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Contests & Prizes : Fading and Overdyeing Fabrics

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Our big Stitch Fest and book launch is just a few days away!  I've been flipping through our new Encyclopedia of Fabric and Sewing Crafts, and wanted to share one of my favorite techniques from it.



Last November, getting ready for the Holiday Craft Sale season, I completely fell for fading and overdyeing fabrics.  The transformations that occur can be so magical, and it's usually a pleasant surprise!  Once you've read up on fading and dyeing, flip a little further into our book and discover projects including bedding and table linens which utilize your customized fabric.

Want to win your own copy?  Leave a comment in fifty words or less explaining what you like to sew, or would like to sew, along with your complete name and valid email address. All comments must be received by 6 PM Tuesday, 3/30. We’ll choose two commenters at random to win a copy Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts.

See official rules here. Please be aware, comments may take time to show up on our site.

Comments (106)

  • I love making purses & bags & really need to sew some new cafe curtains for my kitchen.

  • I started sewing last spring making a quilt by hand. Now I have a machine and I'm sewing for the children I don't have yet. I want to get really good at it so they can always have nice handmade things! So far I've only made skirts and burp cloths ;)

  • My next project is making a plastic-bag dispenser, which I saw how to do on Martha's website, but I'll be using some of my fabric stash instead of a kitchen towel!

  • I have a couple of immediate projects for the Passover break: one is (also) a plastic bag dispenser for my classroom, and the other one is embroidering our challah cover.

  • I'd really like to sew a new duvet cover for our bedroom this summer.

  • The last thing I sewed was a pair of pajamas for my husband...collar and all! They were quite a challenge. I enjoy sewing things to give to other people, and I also like sewing things for my home so my next project might be a quilt!

  • I've got the cutest skirt fabric, now I just need to draft the pattern and sew!

  • I like to make my own curtains!

  • While on maternity leave, I am delighted to not have to mend or alter any theatre costumes. Instead, I am busy sewing baby toys, clothes, and home decor items. On the go right now: a patchwork dog bed and curtains for my laundry room.

  • My Nana taught me to sew when I was a little girl and I haven't stopped since. These days I mostly sew things for the house- pillows, curtains, etc. I've just started getting into quilting though and have become a bit obsessed with it!

  • I just got some ultrasuede to make the tissue holders Martha posted as a craft of the day earlier this month.

  • I love sewing costumes for a local community theater group. I would like to learn the new techniques shared so that I can use for up and coming shows.

  • I'm getting ready to sew a few 50s style dresses for this summer {for me!}.

  • I've never tried dying anything but a t-shirt or onesie. This is something I'd like to try!

  • I would really like to sew clothes and home accents. I think sewing projects would also be good gifts.

  • Right now I'm sewing lots and lots of paper crafts (invitations, garlands, etc.). I would love to branch out and start making curtains, pillows, clothes--you name it! This book would be the perfect thing to get me started.

  • Well, I have a request for some inside-out. fine-ribbed, soft corduroy underwear! Wouldn't that be luxurious? I need to perfect my sewing skills first.

  • Wow! This peek has opened a whole new world of possibilities! I think it would be neat to make a quilt using the same fabric throughout and just fading and dying to different degrees.

  • All I've sewn is simple stuff like bags and curtains. I'm looking to expand though!

  • I am desperately in need of window treatments for my living room, kitchen, and bedroom. And bedding for my new king-size bed. All of which I intend to sew myself.

    As a side note, I actually tried the fading and overdyeing process on some Pottery Barn sheets I bought at a clearance outlet. No amount of bleach even touched the color in the sheets - they were completely colorfast. I also tried commercial dye removers with no results. Finally, the thought crossed my mind that the benzoyl peroxide that I use on my face bleaches everything I don't want it to bleach, so maybe it would work for the sheets. And it did. Granted it was a little crazy of me to buy about 15 or 20 tubes of acne gel so I could smear it all over the fabric, but it worked. Mission accomplished.

