Back in May, I had a freezer cooking day and dyed some onesies at the same time. It was all in preparation for my sister's baby shower, where we decorated the onesies and gave her baby boy a new wardrobe.
So, this post is long overdue, but better late than never. I wanted to record some of my experience dyeing the onesies so that I could remember for future use, and to share with anyone else who may want to try this fun technique.
Dyeing fabric really is easy, and doesn't have to be messy or ruin your washing machine.
I bought Rit Dye- I could not find this anywhere but Wal-Mart. Target and grocery stores do not seem to carry it regularly. A Target employee told me that they do have is on a "seasonal basis"- can someone please let me know when "dyeing season" is? :)
I also used the Denim Blue dye, but didn't get any photos of that session- but just so you know, the Denim Blue is a really nice shade of blue for baby boys, too!
I poured the entire bottle of the dye into a large stainless steel stock pot. We received a set of stock pots as a wedding gift over seven years ago. I'm sure the person who gave them to us imagined us cooking a large part of gumbo in them (we lived in New Orleans when we first got married), but leave it to me to use it for crafting, right? Make sure your pot is stainless steel or aluminum- not plastic as the dye will stain plastic.
I also used a wooden spoon for stirring (which is now stained) and a pair of stainless steel salad tongs in this process.
Back to the pot- Pour the entire bottle of Rit Dye in. Fill with the hottest tap water that will come from your sink. Stir VERY well. This is crucial to evenly dyeing.
Set your pot on the counter, stovetop, wherever you want to dye. You do NOT have to put it on a warm stove. I never turned the stove on.
Wet your onesies with the same warm-hot tap water from your sink. Wring them out so that they are damp and add them to your pot one by one. Stir the onesies really well and set your kitchen timer for ten minutes.
You will need to stir this pot every ten minutes. That's why this was such a perfect project for freezer cooking day- I was already in the kitchen working and just reached over to stir the pot as the timer beeped. After about 90 minutes, I did decrease the frequency to 15 minutes.
The salad tongs were really helpful during this process as it enabled me to actually pick up each onesie and roll it around in the pot. I could also make sure the onesies on the bottom were getting turned and dyed evenly, too.
It is much more difficult with a dark color dye- basically anything except yellow - because you can't see the onesies in the pot. So, if you're starting out, I'd recommend yellow first.
One onesies, the polyester thread will not take the dye. I like this effect, but keep it in mind while dyeing.
I continued to stir every 10-15 minutes for 5 hours. I wanted bright, vibrant colors that wouldn't fade after washing, so I let them sit for a lllllooooonnnnnggggg time. It was worth it!
When your five hours (or however long you let them dye) is done, rinse the onesies in cold tap water and then throw them in the dryer on high. Once dry, wash as usual without any other colors at least two times (maybe three- depending on the color saturation). Dry on high in the dryer.
Curious about how we painted the onesies? See this post.