Purposeful Dyeing


Many moons ago I acquired this jacket-styled cardigan. It was especially favoured because of the milky cream colour, but over the years it wasn't worn much at all. Before I donated this piece I wanted to see if I could get another use out of it by colour transformation. This knit was longing for an update in some magical way. And after investigating my crafting trunk I decided to dye it periwinkle! Well, it was that or a myrtle-green concoction, which I now have plans to use. 

Fortunately the cardigan was made of lovely fibres that took this dye quite well. My wants did not stray too far from the [high-aiming] mission. I simply wanted this knit dyed ... period! I was over the dull colour, I wanted something fresh. Don't get me wrong, I adore cream and white garments, however I wanted this in a soft spring colour. 
To Dye [or] NOT "Tie-Dye!"
To achieve designs or shades: Instead of scrunching or clamping the entire cardigan I folded it in fourths; dipping one half first front side down. Then, I let it sit for about 5min. Afterward, I dipped the other side, repeating the same way, only this time allowing it to sit for about 45min. to 1hr. (back side down with sleeves inside) slowly turning it every 10min.+/- or less. On the last turn I unfolded and let it sit a few more minutes before rinsing. Creating lighter and darker shades on the cardigan worked for me, because of its multiple seaming. Instead of just a solid flat colour, the shading gave it dimension and character. 
Test out various dyes and select your favourite. Some dyes work differently, i.e. plant vs. synthetic, but the dye that I used was one that I'm familiar with; therefore to get the result wanted the cardigan needed to be in a bit longer for this blended fabric. I'm happy with the result, because it actually looks like an entirely new cardigan! 

On the Fashion Tales 2012 to-do list: I obviously enjoy dyeing, so wanting to expand this art devotion is of great interest to me. I'm also working on a couple of other dyeing projects, and I've been learning techniques that were used centuries ago from great artists who are willing to show me a few tricks. I'll try to post them whenever I finish in the future whether good or indifferent. 

Certainly, if you want to take on a dyeing project do ask yourself one question, "Am I ready to get my hands dirty." Because, truth be told even with gloves it's not glamourous, yet the fun and final result is worthwhile if you're fond of a craftily slice of experimentation!
The goods: Cardigan-H&M,Skirt-Theory, Belt-F21, Chevron dress-SimplyChic SF, Boots-gifted(similar


  1. The color came out beautifully!

  2. sartorialsidelines28 January

    It's been ages since I tried doing anything with fabric dye - I love your tips though and the color really came out well!

    Courtney ~ http://sartorialsidelines.com

  3. You did really well. Lovely cardigan, Madison.
    Enjoy the weekend.

  4. I have a love hate relationship with dye. It's great for giving things like jeans a new lease of life, particularly black ones. However, I usually get the stuff you put in the washing machine. Even after two cycles with nothing in, to clean the drum, you have to be careful if you put in a white wash. The rubber takes the dye and when you pull clothes in and out of the drum of the washing machine, if they catch they can mark.

  5. Yes, as a rule you should always wash with nothing in first time washing, also depending on the dye that you use, (probably a chemical dye) 

    I've found personally to love "natural" dyes over synthetic for certain projects,  they are richer in colour (for what I do.) Natural dyes also are good with time, and seem to hold a lasting sheen as opposed to the synthetic ones chemical dyes fade more than last. Thanks for your comment!

  6. Thanks Rocquelle, i'm really loving it as well. -xx

  7. Love the dye job! It looks amazing :)

  8. Estefanía J.28 January

    Love your sweater dear!!! :) great DIY!!!
    If you like
    my blog and you feel like drinking a sip of ABSOstyle with me, we could
    followed each other by GFC or wherever you prefer… :) I’ll be
    waiting for you!!!

    Estefanía J. ABSOstyle

  9. BestofPBConsign28 January

    I love that every time I visit your blog I find you creating or remixing a piece. You are so talented. I can tell you that I would never follow through on a project like that.

