September 17, 2014

221 Comments

Doll Sewing Tutorials ›




 

 


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

Rachel
Rachel

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is Clorox. I can wait to try this. My granddaughters & their dolls will be having all kinds of matching shirts. Awesome!!!

Gayle S
Gayle S

September 19, 2014

I sometimes buy the store brand but my favorite bleach is Clorox. I especially like the splash-less formula for obvious reasons.

Cindy
Cindy

September 19, 2014

Rinso. It is the same as my old favorite Clorox and much cheaper leaving me more money for Liberty Jane patterns. Love Liberty Jane and Pixie faire

Cheryl
Cheryl

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is whatever I have on hand to create wonderful dolly crafts like this one….what a simply wonderful idea this distressed tee is! :o)

Rebecca
Rebecca

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox. I have a feeling I will be buying more bleach and have a whole closet full of bleached out doll clothes!

Irene Bardos
Irene Bardos

September 19, 2014

clorex. Love this this idea.

Dellory Matthews
Dellory Matthews

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is whatever was on sale in a gallon jug – but my daughter pours it into a smaller bottle for me so it’s easy to use. The shirt is darling! If I win it, it will go to the granddaughter with the next birthday. (I have 17 granddaughters and 17 grandsons!)

Janice Hamman
Janice Hamman

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is the no splash Clorox. The tee is so pretty.

Cyndi
Cyndi

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach has always been Clorox but I love the new splash resistant formula. Gotta win this darling tee!

Marketta Meyer
Marketta Meyer

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox.

Janet S
Janet S

September 19, 2014

I don’t use bleach, but if I did my favorite kind of bleach is Clorox — just because it was what my mother used many,many years ago. Love the look of this tee!

Lisa
Lisa

September 19, 2014

Such a cute shirt. I’ll have to try this when I get back from my trip.

Annie
Annie

September 19, 2014

Definitely Clorox!

Sue
Sue

September 19, 2014

clorox

Betty
Betty

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is Clorox

Love what you have done with this little tee

Lezllie
Lezllie

September 19, 2014

I have been using the Dollar Tree brand lately because we cleaned and sanded our Cedar property fence to restore it & that took several gallons. ( cheaper than wood cleaner) I agree with previous posting..Can you give the proportions of bleach/water. Thank you again for the generousity and FUN ideas .

Lois
Lois

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is Clorox I like the different scents. Love the T-shirt want to try it soon.

Amy
Amy

September 19, 2014

This a lovely idea. I going to try to make one for my niece and her dolly. Thank for all the great ideas.

Diane
Diane

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is the magic kind that would clean my bathroom by itself. Super cute shirt! My daughter would like this look!

margaret carlson
margaret carlson

September 19, 2014

Will my imagination run wild with the resist idea, Christmas trees, stars, pumpkins, no end! My bleach I use is Great Value….lavender scent. Like your patterns saving money is important!

Shawna
Shawna

September 19, 2014

I use Clorox!!

Heidi
Heidi

September 19, 2014

Only the best…..Chlorox

Heidi
Heidi

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is Clorox. It comes in such a nice variety of scents so my whites don’t need to come out smelling like a swimming pool!

Molly
Molly

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is hydrogen peroxide. We don’t use bleaching agents very often, so this works for the small times we do.

Nancy
Nancy

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is Fresh Scent Clorox. Anxious to try this technique.

Lori
Lori

September 19, 2014

My fav kind of bleach is Clorox … definitely trying this bleach trick!

Pat
Pat

September 19, 2014

Clorox – is there another kind? Love this tee – brilliant!

Marsha
Marsha

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox.

Glenda
Glenda

September 19, 2014

I just might try this for matching dolly and me outfits for the grandaughters! Love it!!

Garm
Garm

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is the cheapest one at the store. I’ve used it for years and it has done whatever I needed it to do.

Judith
Judith

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is Clorox bleach. What a fun project!

Sharron Walker
Sharron Walker

September 19, 2014

clorox

Sheryll
Sheryll

September 19, 2014

What a clever idea!! My granddaughters will live it! I use Clorox bleach.

