When R got home she was a little upset her top hadn't worked and I said "Never mind we'll do some here at home." Truth to tell it had already been on my to-do list for this summer and had been removed once I found the Brownies were doing it. True to my word we went out yesterday and bought three different colours of dye and some sports t-shirts from Tescos. (about £10 spent in all)
Here is what we did:
First we decided if we wanted stripes or circles for our pattern. For stripes we folded the t-shirt backwards and forwards like an accordion until we had a long thin sausage. Then we tied string at intervals along the body - we made sure to pull the string tight (at this point R realised this is where she went wrong last time as her string was so loose it came undone in the dye bath). For circles we pinched part of the shirt between finger and thumb and tied string round this about 1 inch down to hold it in place. We then continued down the cone shape formed by the fabric tying string tightly at intervals all the way down.
The resultant pile looked like this:
We then threw these in the washing machine to have a rinse and short spin so they would be left quite damp.
Whilst the washing machine was doing its thing we prepare our 3 dye baths according to the instructions on the packet. Luckily the beautiful sunshine meant we could do this in the garden otherwise we would have stood everything in the bathtub.
The kids were then allowed to lower the t-shirts in and stir them gently round. We came back and gave them another stir every 10 minutes or so for about three quarters of an hour (to ensure the dye soaked in evenly; if the t-shitrts floated the top the bit poking out of the water would not take the dye as deeply). Amazingly all three were riveted the whole time by these magic potions.
Then came the big reveal. First we had to wash off the excess dye in LOTS of changes of clean water (not one to do if you are worried about the water meter). Then with our hearts in our mouths we cut the string away. Would it work, if the string was not tight enough or the time spent in the dye was too long they would be a solid colour and whilst they were nice colours all our work would be ruined.
This is what we got....
Cue three amazed kids, one impressed Dad and a relieved Mum. Even the Brownie top got a make over with the green dye and is now R's favourite so much so she went round the neighbourhood telling everyone! The rest of the dye is stored away for another day; since she now knows how to do it and has been told any light coloured thing will do R has designs on her sheets, duvet, curtains.....