Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sew Sunday: Bleach Out

So my mom is all the time passing on clothing to me, gifted, thrifted or otherwise. Some of it gets re-gifted, some worn once or twice, and others - they become heavy staples in my closet. My mom is an excellent shopper. But sometimes I can just see the greater potential of something. I think that's where my creativity spawns from. So when she gave me this off-color charcoal top, I knew I had finally gotten the garment that would be subjected to my current obsession - Bleach dyeing.

First things first, Supply list:
Garment to be bleached. Stick with a dark color for best results
Hydrogen peroxide!
A well-ventilated spot (Probably not your bathroom, unless you have some large windows you can open)

Click to embiggen

To start, decide how you want to create your pattern. I wanted to do a spray/gradient design, but if you know how to tie-dye, then feel free to get extra creative with it.

I used a regular old spray bottle full of bleach. Most tutorials will highly suggest to dilute your bleach to a 50/50 reduction. Instead, I lazily dampened and rung out my shirt really well. I already had bleach in a bottle. I then laid out the shirt in the base of my tub. You may want to do this outside though. It was late when I did this and didn't want to disturb my neighbors.

I sprayed the bottom hemlines very liberally, front and back.  I wound out wringing things out a couple of times, and respraying. Don't be lazy like me, you'll probably get better results.

After awhile, I wound up with a red(?!) gradient. I decided last minute to spray around the collar, but since it was drier, it bleached very fast.

Finally I dumped the shirt into a sink with about a 40/60 mixture of peroxide/water. It will fizz! You don't really need a ton, but this will stop the bleach from burning the fabric. Then rinse really good. Finally toss it into the washer with some old towels you don't mind getting dirty (or by itself, if you aren't behind on laundry like I am). Wash and dry like normal. Done!

Color results not accurate, but it does show the pattern nicely!
Now - Wear it out!

More color accurate


  1. Whoa, that's crazy! You could totally sell those or something (as some people like me are too scared to dabble in crafts with toxic chemicals :P). Also loving your word "embiggen." I need to use that sometime.

  2. Heh heh, "embiggen." That made me laugh but I don't know why--it's a perfectly cromulent word. :)

    Nice DIY.


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