dress dyin’ {& revivin’}.

June 5th, 2013

Y’all! I decided to post this today because it seemed from my Instagram responses that you have some sundresses you need to dip because they’ve got funky stains. Totally got you. I grabbed this adorable {or, at least I think so} baby doll dress at a Betsey Johnson sample sale early summer 2008. How I remember that I have no idea. Ask me something important, like what the capitol of South Dakota is and I probably couldn’t answer {it is Pierre, but you get the point}. But my little white dress starting turning a funky shade of yellow that not even the dry cleaner could fix. I have no idea why. But it did. And I think maybe I spilled something on the skirt & collar {most likely mayonnaise or ketchup, or both}. Yet every spring I pull it out and look at it longingly. So I decided I was going to dye it.

Dress Before

Dress Before Close-Up

Since it is a baby doll dress I decided to go with baby pink {I also simply have a really strong affinity for pink, but that is neither here nor there}. I went to M&J, my second home, and got a box of the Petal Pink Rit. Rit comes in liquid & powder form, I would have preferred the liquid but they didn’t have any available so I grabbed the powder. You can get it at Michael’s, JoAnn’s, WalMart, etc. The instructions on how to dye are located on the inside of the box. When buying make sure you get enough dye for your garment. Mine was a small light garment so it needed only one box, but items over one pound will need additional dye {another reason the liquid is great, it is double the dye amount in comparison to the powder}.

These directions are included but here is a short outline, and a few tips, that will help get you to the right place {the first part is about the powder dye}. You will first dissolve the dye in heated water. Note that depending on the fabric you may need to add a cup of salt or a cup of vinegar to the dyebath. Mine was 100% silk so I had to add vinegar. After it was heated and fully mixed {eek, I made a boo boo right here} pour into your larger bucket/sink/pot with 3 gallons of warm water where your garment will be dyed. Stir constantly for 10-30 minutes. I actually put on gloves and moved my dress around with my hands to make sure every bit was being dyed in the small pot.


Once removed from your bucket of choice rinse with warm water, as the water begins to run clear gradually adjust to cooler water. It is then to be washed in warm water with detergent. I just threw it right into the wash. Big note: as soon as you pull your garment from the dye rinse your bucket/sink/pot, clorox is the best route. I then just let my dress air dry.

Here are my suggestions: make sure the powder dye is completely dissolved. I would say to stir a little longer than you instinctively think. Here’s a close-up of why:


{There are only a few right around the bottom and they are hard to see, so I’m not too worried about them. But will avoid it next time, for sure.}

If you have stains on your dress that are dark, pick a darker color to dye. One of my stains is only faded. The others are gone! I would also suggest that you work in as large of a space as you can. The pot was fine, but I would rather have had the dress moving freely. The lining of my dress didn’t dye because of the odd blend {basically cheap lining} but I don’t mind how it turned out. Better than it was before … and that is a fact!

One of my buttons had come off the front of the dress so I picked up a couple of new ones at, where else, M&J, and popped them on.


Here she is!

Final Dress 1

Happy hump day you guys! I am off to try and work on this chair im reupholstering. And I’m nervous. Reaallly nervous.


XX Leigh-Taylor