I'm a little embarrassed to show you this dress. It is a victim of my early un-informed vintage collecting days. I rescued this dress from the basement at Ragpickers (when I worked there) when I first seriously started collecting vintage in university. I loved it! I wore it a lot! It was no where near mint condition when I got it, but it has suffered by my hand.
I should have dry cleaned this dress from day one. But being the cheap university student I was, I washed it by hand. This hurt the dress in two ways:
1. Serious fading. Washing by hand caused the fabric to bleed and fade, especially on the bodice. You can see the damage near the armpit and around the neckline in this photo.
2. Sigh...this is the one that kills me...I cried many many tears when I did this. This massive tear is the result of getting caught in the drain while washing.
Despite all this damage, I have not been able to get rid of this dress. It has hung in my closet for years. I always thought there might be a way to make this dress wearable again one day.
And I think I may have found my solution(s).
All of this hemming I've been doing as of late has me thinking that I could hem this dress above the tear.
And as for the fading, I thought I would use the excess fabric from the bottom of the dress and experiment with RIT dye. I think I'll try a few different methods before I tackle dying the dress (like removing the colour first then dying, as well as trying different colours etc before settling on a plan of attack). Once I've figured out which method works best I'll dye the dress like I did to my blazer last year.
What have I got to loose? I will definitely keep you up to date on this process. Stay Tuned!
What do you think? Have any of you done anything like this before? Any tips? Advice? I would really like to hear from you. Part of me thinks I'm crazy for trying this, but I feel like I owe it to this poor dress.
Have you ever ruined a beloved piece of vintage? I would also love to hear that I'm not the only one who has done something silly like this. Commiserate with me friends!