Hand Dyed Roscoe Blouse: Pattern Hack

While I can’t say that quarantine has been absolutely fantastic, I have gotten to do some projects I have been putting off now that we have some extra time. This Roscoe Blouse being one of them. I’ve thought a lot about dying fabric before, but always assumed it would be more time consuming than I wanted. And with my free time being far and few in between, I have always focused on making projects that I could achieve in shorter amounts of time. But with all these tye-dye trends popping up for 2020, I knew I could no longer put it off. 

My first dying project was some gauze napkins that I was ombré-ing for a style shoot for work. That was the easiest project since the items I was dying were so small. I had some dye left over, so I thought it might be cool to try and dye something bigger with it. The earthy tones were everything I wanted them to be!

I used Camel color Ritdye and I also made a video for this tutorial on IGTV if you want to watch it “live”! Let’s get started! Here are the things that I found handy to have:

  • Old saucepan that I could use just for dying. 
  • Wooden spoon I could throw away. 
  • Rubber gloves
  • Dish soap
  • Salt
  • 5 Gallon Painters Bucket (Optional)
  • Rubber Bands
  • RitDye

First things first, I rubberband the fabric. I didn’t have a solid method. I was just grabbing pieces, twisting, and then wrapping a couple rubber bands around it. 

I used about 8 cups of water, a dollop of dish soap, and a spoonful of salt. I didn’t let this come to a full boil because I was afraid of a soapy mess overflowing onto my stove. So just beware if you are making a smaller batch. 🙂 I didn’t need a huge one since I wasn’t going to submerge the whole fabric. 

Then I added about ⅓ of the Rit Dye bottle and let it sit for a minute.

Since I’m not going to submerge the whole piece of fabric into the dye, I only dipped the twisted portions into the pot. This is why it was nice to have gloves. But be careful because it was still HOT!

Then I kind of squeezed it in on itself to add some color throughout. It was nice to have the bucket to transport it to my balcony to air dry, so I didn’t get dye all over the carpet. 

I let it air-dry outside for about 5 hours, and then rinsed out as much dye as I could in my bathtub. Then I gave it a normal cycle in the washing machine and dryer. 🙂 

This whole process took about 5 days in total to complete, and most of my projects are about 2-3 days. The first day was dying and washing, the next day I cut out the pattern pieces, and the last three days were spent sewing it together. 

Now for the hack:

The sleeves are the same exact shape except I cut it halfway down for the top portion. Then for the bottom portion I added an extra half of the width to the length that was left. 

I cut the front bodice into two pieces instead of on the fold. I basically finished it like the wilder gown. I serged the edges, sewed it together, and then double folded it back, and top-stitched it down. 

Inside of front bodice. The excess seam is where you fold under and top stitch for a really clean inside and outside.
Front of the bodice once it has been top stitched down.

To attach the sleeve and bodice ruffles first you need to serge the edge of the top sleeve portion and the bottom of the bodice. Then I just gathered the bottom and sleeve ruffle like normal. The hardest part is evenly attaching it so that it catches the bodice and/or sleeve. But you’re going to attach right on the top so everything stays exposed. 

The inside of the sleeve.

Then I just sewed everything together like the instructions and left off the neck-ties. 🙂 

If you’ve never dyed anything before and have been wanting to, I HIGHLY recommend trying it. It makes you feel like a freaking BOSS and even more proud than if you had only sewn it (which is still massively impressive). This is the Free People Inspired Blouse of my dream. I hope this project encourages you to tackle something you never thought you could try. Have fun sewing! 


Courtney Jean

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