We're thrilled to be bringing you a guest post today from Jamie Prokell, Art Director for Whole Living:
This summer I went looking for a new pair of Swim Trunks. When I came across the Vans x RIT Custom DIY Era Classic Boardshorts, and after watching the video I figured that I could create my own pair with this kit.
It turned out to be pretty easy. And it seemed like this would also be a great way to spend an afternoon with my four year-old daughter and introduce her to tie-dye.
Getting started was easy. From the Vans kit I had the dye, the shorts, the directions. In addition, I needed to gather a couple of containers to hold the dye (I used some dish washing tubs I found at a local store), vinegar, rubber bands, rubber gloves, white T-shirts, and a timer.
I wanted to try some more elaborate dying patterns so I looked online at some directions for how to get the swirls and rainbow type designs. I twisted, folded and rubber banded each shirt. And off I went.
At the start my daughter was more interested in how the prepped shirts worked as a stand-in pony-tail than what was about to happen.
I mixed the RIT dye powder and labeled the tubs so I could keep track of what colors were where.
After adding the vinegar and hot water, I used a paint stir to mix and dissolve the dye powder.
When it looked ready, I dipped my first shirt.
My set-up allowed for dying multiple items at once. Patience and organization are my tips for keeping track of what was going on.
Next, it was time to start the second and third colors. I would suggest keeping your shirts and shorts in as long as possible to allow the dye to really take hold.
My daughter kept circling around but was not convinced this was going to turn out to be anything she wanted to wear.
Then came the moment where we got to see what we made. We rinsed the shirts in cold water.
And hung them to dry.
This was the first of the shirts. This was the sort of thing I was expecting.
Next we got into some of the patterns we found online. This was the front...
...and the back. My daughter liked that the sleeves were different colors.
Next a more traditional dye pattern. Very "Which Way to the Dead Show."
This was an experiment in over-dying from one end and the other.
This was the twirled-pattern shirt after I dyed and rinsed it.
And this was it unfolded. I was surprised at how this turned out. It was what I was going for, but I still scratch my head at how it all worked out.
And then my shorts. I did not want white lines so I did not rubber band these. Instead I dyed the bottom-half in the yellow for a long while. Then dipped the very bottom in the blue to get the green color.
I then dipped the top half in the red dye. And over-dyed the top part by dipping in black dye to make sure I was not ending up with a scandalous see-through swim trunk.
I was happy with the result and have been wearing my new trunks around, knowing no one else would have the same pair on. My daughter has been wearing the shirts we made and talking about how proud she was she made them. This project turned out to be a good introduction to creating your own clothes. And I am looking forward to our next dye project together in the future.