Custom Dyed Peasant Top

Before I start I want to say that I am no expert at dyeing clothing, I’ve only done it twice in my life!
The first time it was out of necessity- on our first trip to the USA in 2013, I bought the Lavender Jenny Dress from the Pinup Girl Boutique but got a huge patch of bleach on it the first day I wore it to work! I was devastated but came up with a solution- dye it a darker purple. I ended up needing to do it twice to get a even colour and it certainly wasn’t a perfect job.

However, over the weekend I attempted another dye job. I felt a serious lack of green tops in my wardrobe and with the Black Friday sales, I decided to buy a new white peasant top so that I could dye my old, slightly stained one green.

Miss Victory Violet

I wanted as close to a Emerald green as possible and went to my local Spotlight to pick up a dye. I had origonally planned on using a colour from the Dylon range as that seems readily available and it’s what I’ve used before. None of the Dylon greens seemed like the right colour although looking online, there does seem to be a ‘Emerald’ in the range so it must have been sold out or not stocked in store.

iDye was the other brand stocked at Spotlight. It’s not one I’d heard of or seen before but I liked the idea of the minimum-mess dissolvable packet and there was a ‘Emerald Green’.


You can dye your garment by stovetop or machine wash. The packet said that the best results would be achieved via the stovetop method so that’s what I went for.

iDye Emerald

I filled a very large stainless steel pot with hot water and put the element on medium heat. I followed the instructions, putting the dissolvable dye packet into the water and once fully disolved, adding my pre-wetted peasant top.

iDye Emerald

I stirred constantly for 5 minutes or so to make sure the colour took evenly. As per instructions, I then added a cup of salt since the top is cotton.

iDye Emerald

Processing time on the packet said 30mins and that stirring frequently was important. I stirred constantly for the first 20mins and then eased off for the last 10. One concern I had was shrinking the top- the instructions called for the water to be brought to a simmer and maintained for the length of processing time. I decided to keep the water hot, but not let it get to a simmer as I thought it may be a bit risky.

Once the 30mins was up, I rinsed the excess dye out of the top and put it through the washing machine on a regular cycle and a small amount of washing powder.

iDye Emerald

I’m really happy with the result! The colour took super evenly, much better than my purple Jenny attempt. The only downside is that the thread and lining is not cotton so it stays white, the same obviously for the zipper. This doesn’t bother me as it’s not that obvious, especially with the gathering, but when looking at dyeing any garment, I would look at the stitching and take it into consideration.

Miss Victory Violet

Dyeing clothing can be a bit of a risk- don’t try it unless you are prepared for it to be a failure.  As I’ve said, I am no expert but my advice would be to always follow the instructions, stir A LOT to make sure the colour is even and don’t let the water get too hot or your item may shrink.

Dyes like these work best on cotton. If you want to try dyeing synthetic fibres, you will need to buy a specific dye for that kind of fabric. With the success of this, I might pick up another white peasant top and try the turquoise colour from the iDye range!


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7 replies »

  1. Hi Ella. I have done a bit of custom colour dyeing with my petticoat manufacturing and you are right, it can be a risky business!!! Especially when dyeing a pre made garment – you have no spare bits for test runs like I do with my petticoats. I have discovered as you did that the threads etc don’t take they dye the same. So now, if I know I’m dyeing to match I use the finished colour thread to sew. The pre dyed petticoat looks a little strange with coloured threads on white, but the final product is much more satisfactory. I avoid custom dyeing if I can, because it is so finicky.
    Cheers, Heather – TaylorMade Petticoats.

  2. I often use dye not to change the color but to refresh the color of my clothes. As cotton/cotton mix clothing fade with washing, I dye to make the clothes look like new. I throw a bunch of same color clothes in the washing machine (lower water level, hot water) with 4 packs of dye. I do that once-twice a year for black clothes so they always look freshly purchased!!

  3. It looks great! I love the idea of choosing “custom” colors for the tops and that is a great style to try it out on.

  4. I’ve dyed many times being a costumier in the entertainment industry. Every piece of clothing is different and a considerable about of thought is essential. You did a great job.

  5. This came out so vibrant! I’ve only ever used Rit brand dye and it never seems to work. It always comes out of the machine washed out looking and dull. I’ll have to look for this brand and try the stove top method next time.

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