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!