couldn't sleep

soooo i had too much coffee at Bible study tonight and i couldn't sleep. around midnight i  decided it was about time for that dress to be green! i'm hoping to wear it to another wedding and we all know it can't stay ivory!
so i grabbed the dye, wrote down some instructions and headed to the basement. 

yep that's the crazy narrow staircase leading to the basement (i take odd pictures at midnight). just as a reminder here's the dress before

or perhaps here:

required for this project: 
 hot water
measuring spoons
large bucket
something to stir with (i used a stake left over from the vegetable garden)

take a deep breath and get started!
1. fill the bucket with hot water. dip the dress in to make sure there's enough water for it to float freely. remove dress and "uncrinkle"
2. add dye to water according to formula on rit dye website. mix well.
i was going for a bright green color. green 2 to be exact. formulas are based on the weight of the dress and are based on one ounce. i estimated the dress weighed around a pound so multiplied the following by 16 and ended with 5 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon of kelly green and 1 cup (the whole bottle) of golden yellow.

3. add dress to dye and begin to stir. don't stop stirring for 30 minutes (yes. 30 minutes). make sure to stir both around and up & down so the dress doesn't stop moving in the dye bath.

things to do to pass the time: listen to an audiobook, take one handed photos of what you're doing, play a game left handed on your phone, try not to drop the camera into the green dye. also: keep checking on the dress; get bored and impatient; decide the color isn't dark enough and add more green. 

4. after you're sure the dress isn't getting any darker remove it from the dye bath. dump the water and begin to rinse the dress. start with warm water and as more dye rinses out switch to cooler water. rinse until the water comes out clear. 
  (please ignore my freaky translucent arm)

5. wash the dress in warm water with mild detergent in the washing machine. 
here it is before the wash cycle: 

and after: 

6. dry dress on low heat in dryer or hang to dry. (i'm impatient...i put it in the dryer) then sit back and admire your work.

or in my case...realize that polyester really doesn't absorb dye like you want it to and the dress is not the shade of green you were hoping for. interesting though...the inside of the dress is EXACTLY the color i was attempting! can i just wear it inside out? the tag is also the perfect color!
look how pretty it is!

now i'm debating whether to buy another bottle or two of dye and try this again. leave it in longer - maybe an hour- with extra dye. problem is that means i have to stand there and stir for the whole hour. i could also try it in the washing machine, but since we just got ours fixed i'm afraid to mess it up again! 

the verdict: 
while i knew that the polyester in the dress would keep this from achieving the color i wanted i was hoping for a little more green. still it's not white anymore which means i can safely wear it to the wedding next week! 
i spent $6 on two bottles of dye which takes the grand total of this dress up to $19. definitely a winner!



  1. Well, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the process... and if you give it another round, I'd definitely love to see the end result. =) The final color isn't bad at all... but I've gotta agree with you -- I LOVE the color it was supposed to be/how the inside turned out! =)

  2. Hi - I just stumbled across your blog via Everything Etsy...I like the final product of the dress. I have to do a color fix this weekend since wearing a NEW shirt while cleaning {ugh BLEACH!}. Wish me luck. I'm now **following** Can't wait to read/see more!


thank you for your comments! i read each & every one! i would LOVE to reply to you so please leave your email address!