I said to myself, “I’m not going to do every little project!” And then Fairy Godmother Creations offered our entire meet up free wedding dresses to ReFabricate. Well, I definitely got on that train (lol, get it?) and then just like that, there I was… headed for Experimental-ville.

Short on time I asked someone to just hand me any dress. To my surprise it fit me. It’s American made with American Workers Union representation per the tag and I dated it to the late 80s or early 90s. It is most likely polyester fabric. I decided I only wanted to dye the dress and bring the hem up to make it a little less formal.

I’ve dyed natural fibers, but never polyester, so I enlisted some local help. A friend told me to buy Dharma Trading Company’s iPoly dye for the best results. I picked true red. Another friend offered to help walk me though the process and let me use her kitchen. Thanks Ramshackle Wild!

The dress had two laces and a lining and yet no fiber content tags! Let the science experiment begin!

To our surprise it came out four very different colors. The lining soaked up the most dye and turned a deep dark burgundy. The scalloped trim lace barely took any dye at all and came out bubblegum pink and the shell of the garment’s lace took the dye in the netting but not so much in the lace flowers. None of which looked true red!

As the dress dried it changed from a juicy raspberry red to blood orange red. Pretty weird, huh?

Maybe as an add on bonus I could do a burn test to determine the fabric content. A burn test is where you catch a scrap of the fabric on fire and use a chart that keys how it smells and burns. I have done other burn tests that were successful but they were always on natural fibers. All I can say is I need a guide for the original guide to tell me when burning plastics smells like meat, vinegar, sweet chemicals and such what it all means. Blech!

Even with so many unanswered questions I learned from the experience. Having great friends to share their knowledge added to my enjoyment and memories. I am a firm believer if you want to do great things you need to surround yourself with great people. I love how this wedding dress turned out and I am considering wearing it to my Kettering Leadership Academy Graduation.

Behind the scenes~ I used the same color dye, although made to be used on natural fibers, on a linen jumper and left it in for a shorter amount of time. It came out orange-y, too.

My spring classes have been listed.

Thank you for reading,

Dream it! Sew it!

Tracy McElfresh

Tracy McElfresh
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