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T-shirt beach cover up

Who would ever guess that this colourful beach cover-up started out as a plain white T-shirt?  Just shows what a little imagination and clever cutting can do!  You can create this vibrant cover-up net dress by just snipping up a T-shirt and giving it a stunning dye treatment. So simple and so fun, it's sure to make a splash at the beach! 



1. Prewash and dry T-shirt to remove any finishes that may interfere with dye process.

 2. Lay T-shirt flat on cutting mat, smooth out any wrinkles. Fold in half lengthwise, matching seams. Fold in half again. Repeat once more.

3. Begin at bottom and cut a 3cm strip through all layers stopping 1cm from opposite edge. For the second cut, begin from opposite side and cut a 3cm strip, stopping 1cm from the folded edge. Continue alternating 3cm cuts up to the  underarm seam.

4. Unfold T-shirt. Gently stretch holding bottom and top.





5. Cut off neckband and sleeves.

6. Wet T-shirt in warm water and squeeze out excess water. Place T-shirt in bag leaving bottom 1/3 extend from bag. Wrap tightly with rubber band.

7. Cover work surface with a plastic table cover.

8. Here in South Africa we have Dylon Dye that comes in a range of colours. Wearing rubber gloves, empty the dye carefully into a bowl and gradually add 250ml hot water. Stir thoroughly to ensure dye is dissolved. Add further 250ml of water.

9. Wearing rubber gloves immerse end of T-shirt in the dye and immerse well. Put the bowl into a plastic bag or plastic wrap and place in the microwave. Set on ‘high’ for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes remove the bowl from the oven - remember to protect your hands from the heat.

10. Tip away the dye solution and rinse the fabric in cold water. To protect the pattern do not undo any knots, twists, folds etc., until the water runs clear.

11. Cut end of bag open and bring back over dyed end of T-shirt. Use rubber band to hold bag closed. Place a second bag over top of T-shirt, wrap securely with a rubber band.

12. Repeat dyeing process from Steps 8 - 10.

13. Cut bag end open at top of T-shirt. Fold back over middle and bottom end of T-shirt bag. Wrap securely with a rubber band.

14. Repeat dyeing process from Steps 8-10.

15. Arrange and sew buttons to top of beach cover-up.

And there you have it...

You can use Dylon on cotton, linen and viscose to the full colour shade shown on the pack. Mixtures of these with polyester will result in lighter shades Polyester, Nylon and other synthetics can not be dyed Wool and silk can be dyed with Dylon Hand Fabric Dye.

Microwave dyeing can achieve some good tie-dye effects however if you are looking for an even finish we would not recommend using the microwave. You need to use salt with all Dylon dyes except Wash & Dye (it's already in Wash & Dye) because it opens up the pores of the fabric and allows the dye to be absorbed.


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