September 17, 2014

221 Comments

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Bleach-resist tee shirt

This week, I show you how to add a splash of color to a dark tee shirt -- using bleach! 

UPDATE: giveaway closed!

Thanks to all who entered, the lucky winner is Cindy! She said "My favorite bleach has always been Clorox but I love the new splash resistant formula. Gotta win this darling tee!" We'll be in touch with you soon, and congratulations!

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You can use a pre-made tee for this project, or you can make your own tee using the free Liberty Jane Trendy Tee Shirt pattern. (Making your own tee allows you to run tests on the fabric before bleaching your final tee....this can be a good idea if you are timid about just jumping in.) 

You'll need a dark colored doll tee shirt, some masking tape, diluted bleach in a spray bottle, and vinegar. (Don't forget some safety gear -- bleach is a pretty nasty critter!)

The most dilute bleach solution that will work, is one part bleach to eight parts water. Of course, if you want more extreme color change, you can use a stronger solution than that -- but don't go beyond one part bleach to two parts water. I'm using about a 1:4 ratio of bleach to water, in this tutorial. 

Using an exacto knife and the masking tape, cut out some shapes ("resists"). You could also do this with scissors. 

Carefully, peel up the resists, and stick them down firmly to your shirt. Protect the back of the tee with a piece of scrap cardboard, and you're ready to bleach!

Protect your work space with an old rag towel, and then apply the diluted bleach in a couple of quick sprays. It takes a few minutes to see any activity, so don't fret if you don't see anything at first. (It can actually take up to 10-15 minutes for maximum color change.)

While you're waiting, mix up equal parts of water and vinegar in a bucket. The vinegar will neutralize the bleach, and thus put a stop to its fiber-eating activities. 

When you're happy with how much the color has lightened, drop your shirt into the vinegar and water mixture. Swish the shirt around, and let it sit for another 15 minutes or so.

Peel off the bits of masking tape, and throw the tee in the wash. Let it dry, and you're done!

I love the way this technique uses ordinary household supplies, to get such a 'tough urban girl' feel. 

*Giveaway Closed*

Now -- would you like to win this fun little tee? 

To enter, you only need to leave a comment below, finishing this sentence: 

"My favorite kind of bleach is....." 

We'll pick a winner on Monday, 22 September, and get in touch via email. 

Thanks for following along, everyone -- have fun with this!

For Pixie Faire,
Melinda


100 Comments

Caroline
Caroline

November 02, 2014

WOW! This was a easy project to do. It looks great on my doll too! You couldn’t of made a better project!

Kim
Kim

September 22, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is “splashless!” Because, bleach + me = DISASTER! lol!

Kim
Kim

September 22, 2014

Bleach + me always = disaster!

Kara
Kara

September 22, 2014

I dont use bleach very often but this is a good reason to go out and get some Clorox!

sam
sam

September 22, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is any kind that will do this to a tshirt, and any other ideas that are out there besides just whitening whites.

Lynda
Lynda

September 21, 2014

I usually buy the store brand of bleach, as long as it works and is the best buy for the money.

Linda
Linda

September 21, 2014

my favorite bleach is whatever is cheap, and works! I actually like the real bleach smell. Someone else on here said it reminded them of laundry day at their grandmother’s house. Me too! Fresh washed and bleached sheets, hung on a clothes line to dry in the sun……wonderful!

Linda
Linda

September 21, 2014

Cute, simple idea to make a very unique tee. The grandaughter will love this one! Reminds me of the tye-dye and bleach resist days back in the 70’s. We all made those shirts back then.

Mimi
Mimi

September 21, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox. I am going to make some of these shirts with my granddaughter. She will love it.

Barb
Barb

September 21, 2014

Clorox – LOVE the tee!
thank you

Elaine Hoffman
Elaine Hoffman

September 21, 2014

I love Clorox Bleach and it is very good to use with colors as well, it is my very favorite. How cool is this tee shirt and it looks so professional as well. Good Job Pixie Faire.

