Refashioning 101: Dye & Bleach Tips

March 9, 2015Sheri Pavlović

One of my simplest refashioning tricks doesn’t involve sewing at all! You can easily breathe new life into a less than stellar garment by simply giving it a bath in some groovy dye or a soak in a tub of bleach!

Here are my top Refashioning 101: Dye & Bleach Tips for re-colouring success:

– I dye in the washing machine & always pour a cheap 500g box of salt directly onto the dry clothes/fabrics prior to adding the water and dye as it appears to help set the dye and keep the colours bright in the long run.


– If possible, get the dye specifically for use in the washing machine. It really makes the whole process a lot easier as once your dye load is done you can just throw a load of colours in with the dyed items and wash normally. This also cleans any bits of dye that may remain in the machine.

– Always separate your laundry: wash lights with lights & darks with darks to avoid any obvious dye-running.

– Learn from my mistake(s) and don’t attempt to bleach synthetic fabrics. Polyester will slowly turn a gross streaky yellow colour & can even melt, ew. Nylon, wool, silk & spandex will simply disintegrate from the harsh chemicals. For guaranteed success, I recommend sticking with totally natural fabrics such as cotton or linen for the bleach technique.

Now go grab some refashioning victims and let’s put those tips into practice!

That faded cotton blouse had definitely seen brighter days and was in desperate need of a change.

I grabbed a couple of rubber bands and my trusty bleach.

Accordian folded the blouse…

and rolled and twisted it up into a modern art sculpture and secured it in place with the rubber bands.

Then tossed it into a 1 part bleach to 3 parts warm water mixture and watched as it instantly changed colour!

After a mere 15 minutes in the bleach soak my fancy new batik blouse was ready to be washed and shortened! Wheee!

Not wanting to waste a perfectly good sink full of bleach I snagged those boring jeans…

dunked the bottom of the legs into the bleach, let it soak for 20 minutes and then carefully folded the rest of the jeans up to the thigh area into the mixture.

As the denim was quite thick I let it soak for an hour then washed  as usual and now have a rockin’ pair of jeans that coordinate perfectly with my cozy cowl sweater!

Take a peek at my Dress to Dye for video below for a fantastic no-sew dye transformation:

and take a boring black dress from drab to fab with my Decoloured Dress tutorial:


Check out my entire Refashioning 101 series right here.
For more funky DIYs take a peek at my tutorial index and always remember to keep up your Passion for Refashion!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Post Next Post


Sign up for my newsletter and grab my 10 most popular blog posts, I'll send them right to your email address.