Thursday, July 7, 2011

Adventures in Dyeing

When I recently discovered that my Ashton Drake Croquet, Anyone? white linen ensemble had begun to show signs of tea staining, I decided to try my hand at dyeing. 

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USO Gene wears Croquet, Anyone?  a circa 1941 ensemble designed by Lynne Day for Ashton Drake's 2000 Gene Marshall Collection.  My little blue OOAK suede hat was an experiment.  I wanted to bring out the powder blue top-stitching detail.

Now the last time I dyed anything was back in the 1970's for a school project.  So I consulted the RIT website for hints and color options.  They even have a blog!  Who knew there was a community of faithful RIT users.  It's amazing all the stuff that can be dyed.

I removed all of the buttons and snaps from the jacket and dress. Boy were there a lot of them!  I also removed the attached belt and tie on the dress.  I gathered my supplies:  dye, rubber gloves, bleach (to clean up afterwards), stainless steel pot, wooden spoon, and lots and lots of paper towels.  I even lined my sink with foil leaving an opening around the drain.  I sure hope I can dye better than I can cook!!!

And now for the reveal......

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I have to say I'm totally pleased with the results.  I love how the top-stitching now pops.  I replaced the original buttons with tiny grey ones eliminating the ones on the lapel.  And of course I had to make a new hat and purse just for this "new" ensemble.  The gloves are from Ashton Drake and the fabulous oxfords are from Integrity's C'est Moi Madra.  My model/muse is Azure Elegance Madra Lord from Ashton Drake. 

Wondering what happened to the original hat?  I decided at the last minute not to dye it, but reshaped it to make it more of a cloche style.

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I always thought this great 30's dress needed a hat.  I reshaped the hat and replaced the original trim.  Luckily it doesn't show any signs of changing colors.  The dress, shoes, and gloves are borrowed from Integrity's Silhouette of the 1930's Zita Charles.  My model/muse is a wigged It's a Cinch Gene Marshall from Integrity.

Thanks for joining me in this adventure in dyeing.