How I Wrecked This Dress.

It started with a wedding. 
A long, long time ago. 
When emerging 90's youth explored life
outside of Nirvana
and found it in the arms of The Dixie Chicks,
before they got the boot.

The dress came out of storage once or twice.
Once for Craigslist.
Twice for a yard sale.
Back in the box it went.

And so I got myself a tree.
With a dog in the background, please.

And then Lo! There was color.
And it came in 4 packets.
Which came from Collage on NE Alberta St.
Next to a store with really great cards.
And necklaces.

they say.
DISSOLVES in water!
they say.

And because I believed them, I got out the kiddie pool.

And this brought forth a smiling child.

I boiled the cauldrons 
to heat the pool
so that the dye would set.

And somewhere in this story I became a witch.

And then we made the water blue.
And stirred it with a broom handle.

Because we're witches.
With a flowery broomstick.

Then Ophelia, as the Wedding Dress is now named it seems,
was laid in the kiddie pool,
forever stained.

She was gently coaxed into the dye.
By the blunt end of the flowery broomstick.

And the dye began to set.

The girl child stirred the dye bath.
The boy child came to help.
But left quite quickly
to go play MineCraft instead.

I added more hot water while she stirred.
And stirred.
And stirred.

But Ophelia wasn't turning blue.
She was turning lavender.

And we were excited.

And Ophelia emerged a new woman.
Not wrecked at all actually.

Just more colorful.

But look! They could totally be sisters.

So this non-wrecked dress that once was worn by a slightly less dimpled witch
back in the summer of "we survived Y2K"
took a deep breath and stretched her long zipper,
and endured the forceful tugging and fussing as the witch and her Cransky
struggled to zip her closed.

But she was finally on. And she was lavender. And it was 80 degrees outside 
and there was a bear in a tuxedo nearby, 
which could only mean one thing:

Fancy Party!

More photos can be found here:

How to Wreck Your Dress, Fancy Party Style

You will need:

1 discarded wedding, prom or bridesmaid dress
1 plastic kiddie pool
4 packets (or more) of fabric-appropriate dye - I used iDye Poly in Blue
1 stirring stick
latex gloves lest you want blue fingers
a way to heat water

I did this on a hot day. So with the hose characteristically left out on the lawn,
the water inside it was pretty hot. My assistant filled the pool until the 
hose water ran cool. Then I began filling with pots of boiling water from
the stove. The directions would have preferred I did this whole process on the stovetop
so that the water was at a boil. But! Wedding dresses don't fit on the stovetop.
When the pool was full enough to cover the dress, we added the packets of dye 
and color intensifier and my assistant stirred. 
Then I opened up the dress as full as possible and laid it in so as to avoid
any fabric sitting in the dye bath longer than other parts (which would
lead to darker staining in spots -- which happened anyway and I don't care).
Then we stirred. Pushing the dress pretty vigorously around the pool while
I continued to add hot water from the stove.
We stirred for about 30 - 45 minutes. 

Then I turned the hose back on and began to fill/overflow the pool with cool water,
dumping it into the grass while rinsing to get any excess dye off.
FYI - the dye did NOT turn my lawn blue. Sad face.

I hung the dress from a wooden hanger in a tree to dry.
And then a week later, wore it to the 2nd annual Fancy Party,
and remembered how very itchy tulle can be.

The End.


Ladies in Navy said…
this is so awesome! love the color! :)
ladies in navy
Thanks! So happy with it. Now instead of wanting to burn it, I want to keep it for future costuming!
Geoff said…
This was...simply awesome. Loved the prose poetry style, the overall anecdote of "ruination", and the sly humor. Probably one of the better DIY dress entries I've run across.
Ha! Thank you so much Geoff! It was a blast. I need something else to ruin now.
Unknown said…
That is awesome! We should all dye our wedding dresses :-) Btw, LOVE the hair! (I dyed mine purple)
Colorful dresses for everyone! And hair, too! :)
Unknown said…
Some of us men from failed marriges would love to wreck a wedding dress
Chris Daniel said…
its getting hold of one thats the problem

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