If you missed part I of my DIY short making process, check it out!
Onto the dying. This part is my favorite - if I could dye things all the time, I think I would. Thankfully because I am in a textiles class, I have access to some pretty sweet dyes. This time, I was smart and dyed sample denim pieces that I had bleached along with the shorts. This way, I could test how colors would turn out, and what I wanted to do. Here are some shots of my tests for pair one (I picked the orange), and pair two (I picked the rose pink). I simply didn't expect the speckled patterns to hold up, since I would not be able to soak them for several hours.
Though I Have written myself a formula, the first thing to do is mix several cups of warm water and urea powder, making urea water. Then I mix in the right amount of dye powder. Sorry for a bit of blur in these shots, but if you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's what I'm using:
After mixing the various powders and waters, I fill a small tub with it all, and make sure the shorts fit well. I agitate and shift them around for about 30 minutes (with rubber gloves! Though there is no doubt I still always get dye on my hands). After that time, I add in a warm water and dye activator mix, which will help the dye set, as well as fully cover the shorts so they can soak overnight and not miss any sections. The darker you want your shorts, the longer you let them sit. This orange pair sat for probably around 9/10 hours (overnight), and the second pair was dip dyed for about the same time.
Then what I do is I rinse them, stick them in a bag, and let them dry here at home. Since the dye never fully comes out with just the rinse, I stick them in the wash by themselves, and dry them in the dryer afterwards. I was lucky in that the dryer just destroyed my fringe on the orange pair, and it looked super awesome! When my other pair was finished, I got to sew my zipper on the front. Originally I planned to put extra fabric there, possibly white to match the side, but so far I have left it this way.
I finally put studs on my orange ones, and called them done. Unfortunately, I wore them to class, and they ripped in several places already. The bleach must have made this pair very weak. This was the first pair I ever bleached, and for some reason, they took hours, while my second pair only took a matter of about 20-40 minutes. I will painstakingly now remove the studs, and cut/bleach/dye a second pair, and hope that I have some stronger denim this time! I really loved the orange pair, they were my favorites.
Soon to come are additions on this third pair. I picked up some white shorts from the free table, and dip dyed them. I love seeing what colors are underneath the dye color itself. I am not sure what I want to do to these. Suggestions?