  • I have a little boy (10 months) so right now I am really into sewing toys for him. But I love it all, and would love to learn how to sew my own clothes.

  • Every year I try new crafts -- I've taught myself crochet, quilling, needle felting. But sewing has defeated me! There are so many things I'd love to sew -- clothes for my daughter, a memory quilt, a duvet, toys... I love fabric, but I can't make it do what I'd like.

  • I had no idea this was possible! Fabric and fabric crafts is one thing I'm not very knowledgable - but I definitely have a desire to learn! I would love to do this on some of our curtains that could use a spruce-up.

  • I enjoy sewing. I have made alot of different things including quilts, crafts and a lot of clothing for my family. I am going to start a comforter for my bed when I find the right material. And my dream is to make my daughter's wedding gown-if and when she gets married.

  • I am inspired constantly of things I want to sew. I like to create things for our home. But time is the issue here! Never enough time for it all.

  • I love making things for my (rented) house to make it feel more like it is mine.

  • Pillows I want to sew lots and lots of pillows. Our family is obsessed with them :)

  • I'm excited to sew some summer pants for my baby boy!

  • I want to sew an Easter dress for my 1-year-old. Sigh. Too late. Right now I'd be satisfied with finishing some moccasins for her to wear around the house.

  • I love to sew an ever rotating selection of household goods—curtains, pillows, scrap fabric napkins—and someday hope to have the time to sew clothing as well!

  • I started sewing when I was a little girl on the small sewing machine that my grandma bought me making Barbie clothes. As I got older, I got busy with other activities. I just bought my first home, and my grandma has bought me a "real" sewing machine. I can't wait to start to use it and re-learning the sewing she taught me then (we live about 4 hours away from each other instead of 5 min). Our house growing up always felt better because we had things made by hand, and I am looking forward to making my house feel like a home the same way.

  • I made some curtains for my son's room and they turned out fantastic.

  • i would loooooove to fade some pretty floral fabric and sew it into a slipcover for a simple chair, like a bistro chair. i am very new to sewing and have big ideas but little skill.

    fingers crossed!


  • I'd love to sew my own purse.

  • i like to sew things for other people, but right now i really need to sew a cover for my hideous love seat.

  • My next project is making headbands and a few bigger sizes of play pants for my two toddlers!
    Sarah M

  • Just spent the weekend learning new quilt making ideas So I have alot to try.

  • I would like to sew some clothes for my niece.

  • currently there are a few projects on the list: covers for the pillows for our couch, a curtain for the bathroom, and a new purse for me!

  • I would just love, love, love a copy of the new MS sewing book! My husband knows what a Martha nut I am and bought me the craft encyclopedia for my birthday last year. Sewing is especially a craft I've been getting more and more into lately and I just know I have to have this one too. I love making things for our house (pillows, curtains, etc.) but I'm venturing into other projects (like clothing and other sewing crafts). Hand embroidery and quilting are my favorites right now, but I really want to get better at applique and would so love to try dying and printing. We want to have kids soon too, so I know that will jump to the top of my sewing projects list! ;)

  • I just learned to sew and I'm addicted. I learned from scratch -- I really, really didn't know how to sew -- so I'm doing small projects like stuffed animals and pillows, small baby blankets, and the mandatory superhero cape. But I want to know how to sew everything, especially clothes, and to learn more hand embroidery and quilting.

  • I learned to sew as a little girl and received my first sewing machine at the age of ten. I passed the love of sewing on to my daughter and we both enjoy making items for those special occasions.

  • The last thing I sewed was curtains for the living room.

  • This past year I loved sewing kids projects...I tried diaper clutches, skirts, tote bags and costumes. I'm hoping to spend more time this next year sewing home projects like curtains.

  • I like to sew curtians and different crafts. I like to make stuffed animals. I also like to make clothes.

  • I would like to sew purses, wallets and lunch bags.

