A Bad Dye Job, but a Kick-Ass Dip-Dye Shirt

Recently I came across a post from Charity Shop Chic detailing how she took a plain white shirt and used a dip-dye process to turn it into a fabulous pink ombre shirt. I’m a big fan of anything with a colour gradient (aka ombre), and I had an oversized plain white cotton shirt that I rarely wore. The process looked easy, so off I went to G&S Dye on Dundas Street and came away with some hot pink dye powder and some soda ash.

Here’s the shirt before I started:

The white cotton shirt, before dyeing

The white cotton shirt, before dyeing

Here it is after I dipped it into the dye solution, poked it with my gloved fingers to ensure it was properly immersed, and then dripped from my fingers onto the collar, so I smeared some dye on the collar to make it look like I meant to do that, and in doing so got more drips of dye onto the part that I wanted to keep white. I’m such a “measure once, cut twice” kind of person so it’s no surprise this was quickly turning into a disaster!

The dip-dyeing disaster begins

The dip-dyeing disaster begins

I realized the ‘painted’ collar looked totally stupid so I gave the whole thing a quick dunk in the dye, hoping the initial dipping of the bottom half would result in a deeper shade on the bottom than the top…and it did. Here’s how it looked after rinsing:

Hanging to dry after rinsing

Hanging to dry after rinsing

I like it! But, there are a few problems due to my ill-considered rush job.

First, I think I put too much dye into the solution, and some of it did not dissolve properly before I put the shirt in. I had mixed it gently but it wasn’t enough to get rid of all the small blobs of undissolved powder. The result is some very dark splotches where hunks of powdered dye came in direct contact with the shirt.

Some splotches of undissolved dye

Some splotches of undissolved dye

There is also a spot or two where there’s a weird mottled look. I’m not sure what I did to make this happen, but I did notice that these spots appeared after I had set the dye by putting the whole thing in the microwave on high for 4 minutes as instructed. It seemed like the parts of the shirt that were on top and were not still completely soaked got these darkened mottles on them. Maybe you know why/how that happened?

Some unevenly dyed areas

Some unevenly dyed areas

Despite the problems, I really like this shirt! I love the intense flamingo pink colour. So will I wear it? Hells yeah! Look how cute this is! I put it with a sleeveless jersey dress from Joe Fresh and matching (matching!) heeled oxfords from Jump. It would make a great swimsuit cover up, and could be thrown on over shorts and a tank. In any case, this shirt will see a lot more wear now that it’s a crazy colour. Woo-hoo, crazy colour!

Hot damn, this dip-dyed shirt is cute!

Hot damn, this dip-dyed shirt is cute!

Dip-dyed shirt, jersey sundress from Joe Fresh, and Jump turquoise & white oxford shoes

Dip-dyed shirt, jersey sundress from Joe Fresh, and Jump turquoise & white oxford shoes

Ombre effect on the dip-dyed shirt

Ombre effect on the dip-dyed shirt

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