What did Gilmore Girls, Woodstock, NYFW and myself all have in common?

This post is all about taking you with me as I work through the steps of taking a stained dress that I still love & transforming it into this season’s hottest trend. Tie-Dye.

You can learn more about the history of tie-dye HERE but with this post, it’s all about transforming your old clothing items and making them new again with a few household items. Here’s what you’re going to need:

what you’re going to need to start bleach-dying.

First things first, you’re going to need a garment that you’re ready to potentially completely wreck. Working with bleach for the first time it may not turn out the way you have in mind. Until you’re a seasoned pro, work with pieces where you don’t mind the experiment. I used an older dress with a huge stain that I could not figure out how to remove. I still love the cut of the dress and figured it would be a good place to start for our process.

There are many ways to tie-dye your garment. You can twist, fold, roll, or do what I’ve done and scrunch the garment.

Step One: Tie it up!
There are many different strategies you can use to tie up your garment to create different designs. You can take a single or multiple point and twist. This will create a starburst pattern. You can roll it to create stripes. What I’ve done is scrunch the fabric to create a more abstract print.

Step Two: Literally tie it up.
Use your elastics to hold the fabric nice and tight. You can also use twine or string. Do not use a coloured string, the dye in the string will bleed into your garment.

Step Three: Saftey first.
When using bleach to dye your garment be aware that this is a potentially harmful substance. Wear gloves and do this next step in a well-ventilated area. Put down a plastic sheet or something to protect your furniture if you’re planning on doing this inside.

Step Four: Mix it up, like a cocktail.
Same as you’d be mixing a vodka-soda right? Half bleach and half water into a bottle. Give it a good shake to mix it all up and you’re ready to go!

Step Five: Pour baby!
Pour your bleach mix over your tied up area, making sure that it’s thoroughly soaked through. Don’t let the garment sit in the water though.

Step Six: Wait.
I let my garment set in this mixture for up to 4 hours. Keep an eye on it though. The thinner the fabric the easier it is for the fibres to dissolve which could result in holes.

Step Seven: Rinse & Wash
Take your garment, give it a solid rinse then throw it in the washing machine and the dryer. The heat will set the dye and complete the chemical reaction that’s happening.

Step Eight: Photos for the Gram (Optional)
That’s it! Tell all your friends that you up-cycled this piece and feel like a boss rocking around in your new piece.

Here is a video that I found super helpful as I explored this type of dying. Check it out for more info!