Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dyeing Your Own Pants

Remember my RED Valentine's Day Party? Remember how you were supposed to wear red? Well I had the perfect outfit in mind. A cream shirt with red polka dots, that was sheer and gauzey. Fabulous red pants and red shoes with a red headband and red jewelery. The problem? The only part of that outfit in my closet were the red shoes. I tried to find the red pants for a good price. No luck. So with just a few days to spare, I went to my favorite thrift store, Savers. I found the perfect pants there.

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White, 97% cotton, my size, and $7. Plus they fit really nicely! I told my friend I really thought I was blessed to find exactly what I was looking for.

But wait, these pants are white? What? A while back, I read this post about Cori dyeing some pants. I wanted to do that so badly. Finally I got my chance. I used Rit's Wesbite to choose my dye color. Seriously GO THERE FIRST before you dye anything! Their article gave me a ton of tips and tricks to use to help me dye my pants.

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Materials Needed:
Fabric Dye, I used Rit's liquid dye in Cherry Red (pictured above)
Container to dye the product in, like a Rubbermaid container or sink
Garment made with natural fibers like cotton or silk
Warm water
Salt
Plastic Gloves
Drop cloth or something to cover the area. I used a plastic table cloth I had.
Paper towels
Washing machine


First thing I did was boring. I washed my pants. Then I heated about 3 gallons of hot water on my stove. Then I poured the water into a large Rubbermaid bin. The water wasn't boiling, but it was giving off a lot of steam and did so for at least 45 minutes. Next I poured in the salt (Don't do it this way! Rit recommends letting the garment sit in the dye for 5 minutes before putting the salt in the mixture), mixed it around and then poured in the dye. 

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The dye looks so pretty getting poured in (no pic of that as I was nervous, but just trust me). I used a measuring cup that I would throw away after because I didn't trust it after measuring dye.

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 After pouring the dye and mixing it in the water, I bravely put my pants in dye--there was no turning back now!

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The tips and tricks said that the pants should be agitated constantly. I wasn't exactly down for that. I agitated every ten minutes or so.

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I left the pants in  the dye bath for about 40 minutes, then rinsed them (this took forever)

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and washed them in the washing machine.

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They came out....pink. So I repeated the process, but this time I did it in the sink, pouring the salt in at the right time, adding a tablespoon of laundry detergent and agitating for over an hour. Constantly. I had my husband turn on Netflix and I stirred those pants with all I had. Then I rinsed them. For twenty minutes. And then washed them. This is how they turned out.

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This is how I wore them on Valentine's Day

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I modeled this yesterday--a headache kept me from smiling


Tips on dyeing clothing:
Only dye natural fibers, synthetics won't dye.
A lot of garments are sewn using synthetic thread. It won't pick up the dye, but in my case it didn't look bad
Make sure you wear gloves, cover your work area, and have a towel handy for any splashes. Otherwise you'll end up with dyed hands, floors or countertops.
Don't dye in a ceramic sink unless you want a pink sink.
Don't wash your garment with other garments the first few washes.
Read the whole article about tips and tricks before you start

14 comments :

Mary Pat Siehl said...

what a fun idea! never thought of doing that!

Smallgood said...

You look totally adorable modeling those pants (headache and all). I've been wanting to do this for awhile as I can't find green pants in just the right shade that fit. I'll have to follow the instructions I guess.

4you-withlove said...

Your red pants look smashing! You did an amazing job (PS Red is my favorite color!)

Sandie said...

Those look adorable! I have always wanted to try dyeing something. Great job.

Brave Brooke said...

These are awesome! I love your post!

Genevieve said...

I would actually lovea pair of pink pants :) guess ill follow your oops directions for those.. Awesome!

Diana said...

They look good. I was thinking they wouldn't be something that you would wear again, but you totally can!

Jordan McCollum said...

They look great! Now I want to do it.

But I don't want to shop for pants.

Kim said...

Just learned about this stuff last week... MIND BLOWN. I'm never getting rid of a stained outfit again.

Maranda said...

Those look awesome!!!

Tracy said...

Your lookin' good in those pants ;)

Now remember to wash them separately , lol.

Shannah @ Just Us Four said...

The red pants looks great! I am always so nervous about use dye. I can just picture my whole kitchen turning some color.

Heather Landry said...

Very, very cool! Plus, I think you are totally brave for dying your own pants. I'd probably end up covered in dye. LOL

Aubree said...

Great job! I love them! If I ever find a nice pair of white cheap pants I want to dye them yellow! (Although I would rather just find some yellow ones...) Thanks for letting me know about this post. And thanks for reading!

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