Tie Dye top

This is another project from awhile back. It all started because I had two lengths of damaged white fabric. The first was a lovely silk that I’d scalded with a too-hot iron, the second (pictured below) was some white cotton that I’d pre-washed with another fabric whose blue dye had run.


I decided to try tie-dyeing, although I was hoping to emulate the popular shibori style rather than the techni-colour stuff I used to do as a kid. I couldn’t easily get my hands on indigo dye though so I’m not sure it can really be classified as shibori.


I folded the pieces like an accordian, some vertically and some diagonally.


Then I added tight (colour co-ordinated of course) rubber bands. For half of the cotton (blue bands) I wanted to add a rectangular shape to block some of the dye and the only thing I could find the right size were some loyalty/membership type cards from my wallet. Obviously I didn’t think that through as they partially melted in the boiling water and are now deformed!


The fabric using the cards is on the far right and you can see I also attempted a dip dye. Both of those pieces didn’t take the dye very vibrantly though. The silk (far left) and different cotton (which was folded diagonally) both have rich colouring.

The silk was already cut out as a top before I dyed it so I had to try to be symmetrical with my folding and didnt have much say in the ‘print placement’. It turned out a little strange but not too anatomically embarrassing 🙂


I don’t really love the resulting top but it was a fun chance to experiment with dying, as the fabric was not useable as it was. Its actually the shape of the top that puts me off most, which is stupid because I’ve made this pattern before and not liked it then either! I officially pledge not to make this pattern again until I’ve adjusted the neckline and armholes into more of a ‘racer’ shape.

I won’t go into the construction – let’s just say it’s not terrible, but definitely not my finest work. I used a new 1/4″ rolled hem foot which gave both very good and very bad results depending on which area you look at!

Some more photos:




I haven’t used the diagonally dyed fabric yet and am not sure what I will make with it for as it’s not very wide. I may just hem it and use it as a scarf. Have you done any experimenting lately?


9 thoughts on “Tie Dye top

  1. A real shame you’re not totally happy with this as it looks really good in the photos. Glad I’m not the only one who daftly repeats a pattern before they realise they weren’t that fussed on it from the outset… I actually had to force myself to bin the free BHL top you can download to stop me from attempting it yet again…

  2. The diagonal one is really stunning – but they’re all beautiful! You put me to shame, trying all these new things whilst looking after two kids. I only have a cat and can barely sew one thing a month! I will be trying something new soon – helping my neighbour embellish her bellydancing costume!!

    • Thanks Kirsty – one day a week Harry has a full day at daycare so if I can convince Nina to sleep awhile I get a good few hours to sew.. (err I mean clean/laundry etc). It is heavenly!

      I love that you’re sewing a bellydancing costume! I think you should listen to the music whilst doing so to get into the spirit 🙂

  3. That top looks amazing! I read the post title and thought “really? Tie dye?” This wasn’t at all what I expected! Is indigo hard to get? My mum has dyed wool with it in the past, shall I ask her to bring you some? She’s coming in January.

    • I think I may have found an online NZ stockist when I looked but Im not sure. It definitely felt like something that wasn’t readily available here.

      Thanks so much for the offer of asking your mum – maybe you can ask her about her experience- if it’s easy to use + relatively cheap if would be great if she could bring a sachet. But realistically I have lots of other stuff to work on so it’s not essential. We will have to have you guys over in the next few weeks. Getting perfect for the kids to play outside!

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