Sunday, March 9, 2014

Dyeing to the rescue.

Hello there! This weekend, besides being in great need of a bit of r&r, I was wanting 
to sew up something fairly quickly, something that I have been thinking 
about for awhile now, the Suzy pants by Tessuti. They are right on trend, 
I have seen these type of loose, pleated,  flowy pants
 on friends and colleagues, and in shops, but stopped myself from purchasing 
because I new that I had the Suzy pattern printed out
at home just waiting to be made. So I searched for some rayon on,
and found what I thought was the right print for some funky pants.

When I saw the scale and color of the print in RL I was very disappointed, to say the least.
I am so picky about prints, and I don't like anything that looks too junior market, or cheap.
I thought, yes funky-- or maybe just fugly. Lesson learned! Order swatches first. ALWAYS.

 I almost returned the fabric for my money back when I realized shipping would
cost about as much as the fabric did. So I opted to save the fabric by toning 
down the whole thing and over-dyeing it.
By coincidence I had another disappointing fiasco sitting in my closet waiting
to be dealt with, my favorite heather grey Madewell sweatshirt that I had gotten
a bleach stain on. I had plans to cover the stain with a block print or some trim, but  
the sinister mark was on the side middle, kind of weird  placement for anything like that.
So dye that puppy black too! I said (to myself, or whomever- ie the dog... would listen) ..

I wanted the sweatshirt to be really black so I used the whole bottle of liquid 
Rit black dye on it and figured that  I would use the left over dye
 bath to over-dye the rayon print. Did you know that basic colors like blue and
black Rit Dye are available at Ralphs? I recommend the liquid over the powder, 
because with the powder Rit Dye the particles of dye get in the air and that stuff is toxic! 
After following the dye directions from and putting the 
sweatshirt in a pot on the stove, I was pretty pleased when I saw how quickly 
it became a beautiful black, and bonus- the thread top stitching overlock
stayed white - must be polyester thread, and I think it's an nice contrast detail.
 - oh yeah, I meant to do that!

I was really happy with the over-dyed rayon fabric as well! I really liked the wrong side of the
print and thought it had a cool- almost tie dyed effect.

So I hastily made up the pants using the wrong side of the fabric as the face. 
I figured this could be a wearable muslin, not wanting to waste any
time, I made a straight up size S as my measurements dictated.
Not that I planned it this way, but the sweatshirt and pants actually
make a pretty cute outfit. The length of the sweatshirt covers up
the high waisted part that I don't like about the pants.


  I may take apart the pants and lower the waistline. 
I would also like to make a flat front waistband and leave the elastic part for the back. 
(like Kelli at True Bias did) I would also take out the pockets, who needs that 
added bulk on your hips? (I really should have read some pattern reviews and 
mods before jumping in), Like Kelli's - Um Duh!! but that's just me! 
I might try something a bit more fitted next time, like the 

What do you think? In the end they could be a bit slimmer, but
I actually really love the print!


  1. Yay for saving two things at once! But doesn't do free returns (with free shipping)?

    1. I probably should have read the return policy a bit more thoroughly but there was no return label included in the package. Pretty inexpensive stuff though, fine for a muslin. Those pants need a lot of tweaking before I will be happy with them!

  2. These look great! What an awesome solution!

    1. Thanks Sonja!! People have been re-dyeing textiles to save them for ages!

  3. I never think about dyeing, but this post prooves that I totally should! Great save on the fabric and sweatshirt, even if you don't love the pants as much.

    1. Well yes the sweatshirt I will wear, what I realized about the pants afterwards, is that I really should have at least tried to match the stripes. I didn't think of it as a stripe!

  4. How awesome! I am always so nervous to dye my fabric...I need to just bite the bullet and try it! It turned out great!

    1. Thank you Teresa! I do allot of hand dyeing at work, samples etc.. It is so fun, once you start you won't want to stop!!

  5. clever seamstressing to get the fabric and sweatshirt just the way you like it!

    1. Thanks Maddie! I can't wait to give the pants another try this weekend!

  6. Bravo! Clever clever indeed! You managed to save both things and inspired me to do the same. I have wanted to over-dye a few items and now there is no excuse! Thank you for sharing ;)

    xx! lili

  7. i love your hand dyed outfit! whaaaat!