Monday, October 13, 2014

How I Dye My Bra Stuff + A Very Green Orange Lingerie Marlborough Bra


Dyeing bra fabrics, laces, elastics and notions is ridiculously easy and quite economical since I want to make multiple different bras with my limited stash.  I purchased many yards of this very nice quality nylon/spandex white galloon lace at FIFTY CENTS a yard over  a year ago at a clothing & lingerie manufacturer's warehouse sale.  I need only so many plain white bras.  I used plain white everything else for dyeing purposes.  Note that polyester materials will not dye well, or at all.  All of my stuff here is a nylon based, the rings and sliders are nylon coated.  I used a medium/heavyweight powermesh and a nylon/spandex fabric that might technically be a swimsuit fabric.  My wide elastic for the bottom of the bra was a surprising polyester/spandex and took on only a hint of my dye.  It somehow didn't get photographed above but it's evident in the finished bra pics.


I dye all my materials before sewing because there may be variations in the dye job on the fabric, I can cut around them if it happens, but I've not had that issue anyhow.  For this green bra I used liquid RIT dye in Apple Green (I know, the photo has brown).  I often will mix colors for custom shades but I kept it straight up green today.  I use a large pot usually meant for canning and a plastic spork thingy, both I've allotted for dye jobs only... no cooking ever with these.  I cut the recommended amounts of fabrics and elastics.  I fill the pot about 1/2 full with hot water, place it on my stove to heat it while I dye... but flip the heat off after 5 minutes so.  I used about 1/3 of the bottle of RIT dye and about a 1/2 cup plain white vinegar.  The vinegar helps the dye to do it's job on nylon materials.


I pre-wet my materials with plain tap water-- this allows the dye to absorb evenly when you dip it in, helping it to not soak up in some weirdo way causing a messed up, uneven dye job (this has happened to me before).  I throw EVERYTHING in.  I toss in the itty bitty bits first (the sliders & rings, the hooks and elastics) so they don't get wrapped up, lost and wonky mixed in with the larger bits-- the fabrics.  I use my mega spork to constantly stir (*gently* for a maximum non-splashing experience).  Constant agitation makes sure I have an even dye job-- letting it sit quietly in the pot un-stirred=icky, uneven color (been there, done that). I keep it moving.  I usually leave it all in about 10 minutes or so until I see a color result I like.  So no one is breaking their arm stirring a pot of bra stuff.  


I fish it all out with my spork or go right in the pot with gloved hands-- the reason why I don't REALLY heat up my dye water to boiling or something.  I toss it all in a plastic bag, run to my basement to pour the pot of dye into a slop sink that has years of dye and paint splatters already on it... no worries there with dye.  I rinse my bra materials then hand wash them with detergent.  Then everything air dries on plastic hangers above the same sink in case I haven't washed the dye perfectly out and residual dye drips down.


I used my very favorite bra pattern here: The Orange Lingerie Marlborough Bra.  You can see previous ones I've sewn and my alterations right here on past blog posts.  The basics: I make a 38B, altering the upper cup and bridge for my figure.


Yes, I forgot to dye any lining fabric and that support elastic across the lacey upper cup.  But I did use a non-stretch beige nylon tricot for the cups-- the green nylon/spandex fabric on the outside is pretty stretchy and needed to be stabilized.  The beige elastic on the lace upper cup is a 1/4" (.635 cm) wide.  You can see how the wide elastic on the bottom of the bra is a faint green-ish color... this ended up being a polyester based material that doesn't dye well with the dye I used.  There is RIT dye for polyester but that stuff is wicked nasty toxic smelling and gross to breath in--- I used some of that stuff to dye my wedding dress a crazy pink to make a new dress from it last year.


I had a little fun improvising with my laces.  I added a bit next to the hook and eye bits on back.  I also extended the lace of the side seam.  To hold it in place, I just use a small zig zag stitch around the lace edges.


I made my own little bow from a roll of skinny ribbon.  It was already green, no need to dye!  I love these shades of green.  As soon as I saw the dried materials after dyeing I realized that it's the exact same color as the green shag rug I had in my bedroom growing up.


And here is how it all fits.  I've forgotten back shots before... so here's one.  It's all so green.  It's Kermit the Frog green. 1970s Shag Rug green.  But not puke Brady Bunch avocado green... there's a fine line and this is not that.  Green!!!!!!!!

22 comments:

  1. I am the laziest fart and never dye anything. Did you also get the black lace they had? I bought three kinds I think from them over the last two sales. Gish ,I wish they would have one again. So I could buy more lace that I'm not sewing :-) The rain coat I'm working on now also came from them. I think it was $1 or $2 a yard.

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    1. For reals, that red stuff on your coat came from them?! I think we need to storm that place and demand another sale. I did get a black, but it was a non stretch wide lace, not the galloon stuff like this. I would have if it was there. I was there on the last day so it was all only 50 freakin cents.

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  2. Shag rug green :-))

    ooooh. I'm not quite ready to tackle the bra sewing but you make me realize that orange cotton fabric that's WAYYYY too orange can be dyed to something more friendly!! I need to make that happen!

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    1. Yes! Dyeing cotton is a breeze. Go to the RIT dye website and they tell you how to. Get some brown to tone it down and make it all autumnal!

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  3. Love your green bra. Thanks so much for posting this as I am currently looking at dying some elastic, lace, etc. After reading your post I feel up to the challenge! Katherine

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    1. Thanks!! And it's really fast and easy. It's the rinsing and rinsing that takes the longest it feels.

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  4. Love the green! If you have all that stash why not sell bra kits?

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    1. Thanks!! I've considered it! But I don't have that much left in my stash. It's a possibility in the future if I work a few things out.

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  5. B-E-A-utiful! Love it! You're so inspiring me. Now if extra time just grew on trees. ;-)

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    1. Thank you! Oh gosh... if only time grew on trees...........

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  6. This post has made me realize how much I need a green bra. It is GORGEOUS!

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    1. Yes, every gal needs a shag rug green bra!!!!!!!!!!

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  7. beutiful I like the color and the patern you ar using.

    Corina

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  8. Thank you for sharing! I get such a kick out of looking at your beautiful underwear makes (which is, undoubtedly, one of the creepiest sentences I have ever typed to someone I haven't met yet).

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    1. HAHAHAAAAA! I am so glad you like my underwear! Oh man... I know... we sound like such creepers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But I totally get it :)

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  9. Love the Kermit Bra!! It's so cool that you have made so many bras with the same pattern, but they all look so different! Thanks for all the details on your dying process. I'm afraid that I may never put your tips to use, but who knows - it's funny how something seems like way too much effort one day and a fun adventure the next!

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    1. Thanks! And I know what you mean about the level of effort. I want pants. I cut out my pants fabric. Now for some reason those basic pants seem like a huge effort.

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  10. I've admired your bra work but now that you've dyed this version, your work has gone to a new level of amazing.

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