Monday, August 29, 2011

Give a soiled garment new life.

Have you ever ruined your favorite dress? Let me encourage you to get tough and reclaim your clothes from a disastrous stains. 

I made this little dress to wear to “business casual” events. I have bit of a problem with the term “business casual.” Regarding my business, casual would be somewhere in the realm of pajamas to workout clothes because my work days consist of studio/art-design time, volunteer projects, and gym workouts. This does not mean I do not understand the term, I just think it is an inadequate description for the direction the “working” world’s professional attire has taken. Besides, well, it is general. Stepping down from my soapbox...I wanted something that would work for trendy, casual, and dressy gatherings depending on my accessories. 

As you can see on the back left hip, in the picture above, I managed to destroy my casual dress with a leaky ink pen in my luggage. I was just sick when I pulled it from my bag to see a giant streaky mess all over a dress I had not only made, but only worn once. My first line of defense was luke warm water and pump spray stain remover. If anything it made the stain worse. I was determined not to loose this dress so I thought out of the box...the Rit box, that is. 

You will need: 
  • Soiled garment 
  • Rit color remover 
  • Large pot 
  • Hot water 
  • Fabric dye (optional) 

I left myself a couple options. I bought a Rit color remover and a couple colored dyes. I began with the color remover. 

Follow the package directions. I will say this stuff has an obtrusive aroma! I placed the powder packet in hot water on the range beneath the exhaust fan while I stirred, waited for my color to change and watched the ink blot to disappear. 

I had no idea what color would emerge after using the color remover. But I will say I was pleased with the new heathered, light-camel colored dress pictured below. 

If the stain had still been visible or the dress had changed to a completely undesirable color I was armed with a couple selections of dark blues. The dyes can be messy, but all in all pretty easy to use. A few dollars in dye is a much better investment than buying a new dress and really with the change in color you have a new dress anyway. 

A few points to think about when choosing a dye:

  • Will removing the color be enough to correct your fabric? 
  • Will the dye be dark enough to cover your problem area? 
  • Will your fabric take the dye? Check a small swatch first if you are unsure. 
  • Is your fabric heathered or has shade will this look in a different color? 
  • Does the dye color look good with your skin and hair? 
  • Can you stop the dying process at the point of the color you want?

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