How to dye your crinoline

Guestpost by Loaf on Feb 10th

CIMG0720.JPGSo, I had inauguration day off, and my partner Luck was at work, and I was high on patriotic pride and seeing my dress pinned and properly floofy, so I had the confidence to try this first major DIY project alone! First I washed the crinoline, since it was dirty from my sweat as I tried it on, and who knows who else had tried it on. Since it has to be wet when you dye it, I figured washing it first would be the easiest.

As the crinoline was washing, I started mixing the Sunshine Orange dye. Michael's only had the powdered dye in a color I wanted, so I followed the directions and mixed two packages in two cups of hot water. I didn't want to use anything plastic in this process, since the Rit box said the dye will dye plastic. I did use plastic gloves, but I didn't care about those changing colors.


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Then I followed the directions on the box, filling the machine full of hot water, mixing in a tablespoon of detergent, and the dye (I mixed it around with a long-handled spoon when I mixed the dye) and put in the crinoline.

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And I checked on it every 3 minutes, to untwist it and move it around in the washer to make sure it was getting an even dye job.

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I think 3 minutes was the right amount, because every time I checked it, it was completely twisted again. And it kept me paying attention so I had time to reset the machine back to repeat a cycle, since you have to have the fabric in the dye at least 30 minutes before you start to rinse.

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It's kind of a tiring and boring process, but at only 10 minutes in, the crinoline is already the perfect color, so I think using the two boxes was just right. It does seem like you will occasionally need to take the entire damn thing out of the washer to untangle it. So I rigged up (with clippy magnets) a towel device that would protect me and the floor. (Yes, my wall got covered too. And there is Luck's Mt. Dew addiction on display).

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This took way longer than I thought it would and, aside from setting the timer every three minutes so I could untangle, I didn't keep track of the time, so it's possible that the crinoline got extra soaking time. I also skipped a second rinse and just rinsed it once, then washed it with an extra rinse and tried it for just a little bit before I hung it up in the bathroom to air dry. I'm really excited and I think it looks so great and will be a really great surprise and pop of color. It is really fucking orange. But I like it! I'm all about bright colors. As Luck likes to say (about both of us), we're like an accident in a crayon factory, as brightly colored as our wardrobes and lives tend to be!

Oh, and I got completely covered in water, so I'm really glad I changed into old clothes while doing this. And I switched to a gentle cycle, because part of the slip seemed to be fraying and the color felt saturated enough. For someone who hates doing laundry, this is not exactly a fun process, especially considering I just spent $50 on the slip. I know I could've found one cheaper, but I was standing there in the dress and it looked perfect with the slip and It was just so much easier….WIC 1, Loaf 0. (Well Probably WIC 2 or 3 since I went to DB to have my alterations done…again, it just seemed easier! and the woman was very sweet.)

Anyway, here is the crinoline fresh out of the washer:

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Going into the dryer:

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When I threw the crinoline in to dry, I threw into the washer the grey drip towel, some rags I used to wipe up spills and my socks that got orange drips on them along with some bleach and Tide to clean out the washer. I think it will be fine. It didn't seem stained at all.

And fresh out of the dryer!

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With my wedding shoes:

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(you can see the edge of my fleur de lys toe tattoo here)

A close-up of the lace edging:

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Now my dilemma is whether or not to share this with Luck…if I do, I'll have to confess that I have a new dress. But I'm really not sure how to hide it…it's a lot bigger than I thought I would need, but under the dress, it's perfect. It makes me love my dress even more, because I really did want the poufy crinoline. I mean, I never dress up, so when I do, I want to go all out!

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About Loaf

I’m a poet and perpetual grad student hoping to eventually be a professor and published author. And a radical lesbian feminist blogger, of course. My beloved fiancee is a hockey goalie; massage therapist; doula; crafty darling; tough girly butch; beautiful love-of-my-life; future mother to my children.