A Tie-Dye Upcycle

Another day, another dress!

Tie Dye Dress - Simplicity 1609 5

The fabric for this tie-dye wonder was salvaged from a handmade top and what I guess would have been a sari/sarong type of garment. I say tie-dye, but I’m not sure if it is batik… is anyone more clued up than me on this?!

I used Simplicity 1609 – my second go at this pattern! I loved my first version, and it doesn’t use much fabric, so it didn’t take me long to choose the pattern for this fabric.

Tie Dye Dress - Simplicity 1609 2

And I love this one just as much as the other! The fit is just perfect – even if I do say so myself!

Tie Dye Dress - Simplicity 1609 4
[Accidental action shot turned out to be quite cool!]

I forgot to take a photo of the fabric before I got stuck in chopping it up, but basically it was quite a large piece, hemmed at the edges, predominantly navy blue, with paler blue edges and circles dyed into it.

Simplicity 1609 - Tie Dye Refashion

The other piece was a rather funky top. Sorry, I couldn’t be bothered to iron it!!

tie dye dress

It was interestingly made. The sleeves were amazing. Very thick, consisting of several layers of fabric sewn together in a pointy fashion!

Tie-dye dress

And a chunky zip, and the back pieces don’t join at the bottom of the zip – which made it easier to unpick!

Tie Dye

It had four darts, which I loved looking at because they weren’t very well done (sorry to be a bit arrogant but now I have some experience of darts under my belt it makes me feel good to see some that aren’t as good as mine!!)

Anyway back to the point of this post…

I left the top in one piece at the beginning, and just used the large piece of fabric. I took my time at the cutting stage, because I really wanted the paler blue running through the middle. It was a bit of a pain because the triangles didn’t quite match up; every time I got one of the sections lined up, it pulled another out of line. It’s a good job I’m quite a patient person.

Finally, I got it matched up as well as I possibly could.

Tie Dye Dress - Simplicity 1609 3

The fabric is a lovely cotton; very easy to handle, mark and sew with. I like this kind of fabric! So the construction of the dress went really well. As it was my second go at this pattern (third including a muslin I made last time) – and it’s a simple one on top of that – I was having a great time!

I can hardly believe I’m typing this, but I didn’t unpick ANYTHING!! The zip went in as well as it’s ever going to.

Tie Dye Dress - Simplicity 1609 7

Last time, I had a problem with the fit of the back – the top of the zip curved from where it didn’t lie flat on my back/neck. So I had to unpick and re-sew the zip with a wider seam allowance. This time, I remembered this. I stitched the zip further in, and it fits lovely. πŸ™‚

Tie Dye Dress - Simplicity 1609 10

I did do something different with this version – I blindstitched the hem. I decided I didn’t really want a visible line of stitching – especially in the middle sections where the colour is paler – so I sat down and handstitched it. I thought this was going to be rather trying on my patience but it was fine! I dare say I actually enjoyed it. I think I’ve said before how I like to be whizzy-whizzy on my machine, but it made a nice change to relax on the sofa and carefully sew.

Tie Dye Dress - Simplicity 1609

And the result is, I think, definitely worth the little extra time it took me. It’s so neat!

Tie Dye Dress - Simplicity 1609 9

Now, the bow. I didn’t intend to add a bow as I initially thought it would look silly; but it was needed to serve a purpose rather than just an aesthetic…

… I’m really happy with how the tie dye parts turned out; pretty even and symmetrical…

Tie Dye Dress - Simplicity 1609 11

… but the top part just, well – wasn’t. So, I decided to disguise it by adding a bow.

simplicity 1609 tie dye dress


Tie Dye Dress - Simplicity 1609

I wanted it to be made with the navy blue fabric as opposed to the dyed part, as I much prefer the colour. So I had to cut into the top. I decided to cut the piece in such a way that the ends would be dyed; I unpicked the hem to reveal more fabric. The top still wasn’t long enough, so I had to improvise and cut the long piece that was to make the bow in two individual sections and sew them together. I even remembered to add seam allowance at the top! πŸ™‚

tie dye dress

I enjoyed making the bow, and I think I did a pretty good job, too!! (Wow, this is a super braggy post!!)

tie dye bow - simplicity 1609

The bow definitely does the trick, and really sets the dress off. I’m so glad I added it.

tie dye bow

Now, there’s always one thing I have to nit-pick. The semi-circles left at the edges don’t match up. This is annoying, but the ‘triangles’ match, and really – you can’t have it all, can you?

Tie Dye Dress - Simplicity 1609 8

Now can we please have some warmer weather so that I can wear it?!

Beth x

8 thoughts on “A Tie-Dye Upcycle

  1. This looks amazing! I love the way you matched the seams down the front and back and the bow looks wonderful with the light blue ends! This pattern is certainly a fave of mine as it fits beautifully. You’ve been very busy over the last couple of months – I’ve been away too long!


  2. Ooh, it’s years since I tried dye of any type. This looks really great on you, and why not be proud of it? πŸ™‚ Great fit too. It’s a great pattern. I’ve attempted it once but have plans to revisit it: so many patterns; so little time. Sigh….


  3. Looks like you’re quickly becoming an expert seamstress having mastered lots of tricky techniques! I usually herringbone stitch hems as it’s pretty invisible. Such a good fit on you – it’s lovely.


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