How to Make a Tie Dye Wave Pattern

Learn how to make a tie dye wave pattern in this Howcast video.

I’m going to show you how to do stitch resist. This is a really cool technique and even though it’s a little bit more advanced I’m going to guide you through it. This wave pattern was achieved just by stitching the waves that you see and gathering them together. The only stitch that you’ll need to use is a running stitch, which is a pretty easy stitch that even a child can do. I’m going to show you how I did it.

Using a needle and really strong thread you’re going to start the running stitch following the shape that you want to do. I did waves. You could do circles, flowers, heart shapes, whatever you want. The trick here is that you want to do the stitches pretty small, and you want to have really strong thread, so when you’re gathering it you can gather it pretty tightly.

So I’m making my running stitch. I’ve stitched most of the wave, I just have a couple of stitches left. I know that this can be a pretty time-consuming technique, but the results are totally rewarding, so I encourage you to give it a try. This is how it should look before you start gathering. You see that I did a little bit of gathering already, but it’s just a plain running stitch.

This is the part now where you really will be thankful if you’ve chosen really strong thread. Because you want to start gathering all your stitches, like making pleats as tight as possible. The pattern will only appear if you actually make it pretty tight, so really go as strong as possible here. You see here that I’m making these little puff pleating here and this is what it will look like.

If I had done the same thing in all of my waves here in the fabric, you would just see it gathered in different places. So after you gather it, you also want to tie it pretty hard, because once you put it in the dye bath, the gathering will likely come undone. At this time we don’t need the needle yet and this is really strong thread and this is what it will look like before you put it in the dye bath. Just these little puffs and you see it on the other side you have all these gatherings here. Every little pleat that you formed with the stitch will create these little dots that you see. And that’s how you create your pattern.

You should play around with different thicknesses of threads. Also, with different shapes, and make some swatches in the beginning. It is sometimes a frustrating technique, because you spend all that time doing the stitching, and after the dying, not a lot of results appear. But I can guarantee that you’ll get better as you go, and one day you’ll be able to do something like this. This is how you do stitch resisting tie dye.