Forever 31

Eileen's Reader ReFash
Wannabe Wednesday: Midnight Tide Edition

When I found this dress by Forever 21 at one of my fave thrift shops, I was reminded that I’m an entire decade older than their target demographic.  Yikes.

This is what I look like first thing in the morning.
This is what I look like first thing in the morning.

Other than being shoddily constructed by an evil fast fashion giant (end of rant), this dress had a couple of other issues as well.  It was about a size too big for me, it was really faded (hard to see in the pic), and it had a damaged zipper.

I'm starting to see why someone let this one go.  :/
I’m starting to see why someone let this one go. :/

I decided to take care of that fading first.  I grabbed a box of black dye…


…then took the dress and started folding it into a pitcher, sprinkling a bit of the dye powder into the folds as I went.

Sprinkle Sprinkle!
Sprinkle Sprinkle!


Keep it going!
Keep it going!

Once the dress was completely wadded into the pitcher, I filled it with hot water.


When it was filled, it looked like this:

Kind of gross looking, actually.
Kind of gross looking, actually.

I left the dress submerged for about 2 hours, then gave it a thorough rinse in my washing machine.

Okay…so the faded color was taken care of, but it still needed a bit of fitting.

Pin each side!
Pin each side!
Then, Whirrrrrrr!  :)
Then, Whirrrrrrr! :)

After a quick press, my dress was ready!

Well…almost ready.

I still hadn’t fixed that zipper, and was running late to meet a friend for dinner.  :/

So I did what any self-respecting refashionista would do and just used a pair of pliers to get zipped up!

I promise to go back and replace it later.

My friend managed to take a few really blurry photos of the “after”.  ;)

This is not an Instagram filter.
This is not an Instagram filter.

But I snapped a couple of backups at home.  No worries.  ;)

Sassy, no?
Sassy, no?

It continues to be a good bit chilly here in SC, so I immersed myself in a massive cardigan!

My absolute favorite sweater in the world!  :)
My absolute favorite sweater in the world! :)

Hope you guys have a great weekend!



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29 thoughts on “Forever 31

  1. You got me kind of interested in Rit, never really thought about it to change the look of something that is either faded or a really odd color (yeah you are right why would one buy that in the first place, but hot summers make us do all kinds of thing……..) so I will give this run when it gets a bit warmer here (down there YOU in SC do not complain to a gal from the Northern subs of Chicago about it being cold, I cannot even be inside the house dressed like you in your new little dress!!!

    I have a question for you did you ever think about turning something useless (like a boyfriends old shirt /////????) into a little dress for a tiny little girl? I just saw something like it and could not help thinking about you… And I know you did some refashioning ideas for women from a men’s dress shirt which are very cute too especially for summer.
    Keep it up…
    Edith YourChicagoConnection

  2. I agree with you about the shabbly made garments. I raid thrift stores and pick up quality items and remake them. You give me inspirations. Keep up the good work.

  3. That dye job turned out great! I never would have thought of dying it that way. The pitcher you used is so pretty I hope it isn’t spoiled forever by the dye.

  4. Wow, awesome job! I really love how it turned out! And I have to say that you are a great inspiration to me as I have promised myself to not buy any newly manufactured clothes at all for the whole year. It’s so fun to refashion thrifted clothes!

  5. Remember the conversation about what to do with all of those shoulder pads..? (I hope this link works) well this link shows a pair of slippers being made (i think the actual original place this is found is struck me as interesting that one piece of the pattern looks like a shoulder pad… we could make a butt load of slippers with all the dead shoulder pads!!!! I don’t know enough about sewing to know if it would work though, your ideas? :D

  6. Such an improvement! I kind of scared trying out dye. Afraid of ruining my washing machine. Also, the colour of your garments after dying never looks like the colour on the dye packaging. Why is that? Are you using not all of it to get a specific effect or are dye actually not working that great? :)

  7. I totally did the plier trick just the other day. I nearly cried when it was time to take the skirt off but you know it was worth it.

  8. I love this. You make me want to delve into the wonderful world of dyes. I have always been too nervous to dye anything from fear of ruining something but after seeing some of the stuff you have done, I realize that something wonderful can be created :)

  9. I don’t know, I always thought Forever 21 was designed more to appeal to people who wish they were still 21 than to people who currently are. I’ll join the mob and agree your dye job turned out awesome on this one!

  10. Wow! Wish I was only a decade older! Still, I love that dye effect, but I am afraid of what it will do to my front loading washer!if you’ve already addressed this in another post, please point me to it. Otherwise, may I ask you to share your wisdom? Thanks!

    1. Don’t try to do anything with dye in a front-loader!!!! I learned this the hard way when I was on the Rachael Ray show and ended up frantically re-dying a splotchy mess in her sink. True Story.

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