In a previous post, we talked about using full body make-up to achieve an au natural Neytiri costume. For those who prefer modesty and warmth, we’ll be discussing how to make the Neytiri costume using more traditional methods.
Gather Unto To Ye:
A long-sleeve, mock turtle-neck unitard
Dylon Fabric Dye-Ocean Blue*
Dylon Fabric Dye-China Blue*
Rubber bands or Kitchen string
Blue Cream Make-Up
White Cream Make-Up
May Want on Standby:
Blue Marker Pen
As we get closer to Halloween, blue unitards may be in short supply. If this is the case and you have a ‘crafty’ nature, get a white unitard, two subtly contrasting shades of blue clothes dye and make your own, unique Neytiri costume.
Wash and dry your white unitard first. While that’s churning away in your washer/dryer, read the instructions on the package of dye as methods can vary from brand to brand. Follow these directions carefully to obtain the best possible results.
Once the unitard is dry, cover your work area with newspaper to protect it from any inadvertent splashes and drips. Prepare the lighter shade of blue dye according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place your white unitard into the dye mixture and leave to soak for the required length of time. Some brands of dye may require you to rinse immediately; others may require more time. Always check the instructions.
After the unitard has soaked in the dye, remove it, gently squeeze out the excess liquid and put the unitard aside to dry completely. As a precaution, place more newspapers underneath the garment to catch any drips. (If there’s an alpha male in the house, make sure he’s read the paper first before you commandeer it.)
After drying, lay the unitard flat on your work surface. Now it’s time to add the striped effect by tie dying it with the darker blue dye. Tie the sleeves, legs and body tightly with rubber bands or string at equal intervals of one to two inches or more, depending how wide you want your stripes. Cover your work area once again with newspapers and prepare the darker blue dye according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Dip your unitard into the dye and leave to soak. If you’ve secured the bands or string tightly, the darker dye shouldn’t take in these areas and you should get an instant striped effect. Keep in mind that regardless of what dye or technique you use, no two items turn out exactly the same. Your Neytiri costume will truly be your own, unique creation.
‘Well, that’s all very well and good,’ you say, ‘but I did manage to get a blue unitard. What do I do now?’ First of all, good job on getting your hands on one of these. All you need do is get it all striped up. You can tie-dye it as I’ve already outlined above by using a darker shade of blue than the blue of your unitard. (Please note: Tie-dying works best on natural fabrics such as cotton, linen and silk. Most unitards are a nylon/spandex blend and while you should have no trouble dying it, it may not achieve full colour.)
Another option (which quite frankly, I’m not too keen on but thought I’d mention it any way) is using a blue marker to draw the stripes on. Like I said, I don’t love this option, but it might be a good choice for you.
Once you’re all striped up, step into your unitard, put on your bikini and sandals and you’re ready.
‘Ready? What do you mean ready? What about the tail?’ I know, I know. For my views on the tail, please refer to ‘Making the Neytiri Costume-Full Body Make-Up‘.
Obviously, the unitard is not going to cover all of you so use the cream make-up and sponges to colour in any exposed skin. Again, please view my previous post, ‘Making the Neytiri Costume-Full Body Make-Up‘ for guidelines on how to do this.
Here are a couple of last minute tips to help you keep things neat and tidy:
1: After every tie-dying session, be sure to wash all the containers as soon as possible with soap and water to keep staining to a minimum.
2: Tie-dyed clothing may bleed in the wash so as a precaution, wash them in cold water with like colours or separately.
Image via movies.sulekha.com
*Although I mention Dylon in the list of supplies above, you are certainly not bound to using it. I merely selected it because after perusing their colour wheel I was able to find suitable colours that didn’t require purchasing additional colours and mixing them together. This makes it simpler and cheaper to use.
RIT is another popular brand for dying clothes. However after examining its colour chart I felt the most suitable shades of blue (in the blue-green chart) would require mixing additional colours together to achieve the desired shade. Consequently this makes is a slightly more expensive option.