I bought this dress at Goodwill for $6, loved it, and wanted to wear it to graduation, but it just looked too bridal once I put it on with my jewelry (pearls I've worn for previous graduations).
I've never dyed anything before, but have heard from friends and fellow bloggers that it's easy, so I purchased some "Brilliant Blue" iDye from a local Madison craft store. Note: Before you purchase iDye, check and see if your fabric is synthetic or natural. My dress is 100% cotton, so I purchased iDye for natural fabrics. If you're unsure, check out their website for pointers.
The directions on the package are pretty straightforward, though I recommend using a BIG pot. I used the biggest one I had (not very big at all) and ended up spilling every time I stirred. Luckily, the blue water wiped right off of everything easily- no stains at all in the kitchen. Phew.
Visit the iDye website (or RIT,which many recommend) and decide which set of directions you want to follow. I used the stovetop directions, but here's the overall gist of it:
- Prewash your fabric. It should be wet when you begin the process.
- Fill up pot with warm water (garment should be able to be submerged yet easily stirred) and turn on medium to high heat
- Add the iDye packet to the water and stir.
- Add your wet garment and bring to a simmer.
- Add one cup of salt (mix with hot water first) and stir. Be careful doing this. If you dump it all in one clump, your fabric may turn out discolored in that spot. This is where having a big pot comes in especially handy.
- Continue simmering and stirring for a half hour.
- Rinse dye out (I did this in the tub and had no problems with staining, but it probably wouldn't hurt to do it in a bucket if you're worried about messes).
- Wash with hot water and a mild detergent and dry. I did this by hand, since I didn't want to risk messing up anyone else's laundry later in our apartment dryers. And, as you can see, I hung it to dry in the shower for fear of drippy blue messes.
Here's the dress in action on graduation day (fellow model is my cousin Kate). This was a super hot day, and I was worried about my sweat turning blue, but the dress didn't stain me at all.
Annnd one more of the dress in white (for good measure). As you can see, the floral pattern didn't pick up the dye, leading me to believe that it must be at least partly synthetic.