Elaine Hoffman
Elaine Hoffman

September 21, 2014

How adorable is this tee shirt for American Girl dolls. Your site is so wonderful and helpful to women who wish to explore the art of making doll clothes for their dolls and other children’s dolls. I think it is a wonderful and encouraging craft for not only women, but young girls to make for their own dolls but also to get their sewing skills ready for their futures. I love to make Heirloom doll clothes for children to hand down to their children and grandchildren. It is such a blessing to see companies like yours teaching others how to make children so happy with dolls. I love this tee shirt it looks so professional and creative as well with such a simple task in using bleach and masking off the fabric to make hearts. How fun is that. Good Job Pixie Faire you have done it again. Would love to see some Swedish nordic items as well.

Alex
Alex

September 21, 2014

I prefer Clorox bleach

Alex
Alex

September 21, 2014

Sew Cute!!!!!

Pat
Pat

September 21, 2014

I really like this look and am anxious to try it. Reminds me a little of tie dye.

Michele
Michele

September 21, 2014

My favorite brand of bleach is My Essentials.

Jeannie
Jeannie

September 20, 2014

We always use Clorox bleach. We especially love Clorox bleach for colors!

Rita
Rita

September 20, 2014

I use Clorox, but have never tried resist dying.

LaniKaye
LaniKaye

September 20, 2014

Just made one for my daughter and she’d LOVE to win the matching one for her doll! What a simple yet effective tutorial.

Bobbie
Bobbie

September 20, 2014

I don’t use bleach too often, but when I do it’s Chlorox (is there another kind?) Adorable t-shirt. thanks for the tutorial.

Michelle Eusebio
Michelle Eusebio

September 20, 2014

My favorite bleach? The kind that kills germs and smells fresh :)

Peggy W
Peggy W

September 20, 2014

I use Clorox on laundry but then pick up generic for using in the pool. I love this idea and I am going right now to make T-shirts and give this a try. Thanks for all you do :)

Bev
Bev

September 20, 2014

I love it.
Clorox is my favorite bleach.
Thanks for the info.

Bev in Ohio

Laina
Laina

September 20, 2014

Usually just use oxyclean on stains.

Jerry
Jerry

September 20, 2014

Clorox when I use bleach. Never thought to do something like this. Would also work for my little granddaughters on something I make for them to wear or to match the doll shirt. Thanks so much for the idea.

Marcie
Marcie

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is Clorox. This t-shirt is so cute. What a clever idea.

Karen
Karen

September 19, 2014

Aveda. I’m also a hairdresser and the Aveda bleach is awesome and gentle on the hair. Clorox is favorite for white clothes.

Diane
Diane

September 19, 2014

My son is allergic to bleach so we use peroxide in the laundry. Is there any other brand besides Clorox that works?

Pam
Pam

September 19, 2014

Clorox is the one I have. My granddaughter will be able to do the design, this will be great fun. Thank you so much for sharing.

kim
kim

September 19, 2014

I love this. Clorox fresh scents is my favorite.

JLafleur
JLafleur

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox. I’ve never used anything else.

Marjory W.
Marjory W.

September 19, 2014

I use Clorox brand when I use bleach. Are there other good brands?

Dianne
Dianne

September 19, 2014

Clorox original. This looks like a FUN project. thanks.

Dianne
Dianne

September 19, 2014

The stuff my husband uses in our pool! :) Sometimes he ruins his clothes with the stuff, but maybe I could make that look intentional by doing this to the next item that he ooopses!

Lydia villarreal
Lydia villarreal

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox. My granddaughter and I hada great time making these tshirts.

Linda
Linda

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox scented. A great tutorial makes the mind begin to spin with creative ideas. I am so excited to use this technique to make something uniquely original and totally outside the box. Thanks for the inspiration!

Dee
Dee

September 19, 2014

clorox

Nancy
Nancy

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox. I love the look of this t-shirt!

Sarah
Sarah

September 19, 2014

Clorox

Janice
Janice

September 19, 2014

My favorite is Clorox. Can’t wait to try this.

