I’m a Hunger Games fan, no lie, and was before the movie. The movie is fabulous, by the way, go see it. So, I wanted a shirt to profess this fandom, but all the official shirts are a little pricey, however cool looking they are (I’m suitably impressed that they are so cool) and therefore set out to make one. At first I was going to use some puffy paint and paint the mockingjay on it, but then I remembered this fabulous tutorial about dyeing a shirt and thought to give it a try. It would make a subtle little shirt which is perfect. It doesn’t scream Hunger Games, but I’ll know what the quotes are.
The tutorial is super easy and I followed it step-by-step. I started off with a plain, white t-shirt from the dollar store that cost me $3 and is super comfortable. I’m going to buy several more to do this with just because they are so comfortable and light weight and took the dye rather well.
You use the blue gel glue since the other type doesn’t work and simply write out or draw whatever you want onto the shirt. Just be sure to keep something between the sides otherwise you’re gluing it shut. I used quotes from the Hunger Games trilogy. There’s at least one from each book with “May the odds be ever in your favor” in the middle, “real or not real” at the top and “you’re not afraid of fire are you?” at the bottom. I thought those were nice sum ups of everything. So you let that set till it’s dry, which took a day because you wet it first and I couldn’t air it outside. Michigan weather and all.
But once it’s dry, you get to dye it. While I do all sorts of sewing and things like that, dyeing isn’t something I do. Actually, outside the safety of working the costume shop, I have never dyed anything. This was the first, so needless to say I re-read the instructions on the tutorial forever just to be sure I wasn’t missing something. Turns out it is REALLY easy. Yay! I shall do more now!
It took forever to pick a color but I have this thing for yellow and it’s such a great color for the Hunger Games, so I snatched up a golden yellow color verses a more orange yellow. I can wear orange but it isn’t my favorite to sport. Either a red-orange or a yellow but not actual orange for me.
I bought a little dye tub knowing I was going to be doing this more. It’s just a dish washing tub from the dollar store. Then I went about adding. Nothing told me how much to measure so I took a 1/4tsp and added about three or so scoops just because I wanted a strong yellow. Really I was just going: hey, why not? What can it hurt? Turns out, nothing. There was also nothing to tell me how long to soak it so I had to keep an eye on it and play it by ear. I think I let it sit for about 45 minutes. I lost track. Might have been less.
Then you let it dry, of course! I was so very pleased the the glue worked! More subtle than I wanted and I’ll have to remember to use more glue and not write so small on a shirt, but hey, live and learn. Then you let it soak for about 10-15 in soapy water to get rid of the glue.
Then toss it in the washer and dryer like normal and wear! I think I stretched it out too much or got too big of a size (probably the later) so it’s a wee bit (trust me, from the side, I have no shape) but I kinda like it that way. Tight shirts are for teenie-bopper wanna-bes who don’t realize that it isn’t how tight your shirt is that gets you the real guy. Look at Katniss, she didn’t try to look slutty to get the man… and she had two very good looking guys!
Anyway, I recommend it to anyone and everyone, especially if you can find a dollar store with decent t-shirts. Mine happens to have decent clothing, even cute sundresses that cost half the store price but are the exact same thing and same fabric. Everything else is really cheap. All together (not counting the tub since you could use a sink just as easily), it cost me roughly $7. Much cheaper than even other fun shirts in the stores. I may even try different dye techniques on some of them. Cheap and easy way to experiment. I’m all for that!