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DIY Fashionista
Wear It: Match this dress with black accessories to emphasize the colourful section of the dress.

Dresses are the most simple way to dress. They make creating an ensemble impossibly easy because all you have to do to create a different looks is to choose your accessories. I have a love of reinvented dresses, found in vintage stores and turned into modern, on-trend pieces. No matter what your look, dresses from vintage stores have the potential to hit the jackpot because the mix of eras creates a huge diversity in styles. Simply choose your favourite decade and hone in on items from that era.

When reinventing vintage items, one of my favourite techniques is using dye to change the colour and look of a dress. Using dyes in DIY projects is fun and, although sometimes messy, the results are amazing.
In the last few years, the dip-dye trend has resurfaced and is popular across the world. First seen in the hair of Japanese girls in the Harajuku district of Tokyo, the look quickly became mainstream [in beauty with ombre dying?] and in clothes has been seen since in designer collections, on dresses, skirts and tops, [such as Prada s/s 2004?]. Creating dip-dyed pieces yourself really couldn’t be easier – it just involves carefully dipping your item into dye while making sure not to get dye anywhere else on the fabric. In this project vintage cotton dress has been transformed using this technique.

Tip: If you don’t have an outdoor area in which to do this project, put the bucket in your shower or bath so that you don’t splash dye on the floor.

Tip: Take your time when dip-dying and always dip less of the dress than you first think you need to. You can always go back and dip more.

Tip: Always test the dye mixture with a square of surplus fabric first; this way you can see how quickly the fabic will absorb the dyle and also the concentration of colour you want to achieve.

Posted by Carlton Books Published See Carlton Books's 5 projects »

© 2024 Geneva Vanderzeil / Carlton Books · Reproduced with permission. · DIY Fashionista, by Geneva Vanderzeil, published by Carlton Books, available to buy from carltonbooks.co.uk.
  • How to dye a dyed dress. Dip-Dyed Pastel Dress - Step 1
    Step 1

    Dampen the bottom of the dress and then put it on a hanger. You want it to be wet but not dripping – this helps it take on the dye evenly.

  • How to dye a dyed dress. Dip-Dyed Pastel Dress - Step 2
    Step 2

    Fill the bucket with very hot water and add the dye – mixing according to the instructions on the packet. Add salt as instructed; this will help the dye to set.

    Dip the dress into the dye, immersing it around 10 cm (4 in) and making sure it is level so that the dye line is straight. Leave the dress to take colour for approximately 30 minutes.

  • How to dye a dyed dress. Dip-Dyed Pastel Dress - Step 3
    Step 3

    Remove the dress and hang it up outside or over the bathtub to dry. Then wash on a cold cycle, without laundry detergent. Allow the dress dry and press well.

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