  • I could dye or fade some bandanas and make that cool bandana tablecloth that I saw on

  • I want to sew covers for my dining room chair and also new pillows for the den and also for gifts --the fading fabric technique sounds perfect for these projects.

  • I love to sew anything for or about my kids. I recently embroidered my daughter's drawing and intend to make a pillow out of it.

  • I love sewing for my home, family and friends. I just finished up a picnic blanket for the spring picnicing season! Would love this book to add to my sewing adventures.

  • I've actually just started sewing so I'm not sure yet, but would love to use the book to discover what I love to sew. :)

  • I like to do all the 'hand-sewing' techniques using the sewing machine - smocking, counted cross-stitch, heirloom sewing, free-motion embroidery. Of course now that my sister has an embroidery machine, that takes so much less time, and thread, and the designs look better.

  • I got an itch to sew about 3 years ago, and suddenly began making clothes...without a machine! My Mom quickly bought me one, and I've tried all sorts of projects since. I upgraded to my Grandma's super heavy White Jeans machine, and really want to make more of my daughter's clothes.

  • I would LOVE to be able to sew better! I'm always looking for inspiration, this book "seams" like a great start! I would love to make small stuffed animals, you recently had an idea to make a child's drawing into a stuffed toy, what a fantastic idea! Thank you for offering an opportunity to win this book!

  • This book will be the perfect guide for my daughter. I hoping to bring what seems to be a past time to the future.

  • oh that's beautiful! i have some fabric that would be perfect for a little boost.


  • My next project will be sewing and hand embroidering some kitchen accessories.

  • I made several dresses for my daughter last year and matching dresses for 2 of her friends. We have pictures taken of them as best friends.

  • I have this quilt that I sew its made of many flannel colors its called a reverse seam quilt comes out so pretty I have over 50 different colors in it in squares of 6 inches
    I would love to win this Thank You for this great giveaway

  • I am currently making a sewing machine cover - it's simple for a beginner sewer like me! After this is pillows and placemats. Martha's book could give me some great ideas for both!

  • i'd love to channel my martha and make some cafe curtains for my kitchen

  • Sewing can be so gratifying when you cut the last thread. I enjoy making new items out of old. Recently I retired from the military and have been in the process of transforming my old uniforms into great messenger bags- to include ammo web belt handles and my original rank and name tags. An awesome way to keep the memory without disrespecting the uniform.

  • I love to sew clothes for myself and my friends. I am also moving soon, so some sewing for my new place will likely take place as well. Hope I win!

  • All these posts about this book are making me super excited, I hope I win one as I don't know if I have it in the budget at the moment! I would love to learn more about these fading and overdyeing techniques and use them to make clothing for myself and friends.

  • I like to sew simple things like tote bags.

  • My next project is going to be curtains for our new house, but I'm definitely not stopping there. It looks like this book has information on just about everything to do with sewing!

  • I like to sew toys, bonnets and skirts. Sewing on paper is fun too!

  • I like to make my own pillows. It would be fun to learn how to make curtains.

  • I sew clothing and costumes for my dogs. I design it all myself.

  • I recently purchased a vintage sewing machine (I'd been borrowing my grandmother's for years!) and I love making things for my home, small gifts, doll & children's items for my niece. I love the Craft Encyclodpedia, and am looking forward to this new book!

  • I like to sew soft furnishings, and toys for my cat. Recently I have been experimenting with ceramics, rolling lace into clay and taking an imprint, it's an exciting and surprising experiment, although not strictly sewing!

  • My next project is a passport/travel organizer for my son for his trip in May. Hopefully, it'll work- the ones for sale were scratchy.

  • I would love this book. I just made my first project (other than the ones I've made in classes) - a pair of pajama pants! I am excited to learn more!!

  • I'd like to learn quilting, would this book help?

  • Crafter Comment:

    There is a quilting and applique section of the book that should help you!

  • I'd like to sew cafe curtains for our kitchen and breakfast nook.

  • My daughter is into crafts and would love this.

