Saturday, July 28, 2012

DIY: Dip dyed party dress

I tweeted at the time, if this works out I am taking all the credit and if it was a bomb, I was going to blame Pinterest.

I am pleased to say it turned out beautifully.

Finished dress
So here is the process.

Find a dress. I found this fun strapless number on the clearance rack at Old Navy. It was off white with white stitching. I loved the style of the dress and the stitching work. I also loved the price. It was marked down to $11. Not a huge loss if I ruined it in the dying process. I had tried to find something a a few local thrift stores, but I had very limited success.

Plain off-white cotton dress

Close up of the beautiful stitching.

I prefer to work with Rit dyes and in liquid form. The powdered ones are ok, but I get the best results with the liquid ones. I settled on Petal Pink.

I used alittle over half a bottle of dye and 1 c. of kosher salt.
Then I did some prep work. I measured the dress and decided how I wanted to layer the color. Then I used our drying rack and pants hanger and played with placement of the dye bath and the dress. This took a bit of time, but it was worth it in the end.

And yes, I am fancy. I use a trash can for my dye bath.

See the ring from the last time I dyed jeans?

So I created the bath, positioned the dress roughly 2/3 of the way into the dye bath and let it sit for 3 hours. Then repositioned the dress, so only a 1/3 remained in the dye bath and let is go for another three hours.

I removed the dress, let it dry for a few hours and then washed the dress in cool water. The remainder of they dye delicately tinted the top 1/3 of the dress, just as I had hoped it would.

I am left with a pretty three-toned pink frock, which I have worn a few times already and everyone seems to really like it. I have paired it with a pink necklace. Mom is probably rolling her eyes-- pink is not generally my go to color, but in this case I think it makes the dress just perfect. (Mom was a huge fan of pink.)

On a side note, I wasn't sure what would happen to the stitching. On the off-white dress, the stitching is almost lost, as it is white-on-white. After my efforts-- the beautiful stitch work really pops. I think that may be my favorite part of the dress now.

This is a totally easy fix for a tired old dress or a ho-hum frock on the clearance rack!

Total cost-- maybe $15 and about 6-7 hours of time. (well an hour of active time and about 6 hours of the dress hanging out in the dye.) When I wore this dress to dinner for my birthday-- I felt like a million bucks.

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