Continued Adventures in Dyeing Fabric: Polka Dot Dress

fabric dyeI have a fever. A color fever. Now that I’ve started dyeing things, I more or less can’t stop. It’s just so cheap and easy to make a new garment out of an old one. When Hillary and I went to the greatest art store on earth last week, I picked up a new kind of dye in turquoise. I had a dress that I decided had seen better days. I actually just wore it a few weeks ago, but it is so not a good color for me. It is actually more of an absence of color than a color, technically speaking. Observe:

Adventures in DyeingIt’s a cute dress, and I love the polka dots, but that shade is just a no for me. It’s roughly the same ivory color as the buttons, in case you can’t tell.

Adventures in DyeingNow, I must tell you, this was my most successful dye job ever. The color was so even and so bright. It took marvelously. Is this due to the new dye? My more meticulous dyeing setup? Perhaps…but most likely, it is because I finally followed the directions. Dye packets inform you that you are supposed to add an entire cup of salt to the dye bath. An entire cup. Reader, surely you can agree that this sounds entirely too excessive. But this time, I did it. And it worked! You are supposed to use salt for natural fabrics and vinegar for synthetics, so it must be some sort of acid vs. base thing. I should ask my dad. He’s a chemist. Do you know, Daddy?

Adventures in DyeingI have to tell you the funniest story about the aftermath of this dye job. I do all of my dyeing out on the balcony, to protect our carpet, but I leave the bath out for a few days in case anything else should come along that needs to be dyed. Tonight Eric was helping me drag it into the shower to dump it out, and, thankfully, there were no casualties among our floors. But I did dump the whole thing out on my feet in the shower, and now I kind of look like a wannabe smurf. Small price to pay for a new dress, I say.

Adventures in DyeingA few hours later, Eric asked me if it made any sense to actually do the dyeing in the shower. And I told him I thought this was a brilliant idea. No more dragging dye baths over carpet. Eric is a genius, I tell you. And, I promise, I ironed this dress and then it wrinkled its little self right back up. Oh well. I have already acquired yet another dye packet (emerald green!), so my closet is undergoing a grueling audition process for a Gumby-esque transformation. I’ll get back to you after I’ve turned my feet as green as Marvin the Martian’s.

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