Thursday, October 30, 2008

Twist and Shout

Ah, the annual tie-dying of the shirts. Our school colors are tie dye (ok, that's more of a style than an actual color), and we are wearing tie-dye shirts at a big, city-wide concert coming up in November. Wanting to give my kids the opportunity to own a tie dye t-shirt without breaking the bank, I actually make the shirts myself in my home. I charge them $7, which is way less than what the normal school spirit wear would cost.

First, I take the color orders from the kids. They choose any kind of combination of orange, blue, and purple. Most kids choose all three colors. This year, I made over 60 shirts. The entire process completely takes over my home, as seen in this picture. The shirts are so white and clean before I start!

I learned the hard way last year that unless you put on super-protective gloves for the entire process, your hands will turn purple and become very raw. (You also cannot touch your face, or you will have have red, irritated skin. Forgot that one. Ouch.) I had a nice pair of YELLOW gloves, but I tore a hole in them on the first day. Consequently, the fingers on my right hand are purple, and I was forced to purchase these PINK gloves in order to save my remaining digits.

After the shirts have soaked in a really nasty chemical bath, you ring them out like there is no tomorrow. Next, you put the shirt face down on a clean surface and twist. This seems like a really simple step, but those dang sleeves always get in the way. The swirled shirt pictured here is an example of a perfect roll. It was my 57th shirt....about time!

Here is one batch of swirled shirts, ready to be blasted with color. It's so hard to squirt dark dye onto white shirts. Goes against everything I know about clean clothes. I squirt the color into 1 quadrant of the shirt, making sure it is really saturated. Extremely technical term: dripping.

Ah, the after picture. Once the shirts soak over night in a plastic bag, I wash them twice to get rid of any excess dye. They are dried, folded, and put into clean plastic bags, and are ready to give to the kiddos. I love seeing the shirts all over the school, as the kids wear them often. They don't have any specific markings that say 'choir' or our school name, so they can wear them for any occasion.

2 Days. 62 shirts. And I thought I was on vacation.


Castle Rock Cowboys said...

Wow, that is dedication! You rock! Next year Luke can be in choir, right? I am so excited!

Brenda said...

Yes - 3rd grade is the magical number! Love those kiddos!