Tuesday, February 7, 2012

DIY Dilemma: Dyeing A Dress

In December, I won a dress from Beth's blog, Parsimonia. I was ecstatic! I received the dress and was so excited to try it on! The only problem was that as a pale redhead, the color of the top looked baaaad on me. There are definitely certain colors I can't wear and this particular gold/brown color looked pretty rough against my skin. I felt so guilty that I had won this beautiful dress but couldn't make it work for me!

I decided to take a risk and dye it. I had seen other bloggers dye formal dresses with great success, so I took a chance because I love the style of the dress!

I used a bottle of black RIT dye and added a cup of salt based on the instructions on the bottle.

I let it soak for 45 minutes and when I glanced in, I could tell something was not right... I pulled it out and... womp womp:

It's definitely not black... The top barely changed and the bottom turned pink/lavender. I actually tried again with TWO bottles of dye and let it soak for even longer, and it came out just slightly darker that time.

Some friends have mentioned that synthetics don't dye, but if I remember correctly, the fabrics were all listed on the RIT bottle. The top is a polyester spandex mix while the bottom is polyester, spandex, and rayon.

Anyone have any hints or tips for changing the color more? I love, love, love the style of the dress but the brown/gold still isn't working for me... unless I get a spray tan. :)

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  1. I'm sorry, but I have to say that the color of the top of the dress is a horrible color! (before)
    The after is getting better, but it's weird that even the bottom didn't turn out a darker shade with "black" dye.
    no help here my dear! good luck!

  2. I have no tips as the only time that I have dyed anything, I had a hot mess. What if you just left the dress that color - I think the color combo is nice. Do you? - and have some kind of embellishment put up towards your face around the collar area in a similar color to the skirt? That way the color that is right up against your face isn't that rust color and you have a bit of a buffer from it. Or you could have someone remake the top for you and attach it to the skirt part and make a whole new dress!

  3. Oh, no! I don't know much about dying fabrics, sorry. I think maybe just making the bottom a skirt and putting a different top with it would be a good idea.

  4. Bummer! I have yet to dye anything either! What about fabric paint on the top?

  5. Unfortunately, synthetics get a little freaky. You COULD soak it in water and vinegar for a few hours (it opens up the fibers) and then dye it again. It *might* work. <3

  6. Cute dress. You've probably found an answer by now, but if not, have you seen this very informative site http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/aboutdyes.shtml?
    It mentions that poly/spandex blends cannot be dyed after they are combined because the dyeing process would include boiling which would destroy the spandex.


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