Our wedding shoes are complete!

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His and Hers rainbow Converse shoes hand dyed by Cate

Guy was adamant that we walk down the aisle in hand dyed rainbow Converse. I’d done a little bit of dyeing in the past, but not a lot. Luckily, my mum had given me a small starter pack some years ago, just enough to play with and figure out that the idea of me dyeing them wouldn’t be catastrophic!

I practiced on two cheap pairs of canvas shoes we had laying around. I had my technique figured out by the second pair! So I ordered more dye, and some Converse. The dye I am using is DrimareneK. It is suited for cottons and silk. I wrote about my first attempts here.

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My first attempts at dyed shoes

I ran the shoes through a wash cycle first, to get rid of dirt, dust, sizing etc. Then soaked them in a bucket of soda ash for 20mins. I did them across two separate days, so I dyed the first pair damp straight out of the soda ash solution. The second pair dried before I got to them, so I sprayed them with the soda ash solution to make them damp again.

I didn’t head straight for the Converse, I dyed a pair of canvas shoes to warm up on, then did the Converse.I was hoping to minimize any mistakes, but I did manage to drop a big blue splotch on one of the tongues of my shoes. Luckily this is hidden when the laces are done up!

Using a paintbrush I painted the colour on in sections, blending between colours as I went. I started with yellow then went to red, then to blue, finishing on yellow again. This meant it faded through yellow to orange to red to purple to blue to green to yellow. I used the same pattern for both pairs of shoes.

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Getting ready to dye! Deep breaths!

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the first colour goes on!

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Second colour goes on

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Then BAM! rainbow shoes! These then go into zip lock bags and wait until the neck day for washout.

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High tops ready to go

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rainbow Converse high tops!

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They go in a ziplock bag overnight, just to let the dye marinade and really take to the fabric. Then they go through a wash before they are done!

I think patience is important when dyeing shoes. The times I tried to rush through were the times I made mistakes. I also found that the Converse took the dye much better than the cheaper canvas shoes.

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a neck tie and hankie to match the shoes

To match the shoes, I also dyed a silk neck tie and a silk hankie. The ties came with a warning that they be painted and not immersed dyed. I found out why when the fabric bunched up. This ironed out well at the end, but the dye took differently in the areas it bunched up. Luckily, Guy loves the effect that it left! The silk hankie dyed beautifully. It is also just the right size to fold up and tie as a head scarf!

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Dyeing the tie

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The finished tie

And just for funsies, I dyed a batch of socks!

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Dyeing socks

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The finished socks!

I have really enjoyed dyeing! I have collected bits and pieces to make a more permanent dye set up, so I see more of it in my future! But for the moment, I’m focusing on getting through the ridiculous amount of things I decided to make for the wedding. I have put in my to-do list that my bouquet, along with boutoneirs and a flower crown, will be finished by the end of August, so I’m off to felt the days away! (Lets not mention the fact that I haven’t even started my wedding dress yet)

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