The Happy Pigment

Tie dye, fabric and textiles artist and lover

dyeing to op shop

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I’m totally addicted to op shopping (aka thrift shopping). I discovered op shops in my teens and never looked back. Nearly everything in my wardrobe is second hand, actually a good 70% of everything in my home is second hand!

In my early 20’s, before my children were born, I would visit my favourite op shops once a week in rotation. More often than not I would come home with at least one new outfit and at least one book. After my children were born my buying habits changed and I was getting kids clothes and kids books. Every now and then I would find some little gem for myself, but when you become a mother you prioritise differently.

Now that I’m finished having babies and I started this creative journey, I visit the op shops to hunt for clothes and things to up-cycle. Recycling, up-cycling, repurposing, I love it and I hate wastage! It’s just so wrong that objects that are still usable or have the potential to be usable again should go to landfill. So now I’m always on the look out for white clothing that I can dye for my little shop. And boy! have I found some winners.

upcycled overalls

These overalls were awesome! I dyed them using ice dyeing method but had them on an incline to get that downward sort of effect. I loved these and wanted to keep them for myself but sold them at the markets soon after they were dyed.

butterfly up

This top I had hung on to forever, I bought it at an op shop and wore it a fair bit but always looked after it. I’d had plans to dye it for ages and was too scared that I’d stuff it up, then I went on a dyeing binge before The West End Street Art Festival in October and added it to my stock for that. It sold on the day.

pretty dress

But this is my favourite. Photos just don’t do it justice, which is why I haven’t listed it in my Etsy shop yet (although I just really need to get off my bum and do that!). It’s not my size or my style of dress so I can’t keep it but I love it so much. It’s understated but eye catching at the same time.

So this new career choice has had some big advantages for me. I love everything about it, even the cleaning up parts. And isn’t that what we all strive for? To do something that we love? It’s not a huge money maker but it sure is satisfying.



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