Trial 3 DIY Aerial Costumes: Tie Dye

I’ve figured out that I am a lot better at tie dye than painting. Especially if you have the right tie dye products.

In the past few years I knew I wanted to create more costumes either by painting/embellishing/dyeing,Β  I bought some white cotton leotards, biketards, and dance shorts from Aliexpress. They were made in China and took over 40 days to be made and arrive. I bought 5 of each and the price added up but they were all under $12-14 each.

NOTE: That when buying from China sizes run VERY small and the arm straps are NOT made for aerialists. Be prepared to make alterations.

I was at CVS and saw a tie-dye kit on sale for about $5. The colors were bright and it had everything included: dye, bottles, rubber bands, instructions and gloves. Tulip One-Step Tie Dye Kits
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I have a new little nephew who lives half a country away. I wanted to make him something personalized from me. I went to Target and bought a 5-pack of white onesies to include in my tie-dye session.

I ended up tie-dyeing 9 items at once. This made things so much easier. It took about 1.5-2 hours to do the actual tie-dyeing. Then I left them to set overnight and rinsed and washed them the next morning (this took about an hour to do).

  • x4 baby onesies
  • x1 large leotard
  • x1 biketard
  • x1 leotard and x1 dance shorts (matching)
  • x1 old tank top (as a tester)
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I did a Pinterest search on different ways to tie-dye. I used a few different methods.

Wet or Dry Method:

I tried both the wet and dry method. Having the fabric wet/damp (I ran them through a quick wash/spin in the washing machine) made applying the dye a lot easier and less messy. The wet fabric soaked up the dye easier and had a more saturated look. The dry fabric the dye would bead up and went everywhere. I had to be slower and wait for the dye to soak into the fabric. The final results with the dry fabric had a lot more white area. The first baby onesie was done dry and the last one was done wet.

This link show several different tie-dye methods.

Spiral Method:

This one is my favorite. I grabbed the fabric in the center and spun it around in a circle and put rubber bands around the entire thing. It makes 6 triangle/pie pieces that you soak with dye. (I later learned that you can use a fork to spin the fabric around…like spaghetti. This might make this easier. I’ll try it next time.) I did the first and last baby onesies with the spiral method.

Heart Method:

I wasn’t as successful at this one. BOO! This was harder than I thought. I also used a permanent marker to draw a heart on the fabric. Next time I probably won’t use permanent marker…Now I on the leotard that has the heart on it I’m going to need to either paint or do something else with it because I don’t really like the random heart… The second baby onesie was done with the heart method. It worked out a bit better than the leotard.

Bulls Eye Method:

This is a tried and true method. It leaves a big circle bulls eye on the fabric.

Stripes Method:

There are so many options on this one. You can use one or many different colors. I love it! I did the third baby onesie with this method.

Wrap up

I think tie-dye is a great inexpensive idea for aerial costumes. Especially for a less formal event.

I’m visualizing an aerial/circus tribe at a festival with everyone having different but cohesive tie-dye costumes. Either in same colors but different methods or different colors but same methods, etc.

Or for a studio Open House or Student Recital that the performers want matching custom costumes but don’t want to spend $$$ on a custom costume.

Or for an aerialist who just wants to jazz up their practice leos… (which is what I’m probably going to use these for)
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Trial 2 DIY Aerial Costumes: Fabric Paint and Rhinestones

This is my second attempt at making an aerial costume. I had a white cotton unitard with wide legs (not tight like I would want for aerial routines) that had been laying around for a few years because it was an “On SALE” mis-order that I couldn’t return. I finally decided to give fabric painting a try.

