anyway, as i mentioned in my april recap post, i took my first venture into clothing-crafts. no, i don't own a sewing machine, it's not like i even know how to turn one on, however i do own a stove.
awhile back, gracie had shared a little how-to/success story about dyeing some (cotton) pants. it inspired me to attempt to dye a dress of mine but i procrastinated. a year later, i finally worked up the courage and got on it.
first, i purchased some iDye poly (because my dress is 100% polyester) from here*. it's cheap. i wanted navy blue, but they don't sell that shade so i purchased blue and black and figured i could mix them.
i also purchased a large (but should have gone larger) pot from walmart because somewhere online i read that you shouldn't use a pot you also cook with. turns out this was good advice because the inside of the pot now has a blue tint to it.
i hemmed and hawed over doing a test run with a pair of white 100% polyester gym shorts but decided i didn't want to waste time. i was nervous about ruining my dress but i told myself i wasn't going to ever wear it as-is anyway**.
you see, the company that makes iDye poly heavily disclaims dyeing 100% polyester clothing - "not all polyesters will take dye", "do not even think about dyeing your clothes if it says 'dry clean only'", etc. other websites also supported these statements, especially stressing "dry clean only" tags. as you may have assumed, my dress did say "dry clean only". i got it dry cleaned right before dyeing it, since i never had it done after i wore it two years ago (i am really good at doing laundry).
ok. back to the process.
i set up my work area, covering as much of the stovetop, countertops, cabinets and floor as possible. newspapers would work (that's what grace used i think) but i didn't have one so i just used trash bags.
following the directions on the inside of the iDye packet, i put my dress in the pot and filled it with water. once the dress was thoroughly soaked, i added a little more water and removed the dress (laying it on plastic on the floor). i put the pot on the stove on high heat and added the blue dye packet and intensifier (comes with it). once that dissolved, i opened the black dye packet and threw some in willy nilly. i was hoping to achieve a navy blue color but there were no guidelines as to how to mix the iDye poly colors. i would guess i put in about 1/3 of the black dye and intensifier. i'd rather err on the side of too blue than end up with yet another lbd (little black dress).
once the dye was dissolved, it was time to make the plunge. i nervously lowered my dress into the pot. i forgot to buy a spoon/stirring device at the goodwill or even walmart so i had to use one of our wedding-gift calphalon ones.
had i bought a bigger pot, i may have been able to get away with not standing over it the whole time but the dress barely fit in the pot and i wanted to try to ensure an even coverage of color. josh was watching a riveting documentary*** on netflix in the living room while i was 'cooking' so i listened to that for entertainment.
finally, the timer buzzed and i emptied as much water as i could down the sink. once the dress had cooled enough for me to grab it, i pulled it out and laid it back on the same plastic on the floor. per the directions, you have to let the garment cool before washing it. after it had cooled off some more, i put it in the washing machine on a short, cold, "hand-wash" cycle with a little bit of 'all free & clear' detergent (the directions recommend a mild detergent, i assumed mine is mild). i then hung it up to dry overnight (with a trash bag underneath just in case there were any blue drips).
if you've been my friend for the past 2+ years, you may be thinking "where have i seen this dress before"? well let me tell you where...
i dyed my wedding dress! and while i loved it white (erm ivory), i know i will get so much more use out of it now that it's dyed. in fact i've already worn it once...
did anyone recognize it here? :)
unfortunately it didn't come out perfect - there is one spot on the bottom in the front that turned out darker for some reason - so i might attempt to dye it again to 'cover up' that spot. i could also get it altered into a knee length dress, but i love it as a 'maxi' dress. it was also super wrinkly after all the soaking and i don't own a steamer. i attempted to iron it on medium-low heat but after 30 minutes it was still just as wrinkly so i decided to just go with it because they looked fairly uniform. they also helped conceal the dark area too.
morals of the story - "dry clean only" is probably a lie. 100% polyester may not always dye successfully, but it's probably worth a shot.
oh, and the dry cleaner only charged me $32 for my dress. they called it a "formal" and i wasn't going to correct them (it would have been $150-200 for a wedding dress). i win.
*this is not a product review (i paid for everything). i'm just sharing my experience because i want to, and there weren't many good "stories" out on the google about dyeing 100% polyester (mostly just people trying to scare you from doing it).
**unless i were to get invited to p.diddy's white party.
***the kellogg brothers: corn flake kings. you're intrigued i know it.