Refashion: Sunset Ombre Button-Up


Last weekend I got together with a couple of creative ladies & got my hands messy in a bunch of dye baths! I’ll be recapping my experience as a whole with Rit Dye later this week, but I couldn’t wait to share with you this little update.

I’ve had the above button-up since before Chris & I were officially dating. Chris, a bunch of his super-hip buddies & I ventured up to Salt Lake (we were living 40 miles south at the time) and went thrift shopping. We had a great time. It was during this excursion that I scored this button up and this funky jacket – all in the boy’s department. I’ve had this fabulous oxford for over 6 years. It’s been through a lot. It started out with the pocket on the left side and long sleeves. The color has been looking a bit ratty recently, so when the ladies came over for a little dyeing fun, I added this one to the pile of things to dye.

With everyone riding the ombre train, a big part of me wants to steer clear from it entirely. It’s beautiful, but I don’t want to be the kind of person to¬†put a bird on something just because it’s the hip thing to do. I thought I’d do a different take on the ombre & do a few things differently. Most ombre dyes are light to dark. This is dark to light. Also, most ombre dyes are different saturations of the same tone. I kept within the same color family & gradated the yellow to a sunset orange. I love how the ombre effect woke up my shirt from its deep sleep.

Liz & Susan both have great tutorials on ombre dyeing, but I took a different approach on the method. I’ve never dyed before Saturday, but having a lot of experience with watercolor (and watercolor gradients), I took more of a watercolor approach. Here’s how I did it:

  1. start out with a weak dye bath (using liquid Rit Dye for the bath – powder wouldn’t work as well for this technique)
  2. dip the garment all the way in the bath for 10-30 seconds getting it completely wet and creating a base layer
  3. ring it out
  4. add more yellow dye to the bath & mix thoroughly
  5. place the garment in about half way through – Susan & Liz both measured their steps out, which is a good idea
  6. let the garment soak for 10 or so minutes bobbing the garment in and out of the bath to see how the color is coming along
  7. add tangerine dye to change the color of the saturated end
  8. take the garment out more. I clamped my shirt to the wall of the bath to keep it from sliding down
  9. soak the edges of the garment for another 10-15 minutes bobbing it in and out
  10. add dye as needed and lift the garment out even further
  11. keep repeating steps 8 & 9 until you’ve reached your desired result

I did this technique with a few other items & I can’t wait to share the rest with you later this week! Click here to see more pictures & outfit details.

Dye courtesy of Rit Dye.

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    1. Sandra says:

      That looks gorgeous! :)

    2. Emily says:

      I absolutely LOVE the color!!!

    3. Sandra says:

      It’s just amazing how you create a new clothing item from something old :) I do need to do this more often too, but sadly, I am not good with sewing, I mean, I have a machine, but thats about it LOL Oh, and I know I commented once before, but I cut that off to short LOL

    4. Pamela says:

      Looks even better on you! You got me on the prowl for ombre now. Noticed two people are church wearing ombre.

    5. I’m sad I missed the dye party…!! I need to dye something…. !!!! ;)

    6. “put a bird on it” bahahahaha I love how the stitching didnt take the color. It looks fab!

    7. Connie says:

      Looks great! The tangerine really draws me in and then down your adorable outfit.

    8. Ombre is so OV-ER! (Not really, just had to say it :-)

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