Hi all! Amy here. Last week I did a big ole round up of a bunch of the amazing Blanca Flight Suits you all have made over the last year! I myself, have made quite a few and this latest one includes two details I’ve been wanting to try for a while: bleach dye and a snap placket instead of the zipper! We have been doing a lot of renovations and gardening (along with everyone else on the planet if the lack of seeds at my local spots is any indicator) and I wanted to make a Blanca I could beat up, paint in and not have to worry about wrecking.
I used a remnant of Cone Mills Denim that had gotten a bit too damaged to sell during our denim kit restocks. It is medium weight and has a teensy bit of stretch. I made up a size 8 and the only modification was to the front placket. A few sewists have written great blog posts on how to do this and since I didn’t take progress photos for this I will refer you here, to where @andreadjones made an amazing hidden-button placket Blanca and has great info on how to do it! Also, Sue, from A Colourful Canvas made an awesome version here and finally @sewuthinkucan who made an adorable shorty version with a button placket that shows. All of these versions are so great and hopefully, you can see how you might go about doing that yourself.
I doubled and used the exposed zipper facing as a placket on the back side and used it on the front side as a facing. I interfaced both pieces, especially since snap parts are hard on fabrics and I installed the ring snaps on the inner placket before I sewed it down. I didn’t want them to show on the outside only because this fabric already has so much going on, but I think it would look super cute to see them too. I sewed this up before I dyed it. You can really do it either way. It might give you a different effect to dye your yardage and then cut it up. I think it’s pretty cool either way.
Whether you are dyeing a garment or yardage you will start with a plastic bucket or bin. It’s a good idea to have one with a lid. You can put a plate over a bucket too, just something to keep the bleach smell and heat in. Start by adding the hottest water you can get to the bucket. You only need enough to cover the fabric. Add two cups of chlorine bleach to the hot water and then scrunch your fabric (or garment into the bleach mixture.) Make sure to use gloves or a plastic spoon to push it down! You can twist or tie your fabric in a knot to get cool swirly effects. Cover it with a lid and put it in a shady spot for 24-48 hours. You can check on it after 6 hours depending on the fabric. Be aware the more elastic a fabric has in it, the more potential you have for damage. Bleach is essentially eating your fabric so you can go too far and weaken the structure. This denim is pretty tough but you might want to do a test if your fabric is thinner.
Once you have decided you’re done, squeeze out the excess water/bleach (wearing gloves) and pop the piece directly into the washing machine. Wash normally with an extra rinse cycle. You might need subsequent washings to remove the bleach smell entirely. Also, hanging outside in a breeze is a good idea.
Once it’s dry, it’s ready to cut and sew or in my case…wear!
So that’s it! I’m excited to try some other fabrics with this technique. It’s such an easy, organic process and the results are never the same twice! So fun!