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The Grass is Greener: Double Dip Dyed Dress

Ooh La La Hoodie Dress
Hey...Where the heck is Wannabe Wednesday?!?!

Some of you guys might remember my recent visit to the $1 a pound Goodwill Clearance Center where I scored a big bag of stuff for about $5!

While there, I scored this dress:

Jillian at Dollar a pound goodwill
Remember this?

Here it is again:

The Grass is Greener: Double Dip Dyed Dress before
Refashion me!

Alright.  This dress is just a smidge too big and way more than a smidge too beige!  

I decided I wanted to dip dye it, but I didn’t want any of the beige to remain.  

Are you ready for some hot double dip dye action?!?!

Now, I could have just dyed it once one color, then dip-dyed the bottom half, but I was feeling lazy adventurous and decided to try something new!  🙂

two bottles of Rit dye in front of two empty pitchers
Two dyes, both alike in dignity in my fair kitchen, where we lay our scene!

Do you see where I’m going here?  I wanted the top part of the dress to be green, and the bottom to be brown.

So, I prepared my two baths in my two pitchers (following the directions provided on the dye)…

dye in pitchers

Then, I added my dress!

You can see how I split it (relatively) evenly between the two pitchers.


I left my dress in its bath for about an hour, then gave it a good rinse & dry.

I wasn’t done yet!  I still needed to take it in to make it a bit more fitted!

First, I pinned each side where I wanted to take it in.


Then, I stitched each side down.


When that was done, I trimmed off the extra fabric from each side with my pinking shears.

Cut off the leftovers!
Cut off the leftovers!

I pressed my new dress, and now it’s back and un-beiged!  🙂

The Grass is Greener: Double Dip Dyed Dress after
The Grass is Greener: Double Dip Dyed Dress with sweater
It’s chilly. Put on a sweater!

The bottom is definitely a little wonky-looking, but I thought it was wearable for a night of comedy at Trustus Theater!

I reviewed their newest production, 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche for Jasper Magazine. If you’re interested, you can read my review right here.

Jillian in theater lobby wearing "margaret" name tag
Margaret is my secret identity.


The Grass is Greener: Double Dip Dyed Dress before and after
Ooh La La Hoodie Dress
Hey...Where the heck is Wannabe Wednesday?!?!

19 thoughts on “The Grass is Greener: Double Dip Dyed Dress”

  1. I love the sort of distressed, streaky (not the best word) effect of the green. How did you achieve that? Was it simply the process of dip-dying, or perhaps it was the original fabric? More details, please, if you have a moment.

    In further gushing…I discovered your blog about a month ago, can’t remember how. I’m also a fan of other refashioning blogs and have learned to absolutely LOVE thrift stores. I particularly love your blog because of the personal stories you share (OMG, your wedding dress story, just read that today & wanted to give you a huge hug and thank you for staying with us).

    I also love your blog because you have a way with dye. You really use it to transform things totally, like today. Or a dress you did a while back, white with yellow shapes, and you dyed it grey and it became totally Anthropologie-funky. I’ve started looking at thrift store racks in a totally new way, seeing way more potential than before, thinking, WWJD? (what would Jillian dye?).

    I’ve learned to love shopping in thrift stores. I used to see them as sort of dirty, depressing, not very nice places, with other people’s unwearable cast-offs. Now I’ve learned that the best music mixes in my region are put together by the cashiers at the thrift stores. I’ve learned that the cashiers are incredibly friendly, outgoing people who make everyone feel welcome and comfortable. There are many people who are shopping in the thrift stores because their lives have been hard. Some of them have been hard-living for years and are in the process of changing their lives. I hear these conversations and I hear first hand about struggles I’ve never had to deal with. It’s a good reminder and a good way to get myself out of my cocoon of safety.

    But I’ve also had struggles, especially since the economy tanked a few years ago, and it’s because of blogs like yours, and thrift stores, that I’ve been able to keep going & thrive. You make it so that I can save a handfull of money here, and a handfull there, but still keep looking good at work and beyond. In November I started a job at a high-profile business school, steeped in tradition with wood paneling and vaulted ceilings and the whole nine yards, and I smile to think that every day I’m wearing at least one thing from a thrift store. Because of you, I can afford more activities and lessons for my kids. I can spend less time in retail stores and more time at home with my kids, sewing and refashioning.

    You make our lives better. Thank you for staying with it!!!!!! I love you.

    • Oh wow. Thank you so much for your kind words. 🙂

      The dip-dying just turns out funky sometimes. I didn’t stir it or mix it in, so it would collect in the folds and make random parts darker. 🙂

      I always judge people who say that thrift stores are depressing. Like you, I disagree. There’s one shop I go to that is staffed by recovering drug addicts (it’s a part of a recovery program for them to give them jobs and get them back on their feet), and they’re the nicest people. You run into people from all walks of life, and I really like that. It keeps you from being out of touch or uppity about things that don’t matter.

      Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I’m glad my little blog has made a difference. 🙂

  2. This is BY FAR my favorite refash that I’ve seen you do – the colors are great, and the CUT on you is simply adorable – and OMG those red tights paired with it are killing me! I dyed my very first item a few weeks back (tights!) and it was really rewarding – I really want to do something like this next! I guess you just let the darker color bleed up the skirt?

  3. So I have been following your site for awhile, and have been recreating clothing for as long as I can remember. I have never dyed anything because I am terrified that the dye will stay in my machine and dye the next load too, has that ever happened to you?

  4. Love it!!! I am still thinking about your blazer refashion from last week … BTW congrats on getting a fur baby!!! Hot dog dogs are the best!!!! (I had one named Chewie since she was a dapple that was similar in color to, you guessed it, Chewbacca!)

  5. While I don’t love how the bottom turned out – I do LOVE the dress on you – but then almost everything looks cute on you! And you know how to put all the right accessories together, like those funky boots. I say WELL DONE – I know you were probably going for more of an ombre effect and that didn’t quite happen, but bravo anyways! And I sent the photo of your pup to my boss, as she lost her mini-dachs last year and is hankering for another. She oohed and ahed at yours! Have and enjoy – they grow MUCH too fast!

  6. Really like the dip dye. Came out cute. Hate that you have to use Facebook to participate in your giveaway. I don’t do Facebook and never will. Call me stubborn but someone must draw the line with those guys.

  7. Cute dress. I kida like the wonkyness of the color on the bottom. You have inspired me so much. I went and purchased my very first sewing machine 2 months ago. I am so ready to start learning and seeing refashions like this one today, I feel, wait, scratch that. I know, I can do it!


What do you think?