Home Beth Said Sew A New Hobby – Dyeing My Own Clothes!

A New Hobby – Dyeing My Own Clothes!

by Beth Cooper

I tried something new this week. It wasn’t a sewing project, but it did have to do with fabric. I dyed some of my clothes purple! Why did I do this? Well, I decided that there wasn’t enough purple clothing for sale in the stores and I wanted purple shirts. Purple is one of my favorite colors and I can never find a purple shirt! It drives me crazy! So what’s a girl to do? She takes her favorite white shirts out of her closet and dyes them purple. Let me say, it was a success!

Me in my favorite new purple shirt!

I had never dyed fabric before and was super excited to try it. I researched what kind of dye to buy and found it locally. I had the best time dyeing and I’m dyeing to tell you how I did it! (puns totally intended!)

  1. I used a large metal pot on top of the stove. I filled it with water and boiled it to 200 degrees (and then kept it as close to that temperature as I could for the next 60 minutes).
  2. I added a teaspoon of Dawn dish soap and my bottle of purple Rit dye for synthetic fabrics.
  3. Stir. Stir. Stir. And keep stirring. Never stop. Never.
  4. I added three white shirts to my boiling cauldron of purple soupiness.
  5. I boiled them for one hour! And I never stopped stirring. (I had three entertaining teenagers talking and laughing with me the entire time. I almost lost them when I started singing, but they decided to stick around and keep me company if I didn’t sing.)
  6. I rinsed each item in warm water and then in cool water until the water ran clear.
  7. I then washed the shirts in my washing machine in cold water and then dried them on low heat. I did not add any other clothing to this load. I will be sure to always wash them only other purple items.

Check out the video below to see the fabric dying process.

Now that I have jumped into the world of fabric dying, I want to keep going. Simply dying fabric all one color was fun, but next up, I’m ready to learn about dying yardage for quilting, along with fabric stamping. This seems like an entirely new rabbit hole that I’m probably going to fall in… and I can’t wait! I love to learn new techniques and I love this sewing/quilting/crafting journey that I am on. Let me know if you have any tips or tricks for fabric dying in the comments!

‘Til next time,


This shirt turned out adorable!

P.S. Want to learn more about Beth’s adventures with fabric? Click here!

I think I need this purse kit to match my purple shirts! This is the Roundabout Bag Seat Belt Kit. Buy it here!

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1 month ago

This is a great idea!!! I saw a small article in a quilting magazine that shows how to take varied white and black prints – some more dense with black and some lighter ones. They died them and then made a log cabin quilt. The results were stunning, just like your project is. One thing, I believe I’m somehow going to put the “vat” of die outside. Possibly turning the thing over in the house is just way too scary for me!!

5 days ago
Reply to  Judy

I put the large plastic container from Tractor Supply OUTSIDE on a slight slope so I could empty hot and cold water and it would disappear into the grass. I died 6 black and white small-patterned fabrics, teal – (using RIT dye) and then a quilt I had made for my mother but was “cloroxed” in the nursing home. Both projects involved a log cabin design. My mother’s quilt was dyed periwinkle and it turned out spectacturly! The dyed black and white (and now teal and black) fabrics are also for a log cabin design. I have high hopes for that wall hanging also.

1 month ago

I recently dyed a very faded denim skirt with Rit Indigo blue. The skirt was old, but was still in good condition. I didn’t want to just throw it out because it was faded. I did the dying outdoors using the burner on our outdoor grill. It took a lot of rinsing to get the excess indigo blue dye out but and then I immediately used the Rit Color Stay Dye Fixative. I’m very pleased with the way it came out. Dying is a wonderful way to revive faded clothes that still have some wear in them.

1 month ago

I just used one of those orange buckets from Home Depot. Put it on plastic on my bathroom floor. Worked well.

Mary T. Enos
Mary T. Enos
26 days ago

That is neat and I have so often thought about that…just purchasing white fabric and dyeing it what colors I want….great idea.

5 days ago

i have some medium blue (new) sweatshirts…sew please give me some ideas on what/how to dye them.. i was going to embroidery the shirts but decided i wanted to try something different ..i need some inspiration .. thanks

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