Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wellesley Reunion Tie Dyed T-shirts

This summer I celebrated my 10 year reunion at Wellesley College.  The class of 2006 is the purple class so I wanted to find some purple shirts for my favorite accessories... my boys!  I thought it would be fun to dress up Keith (who is always such a good sport), Lucky and Rowdy in matching purple tie dye T-shirts to help me celebrate this milestone.

I purchased two different purple fat quarter options for the applique. I'm not quite sure how the color of the shirt itself will turn out so I want to have the choice between a patterned and a solid to make the Wellesley W on the shirt.

My plan is to applique a Wellesley W on the front of each shirt.  Maybe the sizes will vary based on the age of the wearer.  I'd also love to add "06" to the shirt somehow but I don't want to get ahead of myself.  Let's see how hard the first "W" is.

Normally I do a starburst pattern when I tie dye, but I wanted to do something a little more subtle for reunion.  I accordion folded the shirts starting at the top right shoulder (from when I'm looking at it, left shoulder for the wearer) and folded the shirt along a diagonal.  I placed the rubber bands at intervals along this length to hold the folds together.

The Tulip Tie Dye Kit instructions say to either dye the shirts dry or dry them wet straight out of the washing machine.  I did prewash the shirts but I also predried them.  I thought it would be easier to fold them up when dry so I folded them first and then soaked them in some water for 30+ minutes.

Part way though the dyeing process

Guess what, friends!  I filmed the dyeing process so if you want to try to recreate this pattern for yourself you can watch what I did, not just read about it.  

I waited for almost 36 hours before unwrapping the shirts.  I timed this around naptimes and wanted to make sure I got a nice deep color. 

I am a huge fan of how the shirts came out!  I especially like how the red shirt came out, it exceeded my expectations for a single color tie dyed garment!  (I have a friend in the red class who has been going though some struggles and her baby is the same age as Rowdy.  Even though this isn't her reunion cycle, I decided to make her little boy a red Wellesley onesie to send some love.  The W is purple because he is part of the purple class in spirit.)  

The first two times I washed the shirts I included some Shout stain catchers in the wash.  A lot of color came out, even on the second wash.  I will continue to wash these on their own for a while so I don't turn anything else purple.

Now it is time for me to cut and applique on the Wellesley "W".  I know that the W's will each be a different size because the shirts are different sizes.  I looked at the two purple swatches against the shirts and the solid purple is a MUCH better fit against the busy purple background

For the first part of the appliques, I am going to use Pellon # EZ2L (Lite EZ-Steam II Fusible webs and adhesives with backing.)  I cut the adhesive to be the approximate size I wanted for each of the shirts.

Drawing the Wellesley W is MUCH harder than I thought!  It took me a few times to get the shapes the way I wanted.

Thank goodness the W is symmetrical so I didn't have to worry about drawing the reverse.  Next time I do something like complicated I want to print it out and trace it versus trying to do it free hand.  

When I finally finished cutting out the W's I was super happy with the way they looked.  Phew!  It was worth the effort to draw them nicely.  

I love the way the ironed on appliques look.  Reunion is just over a week away, and I decided to skip sewing down the appliques for now.  I don't want to risk ruining the shirts when they look so crisp right now.  I will play around with sewing on appliques in the future.

When I washed the shirts (AFTER the first day of reunion) it turns out that I should have sewn the appliques on.  They pealed off of Lucky's and Keith's shirts!  At least I got some cute pictures of the boys on campus.  Rowdy's survived and I might be able to salvage the other ones at a later date.  Next time I'll make sure to sew them down before sharing them.

After washing
On the day of reunion, I made sure to take some pictures of the boys dressed up before we headed to campus.  The shirts looked perfect!  I wanted to make sure that I had some pictures that showed the W before we got there.  

Lucky was SO EXCITED to visit Mommy's school.  He'd been to campus at least twice before but this is the first time that he understood that it was a special place for Mommy.

We didn't stay on campus since we leave nearby.  Maybe when the boys are over they can have a sleepover on campus during reunion.  I imagine that there will be a lot more kids there for our 15th reunion!

One of the highlights of reunion is the alumnae parade.  It was wonderful to see alumnae for the 75th+ reunions!  It is like a glimpse into the future as we see alumnae walk and fall in behind them in order of class year.  Too bad it rained this year, but I think that 5 years from now the boys will walk with me.  I will have to make them new tie dyed shirts, but hopefully they'll be willing to wear them with me!

We went back to Wellesley later in the summer for official family pictures, but I really enjoy this one of us from reunion next to the science center.