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Saturday, September 25, 2010

I Guess I'm Not Martha Stewart

A few months back, I happened to catch an episode of Martha Stewart's TV show where she and a guest hand-dyed some very cute "ombre" scarves. A few weeks later, I decided that I would try making one, so I looked up the directions again on her website: To me it appeared that she had about four times too many pieces of equipment and that doing it her way would cost a fortune. Obviously, I could find a way to do this better. I've done some tie-dyeing, which seemed pretty similar, so I could probably handle this without any problem. I mean, what does Martha Stewart have that I don't (other then a staff who really does everything and an unlimited budget...but who needs those things?)?

I began collecting my own list of supplies:
  • Cheap instead of expensive dye (dark green and sunburst orange)
  • 3 yards of Muslin instead of "cotton gauze" (torn in half the long way to make two scarves)Walmart didn't have "dye fixative" so I skipped that
  • Ketchup bottle for squirting
  • Leftover tie-dye gloves
  • Repossessed sewing tape measure (Brynnie kept trying to possess it)
Finally, I was ready to start. I laid out my fabric, marked off eight inch lengths, and began dyeing with the full strength orange dye. I used half the bottle on the first section, and then refilled the bottle with water (that makes the dye weaker for the next section, and gives the dark to light affect). If you want detailed directions, read Martha's article. It really looked awesome!
I let the fabric dry for a while, and then following some old tie-dye instructions, I rinsed it until the water ran clear. It still looked good, so I threw it into my wash machine and ran it through a cycle. What a disappointment when I opened up the lid. The dye had faded to yellow -a pretty yellow - but not the sunburst orange that I had hoped for, and all but a hint of the "light to dark ombre" was gone. Hmmm. Maybe that dye fixative that Martha had mentioned was a bit more important then I thought.

Undetered, I decided to try with the green dye (still without fixative). This time I decided that I'd let the dye completely dry before I washed the fabric. The green dye didn't look as impressive wet as the orange did - in fact it looked rather blue, so I didn't bother with a picture. I put the material out into the thirty-mile-per-hour wind, and let it dry. Then I washed it. I went down to the machine, hopeing to pull out a "dark green ombre" scarf, but it was not to be. While there was slightly more ombre present then in the yellow scarf, I would never call it dark green.
So, at the end of the project I am the proud owner of a solid yellow and an almost solid blue scarf(that still need hemming), and I am forced to admit that maybe Martha (or her staff) know what they were talking about when their list of supplies is a little longer then mine.


~ Tandis ~ said...

Hahaha. Funny but bummer.

Jessica said...

I am so disappointed that the orange one didn't turn out the way it's pictured. It's so beautiful. I insist that you try again and get the fixative they recommend. Or else don't wash them after they air-dry.