Monday July 06th 2009, 11:06 pm
Filed under: To dye for

imgp7959I did it!  (Pictures now up.)

I bought a 70/30 silk/linen Orvis blouse at an online store’s closeout for $5 brand new, even though the color, Elm, didn’t grab me. I was hoping it would look better in person.

I tried it on.   I looked like a case of Dutch Elm Disease in it.  It truly was not flattering.

But I’d bought it knowing that if I really wanted to, I could change the shade if I got desperate enough to risk wrecking the thing. First, I asked myself: would I ever wear this ahead of everything else in my closet? No, definitely not. Michelle, would you wear this?

As pants in that color, she answered, okay; near my face, no.

So.  In the If You Try This At Home department, know that the thread used to sew a silk garment will not be of the same fiber as the fabric and probably won’t take up any dye–so you don’t want to change the color so far that the newly-contrasting stitching clashes with it.

I also knew my Jacquard acid dyes would take up into the silk fibers but not the linen–although, yellow is the easiest color to obliterate from view. I decided I was safe there.

I got the water to a good simmer and the dye well stirred in while the blouse soaked in hot water. I then lowered the blouse in bottom first, wet sleeves dangling down–not all in a balled-up crumpled heap, but pulling it downwards with my wooden spoon as it went in quickly.  During the half hour I had it on the stove, I stood over it almost constantly, stirring often, lifting it out and letting it back down time and again so that it didn’t develop strong and weak spots of color–no tie-dyeing effects wanted. That in-and-out action also helped keep the water temperature even so it wouldn’t get up to a hard boil.

imgp7965And it all worked. I absolutely love how it came out. Not bad, for five bucks and a little time and work!

26 Comments so far
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So smart! Can’t wait to see the final product!

Comment by Renee 07.06.09 @ 11:47 pm

Way to go! I just did this with two linen skirts. It’s just amazing what 30 minutes in the dyebath will do. So what color is your new blouse?

Comment by Jerri 07.07.09 @ 5:12 am

You are a true adventurer! Can hardly wait to see the pictures!

Comment by Henya 07.07.09 @ 5:25 am

It’s funny that you should be discussing dyeing. I accidentally put a pair of black capri pants in with the lights and my favorite white capri pants turned dingy grey, not even pretty enough to wear as grey. After much handwringing and calling myself a few choice names, I bought a box of color remover and tried my best to return the pants to their original white. Lo and behold! They are white again! Unfortunately, the khaki pants I was wearing at the time I dunked the white pants got a few little dots of color remover splashed on them so now they are useless. Oh well…..

Comment by Jody M 07.07.09 @ 5:26 am

You are a woman of unending talents and surprises.

Comment by Barbara-Kay 07.07.09 @ 5:32 am

can’t wait to see the pictures – before and afters I hope.

Comment by Sandra 07.07.09 @ 5:50 am

There is nothing like fixing something for yourself. Can’t wait to see pics.

Comment by TripletMom 07.07.09 @ 7:17 am

Nice! I did the same to a top I had that had gotten an ink stain on it. I couldn’t get the blue out, so the shirt’s now navy.

Comment by (formerly) no-blog-rachel 07.07.09 @ 7:23 am

Oh, this is fun! I can’t wait to see how your blouse came out.

Over the weekend I bought flea market wool yarn with dyeing the tan skeins in mind. I knew you’d be inspiring in that department…and you are. 🙂

Comment by Toni Smoky-Mountains 07.07.09 @ 9:12 am

I could retell a version of Jodi M’s story. Those pants aren’t useless, Jodi, just the clothes next time you want to dye clothes or bleach clean the house!

Comment by LynnM 07.07.09 @ 9:46 am

You are brilliant, you really are. LOVE the new color. (And email me about that colorway of STR… another friend gave me the name of what she THINKS it is…)

Comment by Channon 07.07.09 @ 10:54 am

Ooooooooh! V.V. Nice!

Comment by LynnM 07.07.09 @ 10:57 am

Ooooh! Sneaky. And clever.

Comment by Carol 07.07.09 @ 11:08 am

That first pic is elm? Ah, I see, no wonder you gave it a dye bath. And it is certainly gorgeous now! You’ve got me dyin’ to try some dyein’. Thanks!

Comment by Toni Smoky-Mountains 07.07.09 @ 11:18 am

Be-a-u-ti-ful! Did you get one in my size, too?

Comment by Pam 07.07.09 @ 11:47 am

Stunning color – it’s my favorite color in fact!

Comment by Renee 07.07.09 @ 12:14 pm

I love it so pretty great job:)I have been gone visiting my family and now we leave the 12th for 2 weeks to visit hubbys family.It has been a lovely summer so far.(((((Hugs)))))Darcy

Comment by Darcy 07.07.09 @ 2:35 pm

Such a smarty, er, I mean smart lady! Now you have a blouse you can love.

Comment by Ruth 07.07.09 @ 3:28 pm

MUCH yummier :-}

Comment by Diana Troldahl 07.07.09 @ 3:51 pm

Amazing! Totally amazing!

Comment by Henya 07.07.09 @ 5:22 pm

It looks great!!!

Comment by Jody M 07.07.09 @ 6:30 pm

Great dye job. The new color is much more flattering.

Comment by Joansie 07.07.09 @ 6:34 pm

It looks great! xoxo!

Comment by Romi 07.07.09 @ 7:51 pm


Comment by Alicia 07.09.09 @ 2:26 pm

What a wonderful color that shirt is now! Great job.

Comment by karin 07.10.09 @ 2:02 pm


Comment by Tiny Tyrant 07.10.09 @ 3:25 pm

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