This long awaited custom bag from Banjoflannel
finally arrived! It is truly my dream bag and thank goodness for that, considering all the effort that went into it! I was not satisfied with available purple fabrics made of natural materials so I decided to purchase a yard of a sturdy cotton/hemp blend and dye it purple myself and then send the fabric to her for the bag.
Washing Machine Dye Instructions:
First of all, for accurate instructions, follow Dharma Trading's vat dyeing instructions. If you've read my blog at all you'll know that I cut corners whenever possible so this is my lazy/impatient person's guide to dyeing.
Step One: Skip the synthrapol (it is nasty and has all kinds of DANGER warnings all over it) and skip the Calsolene Oil too. I just pre-rinsed my hemp/cotton with cold water and set aside wet. I mixed one full jar (2oz) of Plum and about a 1/4 jar of Eggplant with some hot water in a cottage cheese container with a plastic spatula that I now use for only dyeing. Run the "rinse" cycle and shut off before it drains so the machine is full of enough water for your amount of fabric to swim freely. I was only doing a yard so didn't need it full. Dump in dye, and set it to agitate for a few minutes. Dissolve a lot of salt (I used almost whole box of Kosher salt) in another container with hot water and pour into machine and set to agitate again to dissolve.
Step Two: Throw in your wet fabric and set machine to agitate. If your machine sucks like mine you'll have to wait right there to catch it before it starts draining and re-set it to agitate over and over and over. This is where you'll curse yourself for not just dyeing it in the tub. (However, I've done it both ways and always get more even results via the machine) Continue for 20 minutes.
Step Three: Dissolve the soda ash in another disposable container (my tupperware that I no longer use for food works great here) in hot water. I suggest adding the soda TO the water rather than pouring water on top of the soda, which will result in a clump at the bottom. If this happens just put gloves on and break it up/stir with your hands. I used about a cup of soda ash. MOVE FABRIC to the other side of the machine and pour a little in at a time, stir up or set to agitate for a few minutes and then add a little more. This is the most crucial part of the process. If you mess up here and dump it directly on the fabric you'll get splotchy results. Believe me, I've tested rushing this step and you just can't cut corners here! Take it slow and mix well.
Step Four: Let it agitate again for at least another 20 minutes, up to an hour. I did about 40 minutes. Now let your machine do its thing and drain the water out.
Step Five: Let the machine do a wash cycle and peek in and see if the water is clear during the rinse cycle. It probably won't be, so do another cycle to get all the excess dye out. Finish by running a cycle with soap if you want then you are all done!
Step Six: Once your fabric has dyed, send to Banjoflannel to have your own "most perfect bag in the universe" constructed.
Seriously, I LOVE this bag. It is the bag I would sew if I had the skills or patience. Since I have neither I had it made for me. It has a little zipper pocket on the outside that is lined with the cute red and white fabric that fits my keys so I can always find them. There is also a roomy inside pocket for my wallet and lip balm. The whole bag is lined with the red/white fabric that I picked out. I'm using it as a hybrid purse/diaper tote as it fits one cloth diaper, wetbag, changing mat, wipes case and a sippy cup. I'm already wanting another one. Wouldn't a chocolate brown one with bright green accents/inside lining be cool?