Friday, December 16, 2011


I've purchased items of clothing at thrift stores before for various reasons (other than to wear).  There's the white sweater I purchased to make the sweater pillow with flowers (yet to make, but it is absolutely getting done this winter), a silk shirt I picked up because it had a pretty pattern and I want to make myself an eye mask with it, and most recently a little dress for Nora.

I love girly ruffles so when I saw this dress from The Children's Place I got excited.  Super cute, with a little tulle flower and some tulle petticoat bit underneath.  But upon looking it over I found a small formula stain on the white material.  However, I had heard about the magical wonders of dyeing items of clothing and thought, for a few bucks I could give it a whirl.
It turned out beautiful!  I used a lot of dye because I wanted a deep purple, and got lucky because the tulle bits and even the buttons dyed a pretty pale lavender.  Unfortunately the thread did not dye too well clearly not cotton), but when the ruffles are right you can't see the thread, and the small bit on the sleeve is covered by a cardigan (because it's a sleeveless dress and it's winter). 
I also dyed a couple onesies the same purple, and have navy and kelly green dye for other items.  I'm now a dyeing convert!  It'll make it easier to keep on the lookout for second hand goods for Nora.  I'm a firm believer that babies are in clothes for short a period that you can find really barely used clothes easily, and it's a waste of money to buy everything new.  Now I can look and if something has a tiny stain but is in otherwise perfect condition I'll know that it probably can easily be dyed! 

Have you ever bought something to dye or otherwise alter?


  1. How do you dye it? In the washing machine? I've wanted to dye things before but was hesitant about messing up the washer, as a renter. Any tips?

  2. I dyed it in a glass bowl with RIT dye and then rinsed it until clear in my kitchen sink. I know people use washers but with ours being a front loader I didn't think it would work out well.

  3. A.Dor.A.Ble. Just the cutest little thing.

    The dress is cute too, and nice job with the dye.

  4. So cute. Cute, cute, cute. Adorable AND practical. I've never dyed anything but have flirted with the idea of it. Now I'm more motivated to find good things at thrift stores with perfect fit and icky colors. I think dying some items navy would be the big punch my transitional wardrobe needs right now.

  5. Well done and so savvy! That color is beautiful, as is the dress...and the baby!! Love it all. ~~Bliss

  6. LOVE that adorable dress on your darling baby girl! You are blessed - a hunky hero in uniform AND a wonderful daughter, as well.

    As a mom-of-many and grandmother to NINETEEN wee ones (age 11 and under) I'd like to share my sure-fire method of removing formula stains. Auntie Em (really) gave me this recipe and it ALWAYS works for me. I breastfed my babies and never had a clue that formula could destroy so completely. This method works no matter the color of the fabric or how old the stain might be.

    -1 cup of Biz non-chlorine bleach
    -1 cup of powdered dishwasher soap

    Directions: Disolve powders in the hottest water you have. I actually heat mine in the microwave. Toss in stained items. Don't mix darks or bright colors with lights, btw. Leave overnight - no scrubbing! Toss all into the washing machine and run through a complete cycle without adding detergent. 100% stain cure for me over the past 22 years.

    As a military wife till DH's retirement, I found that thrifting & garage 'sailing' afforded my children the best quality and attractive clothing...except for the occasional stains, of course. This recipe worked perfectly, never destroying a garment.

    BTW, I usually dye in my front loader and have had great results. For one small item, I would dye in a bowl, rinse in the sink, and then put it through an entire short wash cycle (sans detergent.) Twice a year, I dye all my black garments in the washing machine, adding a cup of dissolved salt to make the dye 'take' better. Good luck! -mary/tx

    -this comment is a novel...sorry!