I used inkodye and the sun to add a bit of my garden to a skirt. I've done photo printing before and loved the results. But this was my first time trying photo-dyeing and once again I love the results!
The skirt itself, is the simplest of skirts. Nothing at all fancy. I started with a rectangle of white cotton knit .
The long side of my rectangle measured the size of my waist, plus about 10". The short side is the length of the skirt plus about 3.5" (enough to fold over at the top and insert elastic for a waistband, I used 1.5" elastic). Since it's knit and a totally casual skirt I didn't hem my skirt, but if you do you'll want to add length for that as well.
But, before I sewed the skirt up I dyed it...
First, prepare your fabric, cut your skirt material and secure it to a piece of cardboard (I taped mine).
Next, prepare your dye. The bottle of inkodye suggests that you use it directly from the bottle and they even have a roller that you can use to attach directly to the bottle top. I don't suggest doing either of those things! Initially I used the roller and the full concentration of dye. I found that the roller didn't distribute the dye well enough. It was hard to get it all over my fabric and I ran out of dye very quickly! The end result was not good. My fabric was stiff and really I didn't actually finish my initial project because I ran out of dye in the middle, oops!
Instead, dilute your dye. I didn't really use exact measurements, basically I used a half pint jelly jar added about half of a 4oz. bottle of dye and filled the rest of the jar with water. I repeated this once and used one 4 oz. bottle to dye my entire skirt (with absolutely none to spare!).
Once your dye and fabric are prepared you can begin to paint the dye onto your skirt. Use a foam brush and paint all over your fabric. Make sure you are adding the dye in a dark room (no direct sunlight) so you don't expose the dye before you are ready.
Once you are ready scoot your cardboard outside and quickly lay the objects that you are using to cast shadows (shells, flowers, leaves, whatever you'd like get creative!)
Be careful not to move any of your objects while the dye is being exposed. It takes about 12 minutes for the dye to be fully exposed in bright sunlight and up to 20-30 minutes in overcast conditions. Once your fabric has been fully exposed carefully bring it back inside and, away from sunlight, remove your shadow casting objects (fabric is sensitive to light until the remaining ink is washed away so keep your fabric away from light/uv rays at this point.)
Wash your fabric on hot/cold twice. I used detergent specifically for inkodye in the first cycle and regular detergent during the second cycle. Dry and then sew...I simply sewed my rectangle together with right sides facing and a 1/2" seam allowance, folded over 1 3/4" at the top and insert my elastic.
And voila! A new skirt!
Simple and comfy and sun-dyed. Perfectly summery.
And filled with pretty bits of my own garden...
This was a great little experiment! There are so many possibilities with this dye, you can even add photos, which we fully intend to do sometime! We've already done a little more experimenting as a family (I'll share that later.)
I'm sure you could even use this dye on a store bought skirt as well, you will just need to add a layer of cardboard between the front and back of the skirt and do it in stages (front and then back).
So, what do you think, think you'll give it a try? Are you wearing your skirts?!