I purchased this heavy weight red flare dress last winter. As always I didn't think about how many other red dresses I had so this one didn't get worn more than a few times, so this year I thought id give it a revamp.
As an experienced colourist (Read that as I have made many attempts at dying things!) I knew that the colour I chose to change this had to work with red as its base. Now I knew blue would make it turn purple so I chose a nice navy blue machine dye, I think they are the best as you are guaranteed good coverage due to the machine agitating the fabric for you.
A packet of this dye requires 1kg of salt to set it, but its worth the result to use it. The end result was more of a plum colour which i really liked fortunately, Im guessing two packets of dye would have more of a purple finish but i prefer this anyway.
You cant see in this photo but there are two side zips which stayed red along with all the top stitching, which was perfect for the finish I wanted as I wanted to add some detail around the neckline with a bleach pen. I actually wanted to do it around the hem too but it would have taken three or four bleach pens and a bit of trial and error with timing so I settled for just the neck, i can always add some more detailing later if I feel it needs it.
The gel pen is easy to use but i do advise practising your design first so you get used to the flow of the gel and know how long it takes you to do your design as you need to be pretty quick to get it even. I chose to work each diamond shape alternating from the centre as i went around. I left this on for 15mins and had the washing machine full and ready to go as soon as the time was up so there was no delay on removing it and less risk of some of the bleach getting onto the rest of the dress while the machine was filling up.
So here is the finished dress, I also added a seam to create a midriff panel as i didn't like the dropped waist on this dress and now I'm really happy with it and look forward to wearing it with a crinoline petticoat, fishnets or seamed stockings to keep me toasty warm for these colder winter days.
Posted: Tuesday 3 June 2014