I’ve been sitting on this project for a couple weeks now absolutely DYING to share these pants. Ice dyeing is something that’s been on my radar for a couple of years, but I’ve been hesitant to jump on board. When I bought a really nice, but very white length of jeggings fabric from LA Finch Fabrics, I thought the time was now for these ice dyed jeggings.
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Ice Dyed Jeggings
LA Finch Fabrics described this fabric as “white fashion denim jegging”. It unfortunately is no longer on their website, but I will say that it’s a really interesting fabric.
When I saw it labeled “jeggings”, I expected something really soft and ultra stretchy. In reality, it really is more like a typical stretch denim. This is by no means a bad thing, but I did only buy 1 yard knowing that leggings only require 1 yard for me.
Don’t be a cheapy, people. The only reason I didn’t sew this up immediately is because I really had to think about what pattern I could use for actual jeans that would only require 1 yard.
Ottobre 2-2017-9 leggings
Ottobre came in with the win for the pattern with these leggings. I love the side zippers in the seams. Also, because there aren’t any pockets, I was able to manage fitting in all the pieces in my 1 yard. I will say that I made my seam allowances extra wide to account for the lack of stretch in the denim. I’d have to double check, but if memory serves me, I think there’s about a 20% stretch in this fabric.
As printed, the pattern would have you add elastic to the top of the pant and fold it over. That sounded not terribly comfortable on this fabric, plus the jeggings fabric was firm enough to not require elastic. Instead, I used a stable knit as a waistband facing. Not only do my pants stay up just fine, but it’s an incredibly comfortable finish. There’s no fly, no zipper. These are easy pull on jeans, but with no elastic! Winning all around here.
Ice dyeing process
Ice dyeing is not something you can really practice. As much as you can test and swatch other dye techniques, you just have to leap sans looking with ice dyeing.
I mixed up several little cups of powdered dyes according to recipes on Rit’s website and boldly stuffed my finished pants in my dye pot hoping for the best.
Here’s a little video about the process:
Use thread the color you’re aiming for
I will note that I used an olive topstitching thread. I could have used white, but I knew that the thread was probably not going to take the dye very well because it’s cotton covered polyester, not 100% cotton. Polyester has to be dyed at superheated temps because it’s pretty much plastic. That dye just *whoop* slips right off in colder than boiling temperatures. I reasoned that the olive would match well with the blues and greens I was blending.
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All I can say is that I LOVE LOVE LOVE these pants. They’re so comfortable and I think the effects that the ice makes on the dyes is fascinating. It’s like tie-dye plus watercolor, but with more unexpected yet more refined results. It is really really cool (HA!).
DG Patterns Grace cardigan
Daniela of DG Patterns contacted me just as I was finishing these jeans to test her Grace cardigan (*affiliate link*). It’s been a really long time since I tried a waterfall style cardigan, and I thought the silhouette would work well with my new jeans.
I really like the shape of this cardigan! After you put the front and the back together, it’s a bit like a giant rectangle with sleeves stuck in the middle. All those square corners make for some cool draped effects. After my peach chiffon skirt, I’ve been fascinated by how rectangles can drape!
I made mine in a lighter weight sweater knit from Colorado Fabrics. This would be so nice in a wool jersey or any kind of drapey sweater knit.
Overall, I really love both pieces! This will not be my last ice dyeing project!
Have you tried ice dyeing?
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.