpt:

…why I began Chic Steals two and a half years ago: to examine the idea of “value” of clothing, brands, and labels – and to deconstruct the idea of “luxury.”  I want to teach people to try their hand at making their own fashionable items – to demonstrate that value is conceptual, and instilled in an object when one takes the time to create it oneself.  It’s amazing how much you value something, crooked seams and all, when you’ve slaved over it, day after day, or researched how to do a certain process in the making of it.

Can I just say, Right on! Go over and read the rest of the post. She makes some other very relevant points!

CrazySexyCrafty: Faux Lace T-shirt

T-shirts are the ultimate staple for the frugal fashionista. You can do just about anything with them. They can be dressed up or down, can be plain or fancy and can be downright cheap to buy.  If you’re lucky to have family members or friends that have ones they don’t wear, you can often get them for free!

I look at plain white t-shirts like a blank canvas. So, I buy multiple packs of plain white T-shirts in different styles and sizes. I always make sure that whatever package they come in, each shirt is never over $2 each.

I’ve been wanting to do some cool spray paint effects, but without using actual spray paint. Since it’s toxic, you can’t use it inside and actually you can’t use it on clothing.

There have been a few companies out there making nontoxic spray paint products for use on fabric. One of them is Deval Products, who make Simply Spray. They were kind enough to let me try the product out on several projects that I have in mind. This one is just one of many that I have up my sleeve! Since lace is going to all the rage this fall, I wanted to give a shirt a lacy effect with paint.

How to make a faux lace t-shirt

Protect your work space. For me that means making sure the wall behind is protected  as well as the carpet. I’ve learned from past experiments.

Wash and dry the t-shirt you want to use. No fabric softener or dryer sheets. White or light color shirts are best for this project. Place a piece of cardboard between the two layers to keep paint from bleeding through to the back.

Spray your base color. Make it a light color. I used Poppy Red and Brite Yellow, but next time I’ll use a color lighter than red. Cover the whole shirt with a light spray. Let dry at least 30 minutes for less bleeding. If you don’t mind a little color bleed, continue to next step.

Place a piece of lace over your shirt. Try to find one bigger that your t-shirt.  I found this piece at the thrift store.  Spray a dark color lightly over the lace. I used Deep Purple. You don’t need to saturate the lace. It will just puddle and become wasted paint. Let the shirt dry without moving lace for at least 30 minutes for crisp effects. I, however, wanted a little messiness so it wouldn’t be too girly. I turned my lace piece over and used a roller to press the excess paint into the shirt.

After the front dried, I repeated the steps for the back of the shirt.

I really like the end result. Simply Spray is very easy to use, and washes off the skin easily, so I didn’t have to worry about wearing gloves. The colors also stay true, even when the garment is dry. When the can says Brite Yellow, that’s exactly what you get.

Finished and drying

On to the next project!

New Dress a Day!

This is my kind of blog! Laid off from her job, Marisa wanted to find something that inspired her. After watching Julie@Julia, she knew it wasn’t food, but clothes! Using her amazing sewing skills, she crafts a new dress everyday from an old, ugly one found for just a dollar. That’s right! EVERYDAY! On her blog, she states that she must be out of her gourd, but it’s the people who go out of it that make headlines. In her case, it’s in a good way! She’s definitely making people take notice. She’s just been featured on Yahoo! Green

This is going to be another guilty blog pleasure. I sure hope she keeps going after her year is up. She definitely has alot to offer in the world of DIY.

My Husqvarna Viking Serger Giveaway Entry

Sew Mama Sew is offering a chance for readers to win a brand new Husqvarna Viking s21 serger. Yes, it’s fantastic! This is my contest entry:

Take a look at this costume:

It’s a belly dance costume that was given to me. It didn’t have a skirt, so I made a flowy crimson chiffon skirt to match the color in the costume.

There’s about eight yards of chiffon fabric (which is often slippery, easy to snag and super frustrating) I had to create a rolled hem for. I don’t have any special feet or special machines to make a rolled hem, so it took 4 days just to hem the skirt itself! Afterwards, my hands looked liked this:

This beautiful serger will most certainly change my life! I’m a professional belly dancer and from the beginning, I have always made my costumes. Although I enjoy the creative process that goes into making costumes, the real reason I make them is that professional belly dance costumes are extremely expensive! Sometimes, you can pay upwards to $1000. You would think that those prices would guarantee quality, but many times, that’s not the case. So I choose to make my own, where I can be assured quality workmanship and fit.

I love twirly chiffon skirts, even if it takes four days to hem them. I’m quite sure that this beautiful Husqvarna Viking serger would make rolled hems a breeze! That would shorten my costume making time so I could do more dancing and my fingers would look more like this:

Finally debunking the “good debt” myth!

I remember when I first heard the idea that no debt is good debt. I read it in Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. It completely made since to me, but it seemed so radical at the same time! That’s probably the real reason that I liked the idea. I like doing things that everyone thinks is impossible.

He talked about examples of businesses that didn’t run on credit, but on high cash reserves. Not only did those savvy individuals save their own personal income, they saved high amounts of their business incomes too! What a novel idea!

It seems that people are starting to see the wisdom and the freedom of having no debt whatsoever, as seen in this article. Unfortunately, it took an economic downturn to change everyone’s perspective, but sometimes that’s what it takes.

CrazySexyCrafty: Purse organizer

I saw a purse organizer on TV one night. You know, the ones where you can put 101 things in it and everything has it’s very one pocket and you can find everything and it fits all the 101 things in your very small purse for the very large price of…….

Somehow, in all of the dizzying marketing speak, I managed to ask myself if it’s possible to actually make a purse organizer.

Not only did I find a pattern, I found a really easy pattern with extremely clear instructions.  I made one for my mother for her birthday and one for myself. I just love it.  I don’t have 101 things, but the things that I do have, I can actually locate in my purse, and since it now has a proper place, I can put it right back in that place so I can find it again.  It is certainly worth the time and effort I spent making it.