Hey there! It’s Stef again, from Girl. Inspired. Today I’m showing you how to make your very own ombre skirt using fabric dye! It is so easy to do, you’re going to be dreaming up all kinds of things to dunk in a bucket of dye!!
White skirt (I’m sharing a tutorial today at Girl. Inspired. if you want to make your own)
Fabric dye – I used DYLON brand in Bahama Blue
Large metal pot/bucket
Suspension system – I used an inexpensive clothing rack
Newspapers or towels to protect surrounding area
Sink for rinsing
Prepare your skirt for dying by washing it to remove any chemicals that might interfere with the dye. Use a store bought skirt or make one of your own (see skirt tutorial here). Fabric dye sets easily on cotton – today, we’re using a cotton jersey knit. Leave the washed skirt DAMP! . Next, use a hanger to suspend the skirt above the center of your workspace. I suggest working near your rinsing station; protect the area surrounding the workspace – there will be drips! Set your empty pot on the floor (or base of the clothing rack) and drape the skirt into the pot to assess how far your skirt will hang. Using the pictures below as a guide, adjust your skirt on the hanger so that it will fall into the pot and your “middle tier” will rest AT the “water line.” Place a pin in the skirt several inches above the “middle tier” – this will mark the “top tier” – the furthest that you will dip the skirt into the dye. Please note: the dye will travel up the skirt a couple inches further than this “top tier.”
Next, prepare your dye bath according to the package instructions for the specific material that you’re using. For example, mix the dye packet with 4 cups of warm water and stir until the dye is dissolved. Then, heat a pot of water + 4 T. salt on the stove until simmering. Pour dye mixture into the pot of water/salt . Be sure you have approximately 2-3 inches of space above the “water line” so the dye bath does not overflow when you submerge the skirt.
Place the dye bath on a protected surface – you can see that our pot rested securely on the base of the clothing rack. Hold the skirt hanger in your hands and slowly lower the skirt into the dye bath. Submerge the skirt until the “water level” reaches the “top tier” – where you’ve marked with a pin. After a few seconds, slowly lift the skirt and hang it on the rack above (the skirt should remain submerged in the dye from the “middle tier” down. Set the timer for 5 minutes and allow the skirt to soak.
After 5 minutes, gently raise the skirt out of the dye bath until the water level reaches the “bottom tier.” Adjust the hanger to hold the skirt at this level. Leave the skirt to soak for another 5-7 minutes.
Carefully, lift the skirt completely out of the dye bath and let it drip a bit. Turn the cold water on in your sink. Lift the skirt into the sink and begin rinsing the dye using COLD WATER. You will want the non-dyed portion of the skirt to remain out of the sink so that the dye doesn’t bleed up onto the white area. Continue rinsing the skirt until the water runs clear.
Here you can see how the color saturation gradually deepens from above the pin mark all the way to the bottom of the skirt.
Hang your skirt to dry and it is ready to wear!
I’m already thinking of all the things I’d like to dip dye, aren’t you? Be sure to stop by Girl. Inspired. for the tutorial to make your own high-low spring skirt. And you may be interested in how I use that same inexpensive clothing rack for a quick photo backdrop. I’m also sharing a delicious Tomato Bisque recipe this week! Hope to see you soon!
Stef blogs at Girl. Inspired. where she shares sewing projects and tutorials, her latest adventures in cake-decorating and sugar consumption, and any sort of crafty thing she can squeeze into her day. She loves throwing parties and decorating her home with a little vintage and a lot of homemade. Stef and her husband are raising three little girls on their “farm” in Northern California. She loves dance parties with her girls, laughing with her husband, hoarding fabric, photography, and of course, coffee! Stop by and say hi! Find Stef on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram for more inspiration!