Mary Jo
Mary Jo

September 19, 2014

I use Clorox bleach. This looks so fun and easy.

Melinda
Melinda

September 19, 2014

Hey all, sorry I forgot to put ratios in the tutorial, they’re up now. Basically, the most dilute solution of bleach and water that will work, is 1:8, bleach: water; you can up that to as much as 1 part bleach to 2 pts water, but more than that and you will probably end up with a shirt like Renee’s — eaten to shreds!
For the rinse, try equal parts water and vinegar. Hope that helps!

Marion Callahan
Marion Callahan

September 19, 2014

Love this shirt. And love Chlorox scented as the smell of regular bleach makes me gag. Want to try this with a Tshirt for my grandbabies and for presents/bazaars for a good purpose. Thank you so very very much. Would use this as a sample to perfect the ones I make then put it on one of MY many AG dolls. Ha!

Janice
Janice

September 19, 2014

I use clorox. Love this t-shirt and my granddaughters would love it too.

Nancy
Nancy

September 19, 2014

Whatever Mae West used.

Meghan
Meghan

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox! That’s what we always get. It is my favorite! It works great!

Sonja
Sonja

September 19, 2014

This looks like fun. I’ll have to try it. Thank you.

Denise
Denise

September 19, 2014

While I don’t use much bleach I do occasionally use a bleach pen. I can control where it goes and it doesn’t smell so strong.

Mary
Mary

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is what ever you used, to make this T-Shirt.

renee
renee

September 19, 2014

All bleach is my favorite!! PS: what is the mixture for diluted bleach. Funny story: I was bleaching some spots out of my granddaughters tee (she’s a little sloppy) and I than wash. Needless to say I left it in the bleach to long, because all I had was pieces of the shirt left. Oh oh.

Renee

Elaine DiSanto
Elaine DiSanto

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox Color Safe!

Angela Slaght
Angela Slaght

September 19, 2014

My favourite bleach is Clorox
Thanks Pixie Faire!

Kaitlyn H.
Kaitlyn H.

September 19, 2014

My favorite type of bleach is Clorox!!! :)

Kathleen
Kathleen

September 19, 2014

Clorox

Karen
Karen

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Hilex.

Darlene
Darlene

September 19, 2014

Clorox

karen weeks-kozma
karen weeks-kozma

September 19, 2014

Clorox

Carol Fulton
Carol Fulton

September 19, 2014

What a cool idea- never thought to use masking tape. This is a must try. I love making my own fabric; this just adds to my list. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas and your willingness to share. CF

Marcy Mahle
Marcy Mahle

September 19, 2014

When I do use bleach, I always use Clorox. Thank you for the tutorials.

DawnC
DawnC

September 19, 2014

I only use splashless.

Nancy
Nancy

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is Clorox splashless.

 Sharon Reynolds
Sharon Reynolds

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is any kind that will do this to a tshirt, and any other ideas that are out there besides just whitening whites.

joyce stonebraker
joyce stonebraker

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is clorox

Tamra Ruhmann
Tamra Ruhmann

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is Clorox.

Sharon
Sharon

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is the kind used to make this adorable bleach resist t-shirt!

PAM
PAM

September 19, 2014

any bleach works, so store brand is cheaper

Deidre
Deidre

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is the old fashioned “bleach” smelling kind, of whichever brand is available, just after pulling the whites out of the dryer. The smell of bleached whites fresh out of the dryer will always remind me of my grandmother, and helping with the laundry during school holiday breaks.

Samantha P.
Samantha P.

September 19, 2014

The scented clorox. I hate the smell of bleach.

Patsy
Patsy

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach has always been Clorox. My Granddaughters that I sew AG clothes for love doing this type of thing to their tees!

Kirren
Kirren

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is whatever is the cheapest..

Judith
Judith

September 19, 2014

Clorox

CYNTHIA
CYNTHIA

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is Clorox. It is the only bleach I have ever purchased.

Jeri
Jeri

September 19, 2014

My fave kind of bleach is the kind in a swimming pool! Love the smell, takes me back to being a kid. :) Love the doll tee!

