Monday, July 19, 2010

dying wedding dresses into spooky costumes




Vintage tie dyed Wedding dress hanging to dry.

I wish to point out the Rit dye is not recommended for none protein fabrics, such as nylon and polyester because they do not take up the color etc. I used them because I wanted a faded, light look. I also was willing to risk losing a dress,as they were already unsellable in their present condition. I was experiencing. Furthermore I live by my motto,that nothing is ruined, mistakes are non existent in art, it is an opportunity for the art to move in a new direction.

Do I need to use salt, in dyeing?

Salt (sodium chloride, specifically) is important in using many types of dyes. Exactly how it should (or should not) be used depends on the specific type of dye in question. When using salt, always follow the recommendations of the dye manufacturer, unless you know better.

Contrary to some old wives' tales, salt is not a dye fixative and does nothing to make dye more permanent; however, it aids in the dyeing process by helping to drive the dye onto the fiber, out of solution, so that it is in the right place for any bonding to the fiber to occur. ( used salt in this project.

My daughter Liz, and apprentice in waiting, puts Baggies over parts we don't want dyed black.

Loving the color that comes out in the dipping method on the netting of the dress. I then dipped everything in black to get the worn aged effect I wanted for a spooky dress.

Two wedding dresses tied up and ready to go


I have a large inventory of Wedding dress still left over from the days of my retail boutique, which I have begun to sell , albeit slowly on line at however, I am unable to sell some due to staining, it is usually wine or coffee on the vintage bridal. This always brings a smile to me, as I conjure up visions of the happy bride, a bit tippsie toward the end of the evening, with not much care, and in the joy of the event dripping on her dress and not even realizing it her hot cup of coffee she drinks with her wedding cap, or that red wine she cherishes with her bridal dinner. This might be charming, but it makes it very difficult to sell these once worn dresses on line. A women does not want these memories to haunt her on her wedding day.

I love Halloween and making art for this holiday makes it my favorite time of the year. We decorate our home with stuffed dolls and spook it up good,complete with haunting ghoulish music and fog machine.

I love the haunted corpse bride and thought why not take these dresses and hand dye them for Halloween? I have a costume store where I sell vintage handmade costumes and I figured I could sell these here. So I went to my local grocery store and picked up a few bottles of Rit dye, buckets and gloves. I started off with purple and black.

I had done tie dying before, and new that I needed a variety of rubber bands, I am familiar with the accordion method and others. See this method here

tie dying requires allot of rubber bands, my cat ENKI, keeps guard


My daughter Miranda quick grabs a cotton shirt and uses the left over dye to make a great shirt, this white shirt of hers was too stained to wear any more, now she has a new shirt that she can proudly say she made.

Dress with rubber bands in it. When I took them out I was disappointed a bit, much of the tie soaked threw, I believe this is because of the nature of the fabric. Rit recommends using cotton, which is much more absorbent.I will rethink this next time. It was allot of work and the results I don't think were worth it.

I hung the dresses outside to dry.

A early 1970s wedding dress that had alot of coffee stains on it, it is on a dress form waiting for paint and glitter. I don't want to embellish this dress to much, it stands well on its own. This might be a witches wedding dress. I love how the color turned out, it has an aged worn feel which I was going for.

1980s wedding,size small, about a 5, dress dyed with purple and black is now in my studio and ready to be painted and embellished. I see a vampire dress in this one. I plan to add red and black and create a boudiour ,lady of the night . This is my raw canvas. Acrylic paints can be easyly applied to fabric, and they dont wash out. Just think of it, when you get these paints on your clothes, nothing gets them out.

Getting my supplies ready in the studio, acrylic paints, sponges, glitter, hot coffee and classical music to create by.

Miranda painting two colors of glitter on lace trim on bottom of dress, tedious work, yet she has the patience. What a help she is! I use fine grain glitters, I love the Martha Stewart line, they are my favorites

I am nearly finished with the fun stage and will post the pictures shortly. As these are intended as costumes, I have used fabric glue to secure the lace, feathers and other embellishments on the dress. As we all know to well, many if not most Halloween costumes have glued features. I do this to keep the cost down, if I hand sewed everything the dress would just be too time consuming, as it is, I already have quite a few hours into each of them. The dresses will be dry clean only. It is possible that the dyes could fade with time. All in all I love doing this and can not wait to do another.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

Discovered by A real GROOVEY GAL

FunkY FinZ is a GROOVY FIND!!!

WOW how exciting for me, I was thrilled to receive an in-box mail from groovy gals store on informing me that one of my items was featured on her very exciting and wonderful blog. I am really impressed with what I found.

Groovy Gal Designs Online--Home of the Groovy Finds

This charming badge is made available to all the vendors that she chooses to post! Easy to find code for your sites. Jo calls them GROOVY FINDS letting us know that " Here's where you'll find all of the cool and groovy stuff I've discovered lately. Enjoy!"

Funky findz on line, very groovy and one of my all time favorites
mushroom purse
was featured.

I will keep my eyes on my heart count, which today stands at 10 and views at 267. I noticed on her site that she had ads for sale, I made an inquiry and within minutes she responded. I had notified her that I did not yet make an ad for funky findz on line, she promptly THE SAME DAY , made me an ad, put it up and wrote me. Heres what she created for me. Jo took my colors and content and made an appropriate ad.

Her rates are very reasonable and if you were lucky enough to be featured on her site, she offers the first month free! I am pleased with my first choice to advertise, I feel that I am supporting a good cause, it appears she largely posts etsy artists.

This groovy gal is an artist herself as seen here in one of my favoriteZ.

Retro Flower Watercolor Drawing

In addition, while browsing her monthly groovy finds, my daughter and I found an artist that we fell head over heals in love with. We are all ready saving our money to put one of her recycled up-cycled coats on layaway.
DELUXE CUSTOM - The Ultimate Patchwork Elf Coat - Upcycled Recycled Sweaters - Eco Friendly Fairy Sweater Dress - For the Hippy Bohemian Gypsy Traveller - Reconstructed Faery Couture

with my love of color and obsession with everything over the top this is a must have for this groovy gal. Check out her store at EnlightenedPlatypus

So thanks my dear Jo Claire I am proud to be a part of your group. Other etsy sellers her web site is a must check out. GROOVYGALONLINE

Photos by C. Reinke HAUNTED HOUSE