Created by: Summer from @sevenpretty
Hi friends! My name is Summer and I love to share my sewing on my Instagram account @sevenpretty.
This project was inspired by a sweatshirt that I came across online and actually purchased, but when it arrived I was disappointed by the low quality fabric and fit. Luckily, I can sew and knew I could make something just like it... but better!
- 2 yards of Telio Stretch Rayon Bamboo French Terry Knit
- 1 box of Rit Dye Powder in Purple
- 1 box of Rit Dye Powder in Tan
- General sewing supplies
I've worked with the Telio stretch rayon bamboo French terry from fabric.com before, and I absolutely love it. It is the perfect weight for anything from sweatshirts to joggers and the four way stretch makes it super cozy. It also washes great and doesn't pill even after many wears and washes. When the khaki color was restocked, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it for this project.
Let's Make It
Before sewing with knits, I always prewash and dry the fabric.
To make the sweatshirt, I wanted a drop shoulder pattern like my inspiration. I decided to use the free Hemlock tee pattern by Grainline Studio. I made a few modifications to make it more like a sweatshirt than a shirt.
To make the modifications, I used a sweatshirt that fit me well for comparison, and lengthened the sleeves, shortened the body, and added 2.5 inch bands instead hemming. If you are not comfortable making minor modifications to patterns, you could easily use the Linden sweatshirt pattern by Grainline Studio.
After I sewed up the sweatshirt, it was time for the scary part. The dye. I used the color formula guide available on the Rit Studio website to pick out my color and get the formula. I choose Neutral 1 #311 which mixed 1 tsp Tan and 1/8 tsp Purple per 1 cup of water, both colors are available at fabric.com here.
I made my dye bath with 10 cups of water total, in a large pot with hot water. I got the entire sweatshirt wet and wrung it out first and then carefully placed the body in the dye bath about 2/3 as high as I wanted the color to go. I let it sit for a minute or two, kind of swirling the fabric around making sure it was coloring evenly. The color absorbed a few inches higher than the dye bath. Then I lifted the body out and left the bottom 1/3 in the dye bath for another minute to get a little darker. I carefully repeated the process with both sleeves at the same time.
After dying, I ran the sweatshirt under water in the sink until the water ran clear, then I put it right into the washing machine, followed by the dryer. If you want your colors darker, you could easily repeat the dying process.
What I learned:
The more solution the better. 10 cups was really the bare minimum. More would have been easier.
Be careful but embrace the imperfections! I thought I had ruined the sweatshirt more than once, but this process is really forgiving. I accidentally touched the side of the pot that must have had a rogue color crystal on it and there was some color transfer onto the part of the sweatshirt that was left undyed. I ended up taking the dye higher than I originally planned to cover it up and other spots faded slightly after washing.
I recommend using a Shout color catcher to collect any dye that may bleed during the first wash.
In the end, I'm so happy with how this project turned out. I have a comfortable and unique sweatshirt that can be paired with anything from leggings and sneakers to a pencil skirt and heels.
Thanks for having me, fabric.com!