Tuesday, September 3, 2013

How Refashions Multiply

In the draft phase, this post was called something like "Dr Clio: RTW Surgeon" and was going to be all about how I took this cotton lace dress that doesn't suit me...

Not my color and 6" too short

But I liked the lace motif
... and refashioned it into this tunic.


Hemmed to tunic length


And dyed a fierce red-orange.
And I was going to pose some kind of sewing question about whether you refashion RTW and say how this was the first time I've actually purchased a garment with the intention of refashioning it.

But then a minor disaster struck: when Phin did post-vacation laundry, there were unexpected results which left Phin with three pairs of rather pink shorts. 


They don't look too pink here, but trust me, they did not pass muster!

Phin does the laundry. So it was with some surprise that I learned that there is regularly a red and orange load. I haven't sorted out what beige shorts were doing in that load. There was some sort of story about an orange and beige shirt. 

Whatever the reality of our laundry, the fact remains that, apparently, I did not rinse all the dye out of the newly dyed tunic. Oopsie.

Rather than let 3 pairs of shorts - 2 new and one old favorite - be ruined, I took a go-with-the-flow approach and bought more dye. Phin has always been open to fun colored shirts and tees, athletic wear, jackets and accessories. However, unless it's jeans, his pants and shorts are normally in the beige/tan/stone/khaki color range; he wasn't 100% on board with this plan at first. 

However, since the shorts were ruined, we gave it a shot. Here are the results:
  
Grasshopper Green

Phin likes green and has been wearing these a lot, even though they were the least favorite shorts pre-dye bath. 

Slate Blue (old favorites)


These were the old favories. We were hoping that they would come out a little brighter and darker, but Phin seems to be liking them nonetheless.



Righteous Red

I had teased Phin when he bought these since they have a "comfort waist". Then of course I realized that I just finished two pairs of pants with elastic waists myself.  But he was sold on the shorter length of these shorts. Now, they are the clear favorite of the rehabbed shorts, and we both like how the poly thread didn't take the dye, creating contrast stitching on the pockets. 

So, the moral of the story is dyeing is fun, but unpredictable, and I should invest in better dyes (like these) in the future. 

Do you have any dyeing tips or stories of mishap?  Or do you refashion RTW? Share please!

Oh and by the way, I have a finished pencil skirt and most of a top to show if the weather would only  cooperate so we could take some pictures. 

*Edited to add:  For new dyers, I used the washing machine and followed the instruction on the bottle. After I had rinsed the freshly dyed garments, I ran one more cycle with the machine empty and with bleach in it. I had no staining whatsoever.

39 comments:

Clio said...

Even if you accidentally dyed Phin's shorts, I absolutely adore your refashion. Great color and length on you and the top is gorgeous!

Clio said...

Totally love the refashion and dying of your lace dress. Also, like the idea that your oopsie... became colorful refashions. I've learned that after dying a garment and even washing it. After the first wear, wash it by itself because there will be some bleeding. Thereafter all is good.

Clio said...

Hell yeah! Love the lace refashion! I very rarely refashion (or even tailor my rtw garments, for that matter...) And, at least Phin got some really awesome bright shorts out of it!

Clio said...

oh you were right about how perfect that color is! and i think i saw those shorts...

Clio said...

I love your solution! And your refashion! Yes, I sometimes buy stuff just to up cycle it. I figure the fabric is cut, the major seams are usually sewn, and all I have to do is make a few changes. Usually less expensive than buying fabric and a pattern if I find RTW with good " bones".

If you ever have a laundry dye mishap again, there is dye remover. http://www.ritdye.com/store/laundry-first-aid/color-remover-group

Clio said...

Ut

Clio said...

Love the new shorts, and your refashion. Yes, I sometimes buy something with the aim of upcycling. I figure the fabric has been cut and the major seams sewn, so sometimes it's easier and cheaper than buying fabric and a pattern. I do it if I love the fabric or the piece has good basic structure.

If you ever have another dye accident, there's also a product that removes dye. http://www.ritdye.com/store/laundry-first-aid/color-remover-group

Clio said...

Good save! I'm too chicken/busy/lazy or just too disappointed with the old Rit dyes of yore to do my own dyeing these days. But everyone else's results are looking so good....

Clio said...

Usually my dying is just for clothes that are past their prime, shall we say, but I did once buy some white cotton tunics with rayon embroidery to see what would happen with dye. They looked pretty nice because the cotton and rayon both took the color but with different depth or intensity. I still use good old RIT and a wait-and-see attitude. Nothing ever comes out quite the color I expected, but it doesn't matter. I do wash the garment in hot water until the dye stops coming out, sometimes 4 times!

Clio said...

You did! What's funny to me is how dreadful I look in white (and other light colors and neutrals). It's an awful choice for me. But give me a violent red or orange and somehow it works.

Clio said...

Thanks! It was so inexpensive that it was worth the "here goes nothing" approach.

Clio said...