Melody
Melody

September 19, 2014

clorox

Katy
Katy

September 19, 2014

Good to know about the vinegar to neutralize it.

Wendy
Wendy

September 19, 2014

I love Purex bleach. I want to try this soon!

Donna
Donna

September 19, 2014

Love this the bleach I only use is Clorox

Cara
Cara

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is non-existent because I’m too young to care. But I do like this little shirt a lot!

Sharon
Sharon

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox – Lavender scented!

Sharon A
Sharon A

September 19, 2014

I use whatever the store brand is of bleach, all works the she I think

Diana
Diana

September 19, 2014

How unique and easy ! Thanks !!! Clorox is what I have used forever .. no substitutes as they don’t work as well ! Thanks for the idea

Sharon
Sharon

September 19, 2014

So clever and trendy too!

Cynthia
Cynthia

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox. This is so cute. Oh the variety of designs you could use. Thank you so much for these tutorials.

Donna
Donna

September 19, 2014

Clorox, and loved the shirt

Denise
Denise

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox!

Jane
Jane

September 19, 2014

What a cute idea, can’t wait to try it.

Alaina
Alaina

September 19, 2014

I don’t use bleach but I may have to get some for this!

Alaina
Alaina

September 19, 2014

I don’t use bleach but I may have to to try this shirt

Rosemary
Rosemary

September 19, 2014

This a great way to make a plain shirt look great.Just by putting Clorox bleach on it. Thanks

Mitzi
Mitzi

September 19, 2014

Don’t use bleach very often, but it is Clorox when I do need it.

Bev
Bev

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox. – Will Try this!!! Matching tees for doll & owner!!!

Carol
Carol

September 19, 2014

Well, the bottle in my cupboard is Clorox, but like a lot of others, I don’t use it very often. Thank you so much for the great Tut’s.

Aime
Aime

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is Clorox.

JR FrugalMom
JR FrugalMom

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is our store brand from Publix.

Lynne
Lynne

September 19, 2014

“My favorite kind of bleach is…..” Clorox. This is a very cute t-shirt. Will have to try this tutorial and see what I can make. Good luck in the contest to win everyone and please enter my name too.

Penny
Penny

September 19, 2014

would be Clorox but I remain chicken to use bleach – even for white clothes! maybe this tutorial will overcome my fear of bleach! I have Clorox but do not use it!

LAURIE
LAURIE

September 19, 2014

THANKS FOR SHARING THE HOW-TO. I USE AN ALL FABRIC BLEACH. BUT I’LL NOW NEED TO FIND A CHLORINE BLEACH.

AngiePangie
AngiePangie

September 19, 2014

.. the kind that costs the least when it comes to making doll clothes.. but I prefer Clorox when cleaning the house. Color safe bleach for my family’s clothes. :)

Sue
Sue

September 19, 2014

I love this cool edgy tee. I will definitely try this.

AngiePangie
AngiePangie

September 19, 2014

COOL! I have not tried this before! I will be doing this right after I get back from the store.. need masking tape! LOL!

Sandra meese
Sandra meese

September 19, 2014

I use Clorax and sometimes a gel bleach pen.

Liz Webster
Liz Webster

September 19, 2014

Modern looking top, love it.
My favorite kind of bleach is the cheapest I can find!

Hannah
Hannah

September 19, 2014

We usually get the store brand.

Julieta
Julieta

September 19, 2014

I like Clorox.

Deb F
Deb F

September 19, 2014

none. I don’t use bleach. I do use Melaleuca color safe ‘whitener’ tho and love it ;)

Kathleen Raboin
Kathleen Raboin

September 19, 2014

Love the t-shirt. Will definitely try this. Thanks for sharing this.

Sarah
Sarah

September 19, 2014

whatever is cheapest.

Gloria
Gloria

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Meijer brand.

Pam vanOteghem
Pam vanOteghem

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is the scented varieties. Great idea!

