(A version of this article was originally published at Try Handmade.)
Tie dye is classic hippy style, but I don’t actually always like it. I think it works best when you’ve got subtle shades of the same colour happening, rather than as many different bright colours you can throw onto a t-shirt at once…
Shades of pink from bright to pale to white looks girly and pretty and can be quite fairy-like. Ocean blue greens look lovely together and remind me of summer holidays and mermaids.
When I was pregnant with my first child, we were kindly given lots of hand-me-down baby clothes, including several baby-grows and vests that were once white, but were now stained and looked a bit grubby. Apart from that, they had plenty of life left in them, so we bought a couple of packets of dylon and set to work making various patterns. Not yet knowing the sex of the baby, we went for purples. We got so many compliments on those baby grows – I wish I had set up a hand-dyed baby grow business there and then. Oh well! Never mind, I am now selling a few fabulously dyed outfits for babies.
A dark colour and black always looks good too; especially purple or red. This often has a pagan or witchy feel about it and is great on long dresses.
You’ve also got to be careful of the pattern. My preference is when the fabric has been scrunched and dyed for an all-over random effect. Lines across the item of clothing usually look good, but be warned of circles – the technique where you put a marble or something into the material and tie up the area around it so that afterwards you’re left with circles spreading from a central point. For some reason on men’s t-shirts, the point is right in the middle, highlighting even a slightly over-weight stomach. On women’s tops, two circles seem to always highlight the nipples – fine if you’ve got the confidence for this eye-catching look, but not so good when one of the tie-dyed circles is a bit wonky!