Tuesday, July 3, 2012

DIY: A Dress to Dye For...Twice

Oh, look. Me in a dress. Shocker.
 Yesterday, I dyed. Twice. 
And after some hemming and hawing, I did some hemming. On the dress. 

But I chose to skip the hawing (what the heck is that, anyway?)

So I thought I'd share it with you as this week's DIY. Mostly because there are some serious do's and don'ts when it comes to dying (of which I am the authority on the don'ts) and partly because my other DIY is currently Resting-In-Pieces in the trash can. Ahem.
So here's the dress before the dying. I know, I love it too. I snapped this photo a couple years ago for my belt shop. Funny thing is, I got more questions on the dress than the belt. I remember the day I found this dress, the very thrift store and the goofy squeal I made when I found it.
 [This is off-topic but...(btw, if ever we were to meet in person, you would find that many of my sentences begin with that phrase)...is it just me or does that photo look like it should be in some sort of pharmaceutical ad? You know, like it should have superfine print at the bottom that reads:

If you suffer from the desire to take coy photos of yourself, Notbeingadork, might not be right for you. Side effects may include: dressing like someone your age, not wearing bumpits and having a cell phone that is less than 7 years old.]
 And then, this happened.

I remember this day also. It had been a hot one and I had sweated. A lot. Obviously.

 I took it to the cleaners who wanted nothing to do with it. They claimed the only way to fix it would be to remove the red piping, bleach the dress and reattach said piping. My response: Like, ew. That sounds hard.

So I attacked it with a bleach pen to no avail. I pouted and grumbled and wadded it up into a ball and kicked it around in the laundry room.

Then hubs said, "Why don't you just dye it?"

 Oh, yeah. Duh.

Now, when it comes to dying fabric, I do know a thing or two. 

Thing One: (in my best Joan Crawford voice) Never use RIT dye. Ever!
Seriously, I know you see it on the grocery shelf and it sounds so easy but it stinks. You'd be better off dying with Kool-Aid.
Thing Two: Use Procion MX Dye. It's seriously the best. You won't find this on your grocery shelf or even at your local craft store, sadly. My favorite place is from the sweet and kind people at Dharma Trading Company. You can call them on the phone and ask them plenty of questions. They've helped me and my mom army when we tie-dye 400 t-shirts for our annual fundraiser.
 I chose to dye in my washer, although you can use the stove top if the idea freaks you out. Besides the dye, you just need non-iodized salt (found at the grocery) and soda ash (bought from Dharma). You must follow these directions closely for best results.
 Looking at the spooky storm clouds that brought nothing to my dead and dry yard. Gee, thanks.

After the first dye, where I was a little shy with the dye mix, I was left with this light pink. I wore it on my errand running but wasn't thrilled with the color. It was a little too Tums Tablets Pink for me.
 Oh, I wanted to show you the back. Don't you love how it ties? It's a vintage Act I dress...I don't know much about this brand, do you? I have a couple vintage Act I and Act II dresses and I love the style.
I asked hubs, "Well? What do you think?" And he gave me his classic I-don't-wanna-hurt-her-feelings-but-I-just-can't-lie phrase: "Well, it's not my cup of tea. But if you like it..."
After the second dying I'm still not sure about the pink. It's now a little Pepto Pink for me...I'm thinking of going darker. Or not. I can't decide. Maybe this is what the "hawing" in hemming and hawing means. 

Oh and the hemming. What do you think? After wearing it around on Monday, I decided it was just too long. I took 6" off of the bottom before wearing it on Tuesday. That's right, I wore the same dress two days in a row. That should make for an interesting "What I Wore this Week", don't you think?

Thank you for dropping by. I do hope all of my friends in the states have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July!


  1. Wow, that is really pink! What are your other color options? Do you need another little black dress? I'm not sure what dyes over pink...will the piping dye? If not you'd have a fun red/black dress!

  2. Mallory7/05/2012

    Your superfine print made me laugh, thank you! ha

    I think the pink is fun! Maybe "put a poodle on it" ? or not.
    and by the way, those dark stormy clouds didn't bring me any rain, either. boo.

  3. Anonymous7/29/2012

    I am absolutely loving this pink - especially with the red piping! And I totally dig those pots you are standing between - Uber cute! You have great style - kudos girl!


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