Ombre Dip Dye Skirt Tutorial

Ombré is a French word meaning “to shade” and is often used to describe a dip-dye effect given to fabric in which the shades of color graduate from light to dark. You can choose to do a monochromatic color scheme for a sophisticated look or you can combine different complimentary colors.  The technique is quite simple, today I’ll be showing you two ombre styles for a knee length tulle skirt on the Lil Luxe Dress but you can use this technique for a regular skirt too.

For this tutorial you will need:

A large bucket

A mixing stick


Rit dye liquid or powder

A measuring cup

Rubber gloves

A hanger with clips

Nylon tulle

Make sure you have 100% Nylon tulle and that it does not have any kind finishes that may prevent absorption of the dyes.

For this tutorial I have added my dip dye gathered skirt to the Lil Luxe Dress in lieu of a circle skirt.  I've provided a chart in step one for cutting a knee length skirt for the Lil Luxe Dress.

Step 1 –

Use the table below to cut your layers of tulle. Use as many layers to get the fullness you desire.  Pin your layers together and sew two gathering stitches to the top to create your skirt.  Make sure your gathers are evenly spaced and match your bodice width. Sew the back side of your skirt together using nylon thread so that your thread also absorbs the dye.

The skirt pictured with this size chart has 10 layers of tulle. The cover image of Olivia in the finished skirt is my final attempt, using 4 layers of 5 continuous yards gathered at the top using the 4t length.

Step 2 –

Determine how much dye you’ll need.  You’ll need to weigh or estimate the weight of your skirt. The liquid dye bottle states that 1/2 cup of liquid dye will color 1 lb of dry fabric.  For dark or bright colors, it is suggested to double the dye amount.  You’ll need about 3 gallons of hot water per 1/2 cup of dye and 1 cup of vinegar.

For my skirt I heated about 2 gallons of hot water on my stove and used another 2 gallons of the hottest temperature water from my sink and combined them in my bucket. Next I added 1 cup of vinegar and the full bottle of Rit dye (because i wanted to make sure my colors came out bright enough) to the bucket and stirred.

Depending on where you want the dye, hang your skirt from the hanger clips. I wanted my color at the top of my skirt so i hung my skirt upside down. To keep the skirt from opening up, I also used pins to secure the skirt in place.

Step 3 –

To create the Ombre, dip your skirt into the dye bath to where you would want the first “lighter” layer of color to be for about 2 minutes, while gently lifting and lowering it up and down. Once you have achieved the lighter color, lift your skirt to where you want the next darker shade of color. Leave your skirt submersed in the dye bath for about 7 minutes (or longer depending on the color you’re trying to achieve).  I secured a piece of yarn to my ceiling and hung the hanger from it to keep my skirt in place.

Step 4 –

Remove your skirt from the dye bath and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear. Make sure you run the water down from the lightest color to the darkest color to prevent it from bleeding into the white.

If you are satisfied with your ombre skirt, machine wash your tulle skirt on the delicate cycle with warm water and detergent. Machine dry or hang to dry and Voila, you’re done!!!

Step 5 –

Repeat steps 2-4 on the opposite side of your skirt if you want to add another complimentary color.

I just love how these ombre dresses came out!! With two little girls, I couldn’t stop at just one.  I used Liberty of London’s new spring print (swoon!) for the bodice which you can purchase here.  If you’ve never used any of Liberty of London’s fabrics, you are in for a treat!  Normally, I’m nervous to cut into my expensive fabrics but not for this dress!!  Make sure you read the sizing carefully on the tutorial to ensure you get a perfect fit….that’s how we designed it to be. 

Olivia’s dress has a monochromatic change in color, while Abigail’s has a double process color. After dying the top portion pink I flipped it over and repeated the process with black dye to get the middle blue color and the black end.

Check out that side by side twirl action!!  We have a case of winter blues and these bright colors are just what we needed to cheer us up!  I made another lil luxe dress for little Miss Abigail.  It's a lime green taffeta dress with hand beaded rhinestones and army green tulle overlay in the full circle skirt pleated version.  I love how the tulle looks under the skirt, but I am in love with how the layered tulle exaggerated the pleats in this version.

My little girls are growing up so fast! I love documenting them in all their Lil Luxe outfits…proud mama here.   Everything I make is made from the heart. My greatest joy is in the sparkle in their eyes when I make them something new.  I’ll never get tired of hearing how much they love that I make everything special for them.


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