Adventures with RIT Dye

June 11, 2012 § 3 Comments

Whims are dangerous things. They can lead you down disastrous, time-wasting trails or they can completely alter your life. And wardrobe.

On a whim one Wednesday, my friend Grete (who’s guest posted for us here) and I decided to dye some of our clothes. I in particular was inspired by the upcycling and thrift savvy New Dress a Day blog, where the author manages to turn out some fabulous outfits with just a bit of cutting, sewing, or dying. But since I need help just sewing on buttons, dying clothes seemed a much easier DIY project.

(The last time I visited my friend Anna, I told her it was because I missed her. Really I just needed her to sew these buttons on my jacket.*)

(*This is only semi-true. I did miss her. I did need a button sewn on. The two just happened to coincide on the same weekend.)

Grete’s project was a white lace dress she wore for college graduation but couldn’t wear to any other formal occasion without looking like she was showing up the bride.

Mine was a plain khaki dress that I picked up at a thrift store. It was cute, but the khaki color made me look washed out. So after some iphone finagling, we managed to find the nearest place that sold RIT dye and followed our hearts. And whims. Here’s our process.

1. Hem and haw over colors. This could take up to six hours. It’s good to do this right before dinner so that your decision-making time is curtailed by hunger.

2. Fill a bucket (or plastic trash can) with 3 gallons of water. Wear cleaning gloves. Add about 8 tablespoons total of liquid RIT dye (check out RIT’s color formula here). It’s better to err on the side of too much/too dark. When they dry, your clothes will significantly lighten up.

3. Wet your clothes and add them to the dyed water. Stir for 10 – 30 min using a broomstick handle. Crack jokes. Take photos. Pass the time of day.

4. Transfer your clothes from the bucket to the bathtub. Rinse and keep rinsing.When they dry, iron them to soften.

5. Before you toss out the dyed water, throw in random clothes you hadn’t thought about dying in the first place. It’s good to have your friend keep you in moderation. Friends don’t let friends dye everything they have.

6. Clean your trash can, tub, sink, and everything else. This wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. With a bit of soap and arm power, all the dye came out. But every activity is so much better when done to Pearl and the Beard’s “Douglas Douglas.”

5. Show yourself off.

(Remember? This was khaki and white before.) We are so stylin’.

What whims have you followed of late?

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