Anny T.
Anny T.

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is ANY kind of bleach… That says BLEACH on the bottle… No matter what brand of bleach I am using and I am wearing one of my FAVORITE shirts… It does it’s job!!! Ruins my shirt. (Yes.. Some day I will learn to NOT use bleach while wearing my good clothes…) :) :)

Sue
Sue

September 19, 2014

I use the oxi type bleach but when I must have chlorine bleach I do Clorox, I have been wanting to try the bleach pen to do some distressing on denim but haven’t yet. The shirt is really cute and even if I should win it I will make one.

Eileen
Eileen

September 19, 2014

I use house brand or Clorox, sparingly on whites. Best of all is the hot Texas sun!! The ‘T’ is adorable —my granddaughters would love it!
Thanks for all your time and contributions to the lovers of the 18" doll world.

Nancy
Nancy

September 19, 2014

I love the look and so easy too. I wonder if it could be done with fabric dye on a white tee shirt. I have a lot of dye in my quilting supplies.

Faye
Faye

September 19, 2014

I use the store brand

Rita
Rita

September 19, 2014

I really don’t like to use bleach at all. Hate the smell of it and have had several (?) accidents with it. I keep a bleach pen for—well, I’ve never used it. But I do keep Splashless Clorox for my husband to use. "nuff said. Except, I would LOVE to win this darling shirt.

Stephanie
Stephanie

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox, though I only use it if I really need to get stains out of whites. Though this is a cute shirt and I love it.

Alice Carskaddon
Alice Carskaddon

September 19, 2014

For what I use it for I get the Cheapest usally Walmart brand or Clorox.

Glenda Crooks
Glenda Crooks

September 19, 2014

I have used Clorox for 42 years.

Mary Ann
Mary Ann

September 19, 2014

I just love the patterns from Pixie Faire!!!

Eleanor Barker
Eleanor Barker

September 19, 2014

Clorox color safe but I no longer use bleach on a regular basis after years of finding bleach spots on my clothes at the most inconvenient times!

Sharon
Sharon

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox liquid – the only kind I use. If it needs bleach then it needs the heavy duty stuff. Great to see actual pictures of the craft. Makes it less intimidating. Thanks for the creativity you inspire.

Sandee
Sandee

September 19, 2014

Clorox bleach hands down is my favorite. I am not only going to make one for the dolls but for my granddaughters so they match. There are 10 AG dolls between my granddaughters so thank you for a great Christmas gift so early. I better go and start sewing and bleaching. I want to thank you for all the great free patterns. I am retired and on a fixed income and all the pennies you have saved me is so appreciated.

Lesley from NE
Lesley from NE

September 19, 2014

To be honest, I don’t use bleach a lot. I do just buy whatever is cheapest, but for clothes, I do only buy Clorox Color safe bleach. That is a really neat idea. Thanks for sharing.

Lorraine
Lorraine

September 19, 2014

My bleach of choice is Clorox. I absolutely love your tutorials, pls keep them coming!

Silke
Silke

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox. What an awesome effect the bleach on the shirt!

Carole Ann
Carole Ann

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox. Cute shirt!!

Carm
Carm

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is powdered Clorox.

Nicole
Nicole

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is Clorox.

Karon
Karon

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is whatever I have on hand. The T-shirt looks like a really stylish idea.

Debra
Debra

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is clorox. Love the shirt

Patti
Patti

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is what ever store brand I am shopping at. Bleach is Bleach…

Leona
Leona

September 19, 2014

This is such a cute and great idea. You come up with some of the most interesting things. My favorite bleach is Clorox.

Nadine
Nadine

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is Shoprite brand. Love the shirt! Thank you for the tutorial! _

Mary Stewart
Mary Stewart

September 19, 2014

I use Clorox because I can change up the scent as the mood strikes me!

Jane W
Jane W

September 19, 2014

What a great idea…adorable shirt! I love clorox bleach.

Ardi
Ardi

September 19, 2014

I’m not brand conscious, but usually buy Clorox. Love the t-shirt!

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