Fabric Dying: Over-dying a Shirt to Change the Color

Recently I ordered a shirt online on Zulily.com. I was rushed with the limited time offer of a flash sale, and I didn’t fully think through my purchase. Ugh great deals online are so tempting! Thus, when my order arrived reality hit me, and I knew that the light brown shirt I ordered with entirely the wrong color for my complexion. There was no way I could wear a light brown shirt! But I liked the fit and wanted to keep the shirt…

I decided to try to dye the shirt– any color except brown would do. An easy hot water wash with some Rit Dye in ‘Scarlet’ later, I have a cute red shirt! This shirt is embellished and actually supposed to be hand wash only. I disregarded the washing instructions because I can’t spend half an hour or more stirring a pot to do a stove top dye. I only lost one bead in the washer, and I can sew that back on.

Custom dyed fabric shirt
Custom over dyed fabric shirt

This was my first time dying fabric. I have a front load washer, and I am happy to say that using the detergent dispenser and a hot water bleach wash after dying the shirt worked just fine. No lasting washer damage! I guess this whole process is technically over dying, since I was dying over a color.

I would love to dye a shirt to create a cute custom dip-dyed ombre effect, just like Wit and Whistle did. Adorable! I guess Procion MX dye is the dye to use for that because its good quality. It is supposed to fix more readily to the fabric so you have less risk of the dye running when you wash it. Maybe someday!

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