Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tie-Dye 101 {Symmetry}

 Today's tutorial is all about symmetry.  Let's start with a simple design like a heart:

Pull the front of the shirt out and fold it in half.  The crease should run from the center of the neck to the center of the bottom.  Note: we are only working with the front of the shirt, the back is pulled out of the way.  Draw your symmetrical image with a washable marker.  We drew a heart.

The goal is to gather along the heart so that it can be tied in a single line.  The gathers should form a straight line.  Keep gathering all the way around the heart.  Tie with rubber bands.  You will need another set of hands - one to hold the design in place and one to tie it.

Once you get the heart tied, you can decide what to do on the back - you can scrunch and bunch, add nubs, bullseye, swirl, etc.  Tie that all up with rubber bands.

To die the heart - choose your center heart color.  The heart will look like a little gathered ball.  Dye the heart.   Then do a thin accent line along the center heart color, then dye your surrounding shirt color.  It should look something like this when it's done:

Deep "V"
For the deep "V" fold the entire shirt in half and draw your V line like this:

Make small folds along the line until the entire shirt is gathered along the line.

Tie rubber bands along the line, we used string because the rubber bands were hard to get under the center of the shirt.  Tie lines going out keeping the folds.  In this picture you can see the yellow line, and the folds going out.  We scrunched the edges.

This is the Deep V after it's died.  The yellow marker line is dyed dark blue and different colors going out (below).

When your design is too complicated to gather by hand......
We are always trying new designs.  Some work, some don't!  Because some of these designs were to hard to gather by hand, we got out the needle and thread.  It's the same technique, only you run a gathering stitch along the market line.  

The shirt below is one my sister attempted a cupcake.  It didn't turn out too bad.  She folded the shirt in half, drew half a cupcake and used a running stitch to gather along the line.  You just have to eyeball how to dye the cupcake top and bottom.

Megan dyed this scary face for my nephew.  Same thing, fold the shirt in half, draw half a scull shape and stitch.  To make the eyes, pull little "nubs" out and rubber band them.  Same with the nose and mouth.  We weren't sure how this one was going to turn out.  It kind of looks like a werewolf scull face.

My daughter did this sea turtle design all on her own.  Same thing, fold in half, draw half a sea turtle.  Stitch up the line.  To get the ring around the turtle, gather a section after the turtle, like you are making a bulls eye and rubber band.  

This is Ella's cat - supposed to look like her Bangle cat.  Maybe we will paint eyes on it or something.

Megan's black cat turned out the best.  It is totally purrrrfect!!

This is also my daughter's design - an octopus/squid type creature.  She did a great job on it.  

This process takes more time, but you can get super creative!  



  1. I really like the kitty shirt!

    Navy Wifey Peters @ Submarine Sunday Link Party

  2. i love to see a detailed how to on the cat & octopus