Jesica
Jesica

September 19, 2014

Like many of you, I don’t use bleach often. But, the bleach in my cupboard is Clorox, so I guess that makes it my favorite :) Glad to have a new reason to use it!

JB
JB

September 19, 2014

I have seen this technique used many times on fiber art pieces, but never thought about using it on doll clothes. Fun idea. Thanks.

Coleen Hoeschen
Coleen Hoeschen

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Chlorox. Cute idea-maybe I should claim that my own laundry day t-shirts were bleached on purpose just to make them “stylin’.” I might try this on denim jeans, too.

Krista P
Krista P

September 19, 2014

I use Clorox :). This is such a cute idea!!

Terri Haines
Terri Haines

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is the cheapest I can find, usually from the dollar store. Cute shirt!

Sandy
Sandy

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox.
I love the shirt! Thanks for sharing.

 Thresea Wright
Thresea Wright

September 19, 2014

I don’t use bleach often, but if the need arises, I use Clorox.

robin
robin

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Walmart’s Great Value. Thanks for the technique.

Donna
Donna

September 19, 2014

My favorite bleach is Clorox. I am excited to try this for a doll I am giving my granddaughter for Christmas.

Raina DelRio
Raina DelRio

September 19, 2014

We love Clorox scented bleach at our house.

 Thresea Wright
Thresea Wright

September 19, 2014

I don’t use bleach often, but if the need arises, I use Clorox.

Tisch Neiss
Tisch Neiss

September 19, 2014

SPECTACULAR!!!!! Thanks for all the GREAT IDEAS and getting me out of the
“What can I make that’s new mode!”

Gale
Gale

September 19, 2014

Any kind will do…bleach is bleach. I think if you are making the t-shirt, don’t sew the side seams and open it out so you can get the design onto the back also. Nice technique!
Gale

lynda
lynda

September 19, 2014

clorox.
this idea is great! thanks

Cindy
Cindy

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox scented, I love this effect on this tee! Smart girls!!

Gillian Fisher
Gillian Fisher

September 19, 2014

Really cute shirt. I use Chlorox bleach.

penny
penny

September 19, 2014

usually just store brand, I don’t bleach many clothes. love your tutorials, thanks

Barb
Barb

September 19, 2014

Clorox scents. I like the tshirt! I make so many tshirts from your patterns. The basic t is so versatile with all the sleeve options! It’s fun to recycle my granddaughters knits into doll clothes. Thanks!

Beth
Beth

September 19, 2014

I am definitely trying this probably over the weekend :D Love Pixie Faire and Liberty Jane. You guys rock !

Candis
Candis

September 19, 2014

I rarely use bleach, so I buy whatever’s on sale when I need it.

Linda
Linda

September 19, 2014

I would love to win. Thanks for all you do for LBJ partners

Margaret
Margaret

September 19, 2014

I use Clorox. I’m very sensitive to bleach, cheaper versions affect me in the most adverse way. Be careful, use gloves and long sleeves. Some of us are very sensitive to bleach and may end up with hives. I do love the t-shirt and will try this.

Lea Ann
Lea Ann

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorox – in the pretty scents.

Lisa
Lisa

September 19, 2014

Clorox, in fresh sents

Linda
Linda

September 19, 2014

So very cute! Thanks for all of the tutorials!!!!!!!!
Linda

Hazel
Hazel

September 19, 2014

I use WalMart’s Linens scented bleach. It works well, smells great, and is easy on sensitive skin!

Cindy
Cindy

September 19, 2014

So I actually am going to take the color out intentionally instead of accidentally. I keep Cholox In a spray bottle all the time in the bathroom, so I am sitting on ready. This should be fun!

Linda
Linda

September 19, 2014

I always use Clorox.

Beth Haubach
Beth Haubach

September 19, 2014

I love this idea! I am so glad I found your website. There is always something new and exciting to make!!

Jane
Jane

September 19, 2014

My favorite kind of bleach is Clorax but it is so expensive so I settle for the Dollar Tree brand.

CeeJay
CeeJay

September 19, 2014

Clorox is my favorite but no special scents. In my scent memory that Clorox smell means clean. :-)

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