  • I have a few friends expecting babies this year, and so I am venturing into the world of small baby quilts. This new book looks so fantastic - can't wait to check it out!

  • I would love to be able to make my sons halloween costumes from scratch. So much cuter and much less expensive.

  • 2 duvets and pillows for my kids

  • I have recently started to sew again after quite a few years. My first project is to make some very simple light-weight draperies for a large patio door/window.

  • this is awesome. I love Martha!!!

  • I love to recycle fabrics like old t-shirts, sweaters and socks to create new things like bibs, stuffed animals & pin cushions. I sew everything by hand since I don't have a sewing machine. This book will be a very good excuse for me to get a machine! Congrats on the book!

  • I like to be able to make curtains

  • i love to sew easy tank tops and summer dresses with fun, flowery fabric. this book will help me customize my own fabric! thanks for the giveaway :)

  • Fading and overdyeing fabrics sounds very interesting! I love the floral fabric on the picture! It has a vintage look.

    I would love to sew a blouse using that technique.

  • The last project I sewed was for my nieces, it was quilted alphabet letters (idea found online). I love to make new things by repurposing items found around the house. My next project will be to make a quilt out of old shirts that are from a meaningful time.

  • Vintage sewing pattern to make a dress, checked!

    Beautiful floral cotton fabric and vintage pearl buttons, checked!

    The Encyclopedia of Fabric and Sewing Crafts that shows me how to overdye the fabric to make it look vintage ... priceless!

  • My first memories of sewing are sitting at my grandmother's feet with her button tin--sorting them by color and then by size and then by shapes and then by color again. Fifty years later and I am still fascinated with buttons and I have jars of them lining the shelves in my sewing room--just waiting for a grandchild and then I will find an old tin.....

  • I love sewing little crazy looking, monster dolls, shabby chic pillows and little girls dresses with vintage fabrics.

  • I'm hoping to redecorate my bedroom with homemade pillows.

  • Let me win the book !

  • A patchwork purse like I did with my mom when I was a girl.

  • I would love to sew baby quilts and skirts. Nothing too fancy just simple every day items that can be used and enjoyed.

  • I love quilts. It's something I inherited from my grandmother.

  • I find sewing to be relaxing.

  • I like to sew things I can use in my home like napkins, aprons and a knitting needle holder.

  • I quilt and do counted cross stitch and with both I love using overdyed fabric and threads! I would love to make them myself, as sometimes what is available via retail is not exactly what I would love to use for that particular project. Have a nice day!

  • I started sewing mostly womenswear and handbags. Now I'm sewing kid's clothes and absolutely loving it. Everything is cuter smaller!

  • I have a pattern to make a very plump woman dressed in an apron and scarf all set to head outside to do some gardening. She is so adorable. It is too cold yet to start planting, so this project will fill the gap until I can once again return to my favorite place to spend my spring, summer, and fall days.

  • I love to sew by hand, haven't be able to get a sewing machine. I love to sew little things, purses, blankets, and dress up clothes for my daughter.

  • I love to sew and make dolls and stuffed animals.Also sometimes I like to make skirts and tops.I find it lots of fun to make something 3 dimesional from fabric.

  • If I had this Singer Futura I would do a set of monogramed towels for my son and his girlfiend they just bought their first house. I would also make my 3 grandchildren shirts with their names on them and make my granddaughter a what not bag for her American Girl dolls accessories. Love this machine, I just retired and have time on my hands to do projects, and this machine would sure help.

  • I would like to sew some clothes for my children. My husband is laid off and things are a little tight.

  • I would like to check out your encycleopedia. I have been crafting for 0ver 50 years and have done so many projects that I can's remember them all. I am sure having the book would not only refresh my memory, but give me new things to try. I give classes to friends when they want to learn how to make some of the things I show them. We have a pot luck, a little wine, and craft away the day.

  • Hey! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so
    I came to take a look. I'm definitely loving the information. I'm bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers!

    Terrific blog and superb style and design.

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