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February 28, 2017

Seeing (Dye) Spots

I’ve always been a bargain shopper. Always. I love the thrill of the hunt for finding a great item for a ridiculously low price. I can count on one hand how many things I have bought at full retail my whole life.

Once I discovered Goodwill (and my personal style), the hunt became much more exciting. Once I picked up sewing (again) and knew how to tailor clothes to my liking, I became a master thrifter. Every item that catches my attention goes through a quick scan in my head: Can it be cut/mended/altered/dyed? 

Always think outside the box.

I found this dress and absolutely loved it!


I could tell it would be too big for me, but nothing a belt couldn’t fix. The major problem for me was the color. I am not a fan of white and cream clothes. Mainly because I will eventually get a stain on them.

“No problem.” I said to myself “This dress is going into a black dye bath. Easy peasy.”


From dye experiments in the past I knew I wouldn’t get the black color I want; it would be more of a gray. As long as it wasn’t cream, I’d be happy. So with my bottle of dye and washing machine, in went the dress. I was so excited to pull it to see a great charcoal color.

Lo and behold…



Um, did I miss something? The dress was almost the same color! Well, the collar was darker but it was not what I envisioned. Plus, the dye created random spots on the dress.

I know the type of fabric will determine how well the dye takes (no tags on the dress) but I assumed since it was a light cream color I would get something.

Fortunately, I threw in a cream-colored silk skirt (another $1 find!!) last minute and it dyed beautifully.


Still, I was bummed about my dress. I decided to get another bottle of dye and place the dress in a bucket for a few hours.


Once it had marinated, I rinsed it in the washing machine.



A little better than before but now the random dye spots are more prominent. Ugh. I’m contemplating another dye bath but I don’t think it’ll get much darker. Maybe I should try another color?

Another reason I bargain shop? I think of the after cost. The dress only cost $1 but after two bottles of dye, the gas and time it took for me to buy the dye, dyeing the dress (twice), the price of the dress has raised. Overall I still paid less than what I would at other stores so I’m still a happy camper.

Now, to get rid of those random spots.

Tell me, when buying an item from Goodwill, do you think of the after cost?

Bonus Question: Do you have any suggestions for getting out random dye spots?