September 24, 2012


Posted by Ethne~
I’ve been a follower of the blog New Dress a Day for over a year now.  This amazing gal, Marisa, takes $1 thrift store uglies and turns them into amazing clothes.  She does this  So there’s something new and cool to look at.  You can see a few of my attempts here and here and here.  They’re not really as cool as Marisa’s, in my opinion, except the green zebra which I love, but it was super fun to do them.  Even my dresses were total improvements from the originals.
Original green zebra
My green zebra re-style
And another totally-worth-it part of copying Marisa’s attempts at re-styles is that Lori has done a few, but one of her tries was done way to late at night and she eventually had a spazz-out and took her fabric scissors to the dress and cut it to shreds.  I love it.
Anyway, Marisa does a lot of work with Rit dye, which I’d never tried before besides tie-dying at Bible Camp as a kid and then with our Wellstock t-shirts in college.  If you look closely at my t-shirt quilt here, you can see my tie-dyed Wellstock shirts in there.
Tie-dye, second row, top left
So I recently purchased a white Merona brand dress on clearance at Target.  It was pretty cute, and 100% cotton.  I also had a coupon from Target’s website for 30% off a Merona clothing item.  Then with my 5% Target RedCard savings, I think the dress ended up costing me $7.  WOM SAVINGS at their finest, my Friends.
It's a light, gauzy fabric with pretty lace detail at the neckline and shoulders
I put this dress on for my birthday, Labor Day this year, which was a really nice, warm, big city, Minnesota day.  But it just wasn’t working for me.  I was so washed out that no amount of bronzer helped.  My complexion is just too pale for pure-white-only ensembles.  COLOR REQUIRED.  I ended up with a super cute white maxi skirt and a pink (fave color anyway) tank top.  I looked adorable.  Theodore agreed, as you can clearly tell in the below photo.
Baby T-Rex loves his momma
If my white cotton dress was to be worn in the future, I knew it needed help.  I had seen this pin on Pinterest as inspiration, and as it turned out, I had navy blue Rit dye in my stash.  Odd, I know, but I had long ago planned to dye a white rug of mine navy since it needed freshening up.  I never ended up doing that, much to my delight now. A box of Rit dye costs about $3 in case you’re wondering.
Sometimes my camera thinks I'd like sideways photos
The dye box has multiple instructions depending on what method you plan to use.  It’ll work great on cotton.  The liner of the dress was partially polyester, which the box said wasn’t great, and if you remember from here, I had mixed results from trying to dye this dress purple.  I took a chance since it was the lining here. 
Will 35% cotton be the saving grace?
Also, since we have a fancy load-size-sensing washer, I was skeptical that I’d get the ideal results, so I opted for the stove-top boiling option.  That seemed scary, but I know Marisa had done it before, so I jumped in head-first.  Not really, that’s dangerous.  Feet first is safer, Friends.
Follow the box directions, but in essence, you need fill a large pot (I used my giant stew pot) with enough water as you think will fit your clothing item and let it ‘swim around’ a little bit, but not too much as to dilute the dye.  Once you have the dye water ready as instructed, add the clothing item.
Dye mixed with water and ready to add to giant pot of water
I bubbled it for a little over 30 minutes, then rinsed it in the sink until it was starting to rinse semi-clear water, and then I put it in my washer on the rinse cycle.  I took it out and examined it (for color evenness), then put it through the wash cycle with some navy towels.  I figured that wouldn’t hurt.  I let the dress air dry.
At my next opportunity, I wore my new navy dress to work with a tan heather cardigan (I was nervous it would bleed navy onto the tan, but it didn’t!), and my thin brown belt to flatter my figure, paired with my brown wedge sandals. 
Self-portrait in my bathroom - keepin' it real, Friends
I really liked it.  I consider this a Pinterest Look for Less.  Not sure how much the Pinterest version cost, but I bet it wasn’t $10!!
I’ve been pinning a lot of fashion looks on Pinterest lately, Friends, so if you want to see what I find, you should totally follow that Wom-Mom board.  You can link up to our Pinterest site by clicking on the tab up top.  I plan to do more Pinterest looks this fall and winter, so check back!

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