What’s to love about springtime sundresses? Absolutely everything. This is a fun DIY just in time for Easter that we were super inspired to make after taking our watercolor painting class! After revamping white fabric into DIY watercolor backdrops and making DIY watercolor sneakers, we thought — why not try this technique on white dresses? Scroll on to see how we dipped and dyed our way to warm weather happiness.
Materials + Tools:
- — white cotton or rayon dresses (we got ours from Forever 21)
- — fabric dye (we used Rit Dye Liquid Fabric in violet and sunshine orange)
- — bin for water/dye
- — plastic garbage bags to safeguard your surface
- — table salt (we used Morton)
- — practice fabric to test the dye colors
- — scissors
- — paper towels
- — latex gloves
- — wooden spoon (not pictured) to stir your dye and fabric
Let’s get to it!
Cut a strip of your practice fabric to test your dye color opacity.
Lay down your garbage bags to protect your surface area. Fill 1/4 – 1/2 of your bucket with hot water (we boiled ours and let it sit for a couple of minutes). You want enough water for the fabric to move freely in the dye bath so that it can absorb the dye evenly across the garment.
Add 1/2 – 1 cup of table salt and stir with your wooden spoon (this should only be used for dyeing as it will get stained). The table salt helps the dye adhere to the fabric better, especially to cotton-based fabrics.
Don your latex gloves, pour the Rit Dye into the dye bath and stir. The more dye, the richer the color.
Once we tested the right color (which was the lightest part of the ombré), we dipped our dress into the bucket. Time will vary depending on the shade you are going for. We dipped ours in for about five minutes. Pro Tip: Make sure your fabric flows loosely within the dye so that it’s evenly dyed.
Lay your dress down on the plastic garbage bag in between each color gradient so that you’re able to add dye and stir. We also added a bit of table salt to be on the safe side. Test on your practice fabric so you know how dark your dye is. If it’s too dark, add some more hot water. If it’s too light, add more dye.
When dipping your fabric back into the dye, bob your fabric up and down so there’s a gradual blend of ombré rather than a defined line. Remember that garments will look darker when wet and prior to washing.
For our darkest and last layer, we left the fabric in the bucket for a few minutes and then bobbed it up and down to create that blend, just like we did with the other layers.
TADA! Remove clothes from dye bath and rinse in warm then cool water, until the water runs clear. (Warm water helps to rinse off surface dye more effectively.) Wash your fabric/clothes in warm water with mild detergent and then rinse thoroughly in cool water. Machine dry or lay flat to dry.
These are perfect summer dresses and would be so cute with a pair of strappy sandals.
Marisa’s skirt and top could also be split up and worn with solid or patterned tops and bottoms.
Paige’s dress could easily be dressed up for a brunch or dressed down for a beach day.
We would LOVE to see your creations! Show us your photos using the Insta hashtags #iamcreative and #britstagram.
DIY Production and Styling: Anita Yung
Photography: Kurt Andre and Chris Andre
Modeling: Marisa Kumtong and Paige Sager