A Barbie Dress.

Hello friends!  Today features the one, the only, the wonderful Mary! (I told her to “make a Shawn face” and this is what happened… I’d say she knows me pretty well.)


This is my amazing roommate who not only helps me spitball ideas when I’m stuck on a project, but she is the poor soul who gets to take my before and after pictures.  To give a little love back to the lovely I found this lackluster pink dress for $0.50 and decided I’d give my friend a little pink dress.  Mary is a pink girl at heart, but with that Disney princess hair and her Snow White fair skin, the pale pink wasn’t doing much for her and this girl is a babe so that needed to change.

I threw this dress in a dye bath (my first successful one! woohoo!) of RIT fuscia and violet. I used approximately 1/3 of the violet bottle and 1/2 of the fuchsia.


If you’re thinking about dyeing at home here are a few tips from my meager experience:

1. Dye in the washing machine! There are instructions on dyeing in the bathtub, sink, basin, etc.  I tried this with a previous project and ended up with a spotted and uneven dye job.  The benefit of using the washing machine is it is constantly agitating the dye and fabric so there is a much smaller chance of getting dye concentrated on any one area of fabric.  When I tried the tub method I wasn’t stirring it often enough (this really needs to be done constantly) and my water wasn’t hot enough.  I promise it didn’t dye my washing machine and subsequent loads of laundry have not turned pink.  Set the water to the hottest setting so it “washes” in hot water with the dye and then the cold rinse cycle will flush out the extra dye from your clothes and machine.


2. Throw in extra items. This isn’t necessary for the process, but when I was dyeing Mary’s dress I realized I had a few dingy white items in my closet I wasn’t wearing anymore because of the “old white” color. I threw them in and it feels like I have completely new pieces!

3. Make alterations before you dye.   In retrospect, I would have altered the dress and then dyed it so the seams/thread would all dye the same color.  It just makes for a more seamless project.

4. Know your fabric!  This is actually my third dye attempt.  The first failed because I didn’t pay close enough attention to the fabric and after letting it soak for 40 minutes with little change in color I reread the directions and RIT dye does not work with polyester. The item I was attempting to dye was 100% polyester.  I’ve learned my lesson and check religiously.  Dyes work best with cotton, cotton blends, linens, etc.

Now that I’ve convinced you to all go and dye your entire wardrobe, back to the refashion!

The dress was snug through the rib cage so I took my seam ripper to the sides and ironed out the seam allowance to give Mary a little extra breathing room.


I lined up the raw edges and closed up the sides of the dress.


And to show off those lovely gams, but leave it Sunday Mass appropriate I brought the hem to just above the knee.


And here she is ladies and gents, I told you she has Disney princess hair!


Isn’t that a great color on her? I love it!  Plus this girl knows how to accessorize, so off to church she went in her fabulous new Barbie pink dress!


Have any of you tried dyeing fabrics before? Did you encounter the same amateur issues as me?  Learn from my refashion mistakes and have an amazing week!




  1. oh my goodness. i learned so much from this one. first, you are probably happy to get to “fit” to a real live human other than yourself and not have to try stuff on a million times. second, you would be a great roommate, as you are good at creativeness and making something great out of something meh. third, your Mary does look fabulous in barbie pink and she does have amazing Disney princess hair (this one I already knew:) . fourth, if the Indiana Jones thing doesn’t pan out you can always use your hunting abilities looking for refashions instead. I’m sure you could make a living at it. Oh, this might be a great supplemental income for a young lady such as yourself should it become necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That shocking pink looks gorgeous on Mary! As for the “pinky-beige” – who looks good in that? I’m a little bit afraid of dye although I have tried it in the (distant) past with varying degrees of success.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very fabulous. My limited experience with RIT is that the black doesn’t come out true black, even on cotton. More of a dark gray. I know this because I desperately wanted to be a black dragon one year for Halloween, so my sewing machine hating mother sewed a tail out of old cotton sheets, and then dyed it black in the washing machine (definite proof of love there). So I had a gray tail instead of black.

    If you are ever dying wool, silk, or nylon, Kool-Aid does wonders. There are all kinds of tutorials on web for using it as dye.


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