Thursday, August 13, 2009

dyeing a vintage dress

I found this dress at Re-Runs warehouse in KC. It was in the 50's room (it's divided by decades) and I fell in love with the simplicity. It needed a few repairs and had some stains. It also didn't have any tags and totally seemed like it could've been made by some fabulous chica for herself.
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I wasn't worried about the sewing repairs - but I wasn't sure how to fix the stains. I wondered about dyeing it, but I'd never tried that before. I immediately thought of the vintage expert Jessica from What I Wore and emailed her for advice. With her blessing, I bought my first box of Rit dye.

The process was interesting, especially in a little loft - I was worried about ruining our counters/sink/floors forever. I swore the fabric was cotton, and Jessica mentioned that the fabric might take but the embroidering may not. The box recommended that the fabric be in the dye bath for 30 minutes, I did more like 45 (people have since told me they leave garments in for days!) But I could tell that the fabric wasn't taking much - yet the embroidering was soaking it up!

After 45 minutes I took the dress out and rinsed it, washed it and hung it up to dry. The great thing is that even though the fabric didn't take very well, it did disguise the stains! Voila...

14 comments:

Mireya said...

That looks AWESOME!! I love it with the brown belt and shoes - well done!!

Dustjacket Attic said...

Oh that's just fab! Love your shots, you look great, especially with the shoes and belt, ties it in really well.
xxx

tiffany said...

Wow! That looks awesome. I'm totally inspired to dye something now!

thereddeer said...

The new colour looks great - good job!

chicknamedhermia said...

You're so brave!!!!!

But wow it looks way better in green!!!

Oh and a house swap would have been perfect ....except myself and The Boy still live with the parentals!!!lol! We're only out of college and poor, lol!
However, if we ever get a place, the swap is ON!!! :D

taylor said...

you're famous!! i read your post earlier in my google reader and then just saw it on what i wore! look at you! love the dress by the way :)

Meredith W. said...

That's adorable!!! I love the way it came out...I have to dye a dress tonight myself (accidentally bought a WHITE dress to wear to a wedding...oops!)

Jessie said...

GORGEOUS! Oh my gosh, I love it. I have just one thing from reruns and I have never worn it because it is more of a fall thing and I got it in the spring... I should go there more though.

Susan said...

So lovely! I've been hesitant to dye a few things, but seeing your dress may give the the extra push to go ahead and jump into that bucket of dye!

drollgirl said...

fucking HOME RUN!!! it looks fab, and you are wearing it well!!!!

Hanako66 said...

wow, you did such a good job...it turned out awesome!

made sweet said...

yeah!!! this is so dang cool! nice work.

Clorivak said...

sooo pretty! you added something to this dress big time, nice color choice. and NICE shoes!!!!

Lolla said...

you totally hit the lucky pot. the effect of the dye on the embroidery only, in my mind, is ten times nicer than if you have managed to turn everything blue. i love it. :)