I'm DY(E)ING to tell you about my new shirt...

So a million five years ago, I picked up this light grey shirt at Target.  I LOVED it.  I bought it out of necessity because on one of my early days of grad school when I was still commuting from Benton to Conway, I spent the night at Katie's on a whim and didn't have any clean clothes to wear to school and work the next day.  So I went shopping before class and found this beauty:

It felt a bit hippie and a bit classic, and while the color was kind of a wash, I liked it because I didn't own too much grey.  And it was so comfy and carefree.

(This photo was taken after Zach and I created our first cake together:  Zach envisioned it, and I carried out the vision.  We've been doing that since 2008, folks.  :)

Fast forward a few years to when my beloved shirt somehow got some bleach stains on it.  :(
I tried bleaching all of the color out:

But all that did was make it a mottled peach-pink-grey color.  :*(
I kept trying to bleach it to one shade, but it never worked.  I had almost given up hope...

...until this TWENTY-FIVE CENTS clearance miracle came into my life!
For a long time--basically since I discovered New Dress a Day--I have wanted to try my hand at dyeing.  (Or is it dying?  I just never know; I only teach English.)  But I was so nervous to do it, and even though dye is cheap, I still didn't want to spend money and then have to spend more because I destroyed something else.  Until Zach and I swooped down the clearance aisle last week.  I thought this baby was a buck, so I was pleased as could be when it rang up for 25 cents.  I wanted to go back and buy a few more boxes!

Here is what I did:  I washed my shirt.  Then I dissolved the entire box of dye in water I heated on the stove.  (I used an old Cool Whip container so I could throw it away.)  I set the washer on the regular wash cycle at the hottest temp and let it fill up.  I added about 3/4 cup salt and a Tbsp. detergent while it was running.  When it came time for the agitation to start, I turned it off and poured in the dye.  Next, I rinsed my shirt in hot water in the skin, squeezed the water out, and uncrumpled it.  After adding it to the dye, I let it sit for 30 minutes, stirring it with a plastic knife every 10 or so minutes.  At the end of the 30 minutes, I turned the washer back on and let it run.  I rinsed my shirt in the sink after the washer cut off, and I dried it in the dryer.  During that time, I added detergent and bleach to clean the now speckled washer.  It came right off for the most part!

I've learned a bit about dyeing/dying now.  For example, you use salt if the material is a natural fiber, and you use vinegar if it's not.  And not all fabrics are created equal.  I also need to invest in some color remover, rather than using bleach because it weakens materials.

And now I have this lovely bluish-grey/purple blouse!  Since the temps have started to fall a bit, I decided to put on a scarf for the first time in months, and this one matched perfectly!  You can still notice where the bleach stains were, but the dye definitely improved the mottled look.  I love the shade--it's so unexpected!

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Share Your Thoughts

  1. LOVE it! I've always wanted to dye something, but never have. I'm thinking I should look for something when I drag my fall clothes up from the basement in the next couple of weeks.

    1. Yes, you should. As soon as I finished, I immediately went into my closet to look for something else I could dye. I think it's addictive. ;)


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