Monday, May 20, 2013

DIY: Vintage 911, Black Velvet Bleed

Yeah, so, I started a blog post series called Vintage 911 way back in 2012. That's also where it ended. Howevers, when I was uprooting my summer duds and closet-swapping them for my winter ones (which took hours as I have entirely too much clothing and vow not to purchase another stinkin' thing for at least 1.5 days), I came upon some vintage dresses that were in desperate need of help. Case in point: this now-lilac-y number.
My fave flowers in the whole wide world are lilacs. When I was a kid growing up in Illinois, there was a huge hedge of them just outside my bedroom window. On summer nights, with the window open, the smell was heavenly. It seems Tennessee is just too hot to host these lovelies. This dress can serve as my little reminder.
But it wasn't always lilac flowers and their sweet scent, ya see. Oh no, this vintage dress began it's life a buttery cream color. I wore it once on a hot summer night and sweated my way through it. I dropped it at the dry cleaners thinking I was leaving it in good hands....only to find this upon my pickup: a black velvet bleed.
What?! I was so bummed when this happened last summer that I promptly stuck it in the back of my closet and tried to forget about it. When I recently uprooted it, I decided to put my new found dying skillz to use. 

Now, normally, I'm all about the Procion dye. I've used it to dip dye a shirt, dresses and even another vintage dress bled. However, I didn't have any lilac dye on hand...and I just didn't think any other color would successfully mask this bloody nightmare.
And so that's when I found myself at the local craft store. I totally bypassed the Rit Dye because I've not had the best success with the stuff. When I noticed this dye packet said "Jacquard", the makers of Procion Dyes, I knew this was the one to go with. Because my dress has an insanely large circle skirt, I picked up two dye packets in case one wouldn't be enough.
Because I'm a lazy rule breaker, I opted not to follow the stove top directions. I wasn't about to spend my Saturday standing over smelly boiling water stirring purple soup. Instead I set my washing machine to the hottest of temps and filled the tub with the dye. Once it started to agitate, I added the damped dress to the mix. Because it's meant to be agitated for something like an hour, I set my alarm for every 12 minutes to reset the agitation. I didn't want my precious dye going down the drain!

I was right to pick up two packets as I ended up dying this dress twice. The first go was a little too light of a lilac for me. It came out looking faded. I'm much happier with the second go round. I'm sure you can see in the before photo that this dress had a white silhouette of foliage throughout. This pattern is now much more subtle and I'm a little bummed that it's kind of disappeared. Other than that, I'm happy with this new lilac-y addition to my closet.


  1. Hi Cassie, you did a great job. That dress is looking gorgeous now. It's the perfect dress for a summer night party I think. And it has a somehow Southern Belle like aura. Wish you nice adventures in that dress. Have a wonderful week!

    1. Thanks! It's good to hear from you :) It does have a wee bit of a Southern Belle I just need to get hubs to take me out on the town in it :)

  2. It looks beautiful now! Good save!

  3. You just hit the right term to describe the dress. It really looks gorgeous, especially that the one wearing it is just perfect for the dress. It’s as if it is specifically tailored to fit her. I would love to wear this dress at summer as it looks and feels so cool.

    1. I'm thinkin' I'll be getting a lot of use out of this dress in the next couple of months!


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