RIT dye

Day 6- Wannabe Chambray Shirt

Hey guys, you ready for something besides a dress?  Yep, I know, it’s gonna be craaazy!  I found this floral button up for $1 on clearance from a local consignment store.


What can I say, it was a crazy pants kinda day.  First things first, I took my handy dandy seam ripper and removed the breast pocket.


Boom, pocketless shirt.


Next, I brought out some old friends, RIT dye Navy and Evening Blue.  I filled the washing machine with the hottest setting of water and about 1/6 of each bottle (all that I had left in each bottle).    IMG_1041

It looks a little bit scary, but I promise I’ve used RIT many times, I’ve never had problems with dye running or staining the machine.  If you’re going to use RIT, use the hottest setting for the best dye absorption and cold water to seal the color in during the rinse.


After letting the shirt dry I brought the sides and sleeves in ~1 inch on each side.  And voila!


Bonus: I think this turned out with a similar feel as a chambray shirt and I’ve been wanting one for awhile.   So, what will tomorrow bring?  It’s been a great week of refashions (if you’re just joining I’m on day 6 of a 7 day refashion challenge), don’t forget if you’ve been participating leave a comment and I’ll link you into my final post tomorrow!



Flowers on Flowers on Flowers.

Hello friends!

I’m just going to start by letting the $0.50 subject of today’s refashion speak for itself…


But there’s more… an extra pair of shorts in case you just have to wear this two days in a row.IMG_0134

Then Mary got in on the action. Don’t we look cute?


I know you’re all dying to know who made this glorious outfit so you can buy one (or three) for yourself, but this is a homemade one-of-a-kind set.  From time to time I’ll see homemade items at the thrift store and while I don’t understand this one (they saw this fabric and thought I want an ENTIRE outfit of this) I have respect for people who take the time to lovingly make their own garments.  I wanted to add to the love they put forth in creating this.

First things first, this outfit took a soak in a dye bath of RIT Navy and Evening Blue.


The color was semi-muted after one bath, but I wanted to darken it up a little more so I soaked it a second time.  Each time it soaked for approximately 30 minutes in 1/4 bottle navy and a splash of evening blue.


I turned the shirt inside out and cut across the shoulder seams to change the high scoop neck into a ballerina V.

Here’s a view of the shoulder before.


And after the cut.


I cut a V into the back of the shirt and pinned the new neckline down.


I brought the sides in two inches straight down and the sleeves were also fitted bringing them in about an inch on each. IMG_0149

I paired my new top with a navy pleated skirt that has been collecting dust in my closet.  What do you think?


I’d say that this top is going to get a lot of use as the weather cools down. Any ideas as to what I should do with the shorts?  I’m thinking about sewing them together and creating a really flowing skirt.  I’m thinking poodle skirt shape/length.  Who knows, that’s not for tonight and this week is going to be crazy!  I need to buckle down and get a few things done in the lab/thesis department and my handsome fella’s birthday is Tuesday so it’s officially time to celebrate birthday week!


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!