Neither do I usually. But this was really an adventure!

Clio said...

Yeah... learned the hard way...

Clio said...

There has been a lot of it going around lately, hasn't there? This was my first attempt and it helped that I wasn't too invested in the outcome. Whatever happened was fine with me.

Clio said...

Indeed

Clio said...

Yep, I've learned that lesson the hard way! But at least Phin has a more interesting wardrobe because of it. I also like how the all cotton lace and the cotton/rayon underlay took the dye differently. It creates a nice effect I think.

Clio said...

You make it look so easy! I bought some citron linen on clearance, thinking that I could dye it a better colour (too good a deal to pass up) ... but I'm too nervous about staining the tub or the washing machine to try it.
What was your method?
Thanks for sharing :)

Clio said...

Oh! I should have mentioned that: I used the washing machine. After I had rinsed the freshly dyed garments, I ran one more cycle with the machine empty and with bleach in it. I had no staining whatsoever.

Clio said...

Awesome! I like how this became an epic quest in dyeing. I almost never buy anything I have to fix, I'm too picky. Also, most home-dyed garments will continue to bleed, such is their nature, unfortunately. I was suprised, too, to find out that my guy actually sorts by color. To be fair, he wears almost exclusively red, black, khaki and white whereas all my clothes are in a blue-grey-green range. But I rarely sort for other people too, since most clothes are colorfast in their dye, I'd never really had a problem! Then last weekend I turned my pajama shorts and socks pink! Whoops.

Clio said...

I'm so impressed with how much better the red tunic looks than the cream dress...cream has never looked good on my,but my attempts at dying have not been that successful. The coloured shorts look great. I bet Phin will leave beige shorts behind forever now.

Clio said...

Yeah, cream is just bleck on me - it's pretty surprizing. (We can hope that beige is in the past.)

Clio said...

This message is to everyone who wants to try dyeing their clothes. DO NOT USE RIT. RIT IS S_IT. Sorry I will stop yelling now. If you have cellulose fibers (cotton, linen, rayon, ramie)to dye, use fiber reactive dyes either Dharma Trading or Jacquard Procion MX dyes. Follow the instructions. Use the washer, procion or fiber reactive dyes won't colour the inside of your water the way crap (Rit) dyes will. If you are dyeing black or red wash separately for a while as red and black are the most chemically unstable dyes and may run for a few washes. Other colours don't run after the two washes.


Clio, love the refashion, what an improvement! I wouldn't have recognized it.

Clio said...

OK, why didn't you name this post "Dr Clio: RTW Surgeon"? Go back and rename it. I LOVE that title.

Clio said...

Yes, indeed, ut...;-/
The Internet ate my real posts and spit out "Ut".
Tried to post a link to Rit color remover, in case you have any more laundry tragedies. I love your solution, though!
http://www.ritdye.com/store/laundry-first-aid/color-remover-group

Clio said...

I have an urge to start dyeing things, these are all great results. Better wash the shorts separately or you'll have a domino dyeing project going on forever!

Clio said...

Thanks! Well, Phin knows better now. So, the domino is in his court!

Clio said...

LOL - well I was feeling much less smug about my refashioning skills after ruining three pairs of shorts. Too much collateral. ;-)

Clio said...

I love how that rhymes! RIT IS S_IT!!! I agree. Next time I feel like dyeing, I'll be buying procion dyes. From a few other sewists I understand that they are the only professional quality dyes available in home-use amounts.

Clio said...

It did become epic! LOL - everyone has pinked a wash at least once. Yeah, I generally hate fixing RTW - so this was a real departure for me.

Clio said...

Thanks! Yeah, I wasn't sure what effect that might have on the color of the shorts. And it was a good excuse to break Phin out of a fashion rut. ;-)

Clio said...

Sometimes a well timed Ut says it all! ;-)

Clio said...

I have previously dyed some white shirts green (not good - it was the 'good' shirt, and my only white blouse!), but I think it was a relatively newish item rather than newly dyed. Bleach was needed. I am thinking of dying something else though, so this is very timely! And I have only recently started dablling in RTW modifications - my only trial so far worked well; it was a silk dress. You can see it on my blog :) The red top looks great - much better than the white version!

Clio said...

This is cool! Love how you refashioned the dress and then I love how you saved the shorts and turned them into super fun colours that look great. Have not attempted any dyeing yet, but considering it with my wedding dress.....

Clio said...

That dye job is incredible! Exactly your colour, and really brings out the lace pattern. So gorgeous :)

Clio said...

Your wedding dress? Yikes! Although, that's a great idea since, well, when are you going to ever wear it again? Good luck!

Clio said...

Fantastic save, Clio! And waaaay more fun than boring neutral colours. I haven't dyed anything yet.... yet.... ;)

Clio said...

ooops. although I would say the refashion was worth it!

Clio said...

Whew! Great save! The colors are way more fun than beige!

Clio said...

I like the dyed top much much better. How is that possible that red shorst have still white thread?