  1. I started the by sketching a pattern of what I wanted my swirls to look like then I colored them in.
  2. I put the unitard on my inflatable mannequin (bought off ebay $25) and took a pencil and drew outlines of the shapes.
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  3. I put Jacquard Water Based Resist in a Jacquard 1/2 ounce squeeze bottles with stainless steel tips (see below for list of supplies) and outlined my design.
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  4. I used Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow to fill in the design. I put the paint (which looks and feels like fabric dye) in the small 1/2 oz squeeze bottles. I used a very small amount on a paint brush and applied it to the fabric.
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    It spreads very quickly and you need to be very careful that it stays in the lines.
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    NOTE: I should have made my water resist lines thicker because the paint (dye) bled out quite a bit.
  5. I had to “fix” all these areas where the paint bled through. I took white textile paint and touched up the design. You can sort of see the paint but from a distance it looks OK.
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  6. Next, I took Jacquard Textile paint and outlined the design and made some high and low-lights around it.
  7. Then I ironed to set the paint into the fabric.
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  8. Time for some rhinestones. I separated them by color and size.
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    Then I planned out the order that I wanted to attach them and put them into lines.
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  9. Attaching rhinestones is very easy. I watched a few You Tube videos on How to Embellish Dance Costumes. I used E600 and a Jewel Setter (a stick with a bit of wax at the tip. You can get them at Michaels or a craftstore and they help A TON!).
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    Finished product:

I like it. It isn’t professional and I wouldn’t use it for a paid performance but it was a great learning experience. I now know how these paints work on stretchy fabric. I learned about water based resist, dye-na-flow, and other design aspects. It still needs some work but …I like it.

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Supplies I’ve acquired during the past few years.

Fabric paint:

Some I had purchased in 2014. I’m not sure how much I paid for it. The new paint I’ll put purchase prices for reference. Fabric paint isn’t cheap unless you know the exact colors you want. Otherwise it all adds up pretty fast.

Jacquard Textile: For Natural Or Synthetic Fabrics

  • 122 Black. Very thick paint. Used about 6 months ago to paint over the logo on my bouldering crash pad. It covered the bright orange in two coats.
  • 123 White
  • 111Sky Blue
  • 114 Turquoise
  • 155 Fluorescent Blue
  • 151 Fluorescent Yellow: very light, could not be seen very well on white fabric.
  • 153 Fluorescent Pink. (2.25 oz.) Amazon $7.96
  • 156 Fluorescent Green. (2.25 oz.) Amazon $5.72

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Jacquard Lumiere: Light Body Metallic Acrylic

  • 561 Metallic Gold: 2 bottles purchased about 10 years ago for a Wonder Woman costume. One bottle opened and 2/3 empty. The paint was very thick but it still worked fine.
  • 567 Super Sparkle
  • JAC9901 Halo & Jewel Colors Lumiere Exciter Pack, 9 Color (0.5 oz. bottles): Halo Pink Gold; Halo Blue Gold; Halo Violet Gold; Pearlescent Turquoise; Pearlescent Green; Pearlescent Magenta; Russet; Pewter; Sunset Gold. Amazon $9.99

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Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow: Free Flowing Liquid Color For Natural or Synthetic Fabrics

  • 830 White
  • 801 Sun Yellow
  • 824 Azure Blue
  • JAC9908 Dye-Na-Flow Exciter 9-Colors (0.5 oz. bottles): Chartreuse; Turquoise; Periwinkle; Violet; Magenta; Scarlet; Bright Orange; Golden Yellow; Sun Yellow. Amazon $11.65

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Jacquard Water Based Resist

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Other stuff

Tulip Glitter Spray Fabric Paint – 40 oz. Michael’s $7.49 (on sale $5.99) *Looked great when I tried it. It was a sheer glitter but I’ve been told that it doesn’t hold up well when washed.Β  It was easy to do so maybe this is for that costume that you wear once and then have time to re-spray after washing for the next use.

Tulip Glow in the Dark Spray Fabric Paint – 40 oz Michael’s clearance $2.99

Jewel Spinner with Rhinestones – Michael’s $2.99 (on sale $2.40)

Tools:

  • Cardboard
  • Water bowl
  • Paint brushes- assorted
  • Foam brush
  • Pencil
  • Scissors – Michael’s Bent 365 $12.99 40% off = $7.79 (to be fabric only scissors)
  • Jacquard 1/2 ounce squeeze bottles with stainless steel tips
  • Bead pick (plastic stick with wax on tip to place rhinestones) – Michael’s $4.99 for 3 (on sale $3.99)
  • Stencils
  • Paint pallet with cover -Michael’s $1.59
  • Mannequin – Inflatable Female EBay

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