  10. your DIY (Dye It Yourself lol) turned out really well! The last few things I've tried dying ended up all streaky. not impressed at all!
    The new colour gives the sweater a whole new look :)

  11. Confession--- beyond bringing life back to blacks, I don't have much dyeing experience.  But the color that your cardigan came out is so pretty!

  12. Aww, thanks Veronica!  I do love a good project. :)

  13. Thanks for sharing! Think I'm gonna try out dyeing some of my old stuff sometime soon ;)
    Fantastic blog btw! I've followed you via bloglovin.Hope you could check out my blog, tell me what you think and follow me back if you'd like here http://www.bloglovin.com/en/blog/2598801/rahelrahelrahelcheers!Rahelwww.RahelRahelRahel.comxx

  14. I LOVE the color of that sweater! Also...your boots are phenom!  :)

  15.  Oh! Friend! That is smart way to save something. I love the color you chose and now you have a new fave for spring...that sweater looks so super cozy.

  16. Sick By Trend29 January

    amazing outfit! love the skirt a lot :)


  17. That looks amazing! I love it and I definitely prefer this colour to the cream. I actually don't own very much cream coloured things and always prefer things with a bit of colour myself. I once dyed a white lace dress a dusky blue and a bit of coloured dye really works wonders!

  18. Awesome! I love the new color you gave it! That shade of blue is unique in clothes!
    of Live Life in

  19. GlamKitten8830 January

    I can't do anything with dye.  I'm dye-challenged.  I applaud you for your skills.  Want to come over and have a dye-fest with me? :) 

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/Twitter: @GlamKitten88 

  20. I haven’t gotten brave enough to dye anything yet, but I may just do it because your’s turned out so well!  Love your outfit, Madison. So comfy yet chic!


  21. Thanks so much! Yes, dyeing can be quite tricky, but this was easy to do just took a bit of patience.  :)

  22. The sweater looks wonderfully refreshed, and you are lovely.

  23. love the idea of dying a sweater!  i've only once dyed something (okay, i tie dyed some scarves before too), it was my grandmother's dress.  i love the monochromatic gray outfit.  those boots look fab with the cardigan and skirt!!!


  24. Alexandra Samarina30 January

    The color is absolutely beautiful! Definitely way way better than before! Loving how you put the outfit together! The skirt is amazing!




  25. GREAT sweater!

  26. Loving the outfit babe :) Hope you had a lovely wknd xx

  27. Thank you Winnie. I love colour as well!  :-)

  28. Thank you & welcome! Do give dyeing a try, you just might like it after all.  :)

  29. what a pretty color, it looks more spring like now!

  30. heatherfonseca31 January

    Very aspirational!

  31. The Dainty Doll's House31 January

    It turned out great, some dyes can be spotty in finish, but this looks fab!! I have some things needing dyed, must get to it!! xx

  32. Thanks so much! Yes, it's good to inspect content of fabric before dye processing, sometimes where trim, etc. is the spotty finish will be present or if item isn't fully saturated. Hope that you're able to give it a go. -xx

  33. Thanks Steph! ;) Hope you're having a great week so far. 

  34. Hi Alexandra! Thank you for viewing the post. I am pleased with the colour too. :-)

  35. I have a pile of items I want to color. Ivory just doesn't suit me- I've a silk shirt I was eyeing and seeing your beautiful grey/blue sweater inspired me to get on it.


Latest Instagrams

.instagram_gallery:after { content: ''; clear: both; display: table; } .instagram_gallery a { position: relative; display: block !important; float: left; } .instagram_gallery img { display: block !important; position: relative !important; z-index: 1; } .instagram_gallery, .instagram_gallery > a { -webkit-transition: all 0.5s ease; -moz-transition: all 0.5s ease; -ms-transition: all 0.5s ease; -o-transition: all 0.5s ease; transition: all 0.5s ease; } .instagram_gallery > a:hover { opacity: 0.7; } @media screen and (max-width: 750px) { .instagram_gallery a { width: 33.33% !important; } }