Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Adventures in Dyeing Part 2

It began with an invitation to a local hafla, which clearly meant a new solo, and a new costume.

I already have a round half dozen unfinished projects on the go, and my sole 'good' costume is in need of some serious attention if I wish to avoid a repeat of the Big Tit Tease of 2011. But rather than work on any of those, having picked my music, I realised I needed a totally new costume to go with it.

The song I'm working on is 'Egyptian Ella'. The costume, as is appropriate for a fat dancer chick from 1930 something, should therefore be elegant, glamorous, softly sepia, draped with pearls and cribbed off something already done much better by Tempest and Mardi Love.eBay purchases were perpetuated, bargain stores were raided and bead boxes were ransacked. The net result was two polyester satin nighties, half a rack of 'pearl' necklaces and an assortment of pearly beads. Tempest, eat your freakishly beautiful heart out :/

Sadly the nighties (look, I'm lazy. Much better to let someone else do the cutting, seaming, hemming and hanging, and let me just cut the straps off to get a bias cut floor length skirt) were not quite as desired, the antique cream being more of a 'fresh white paint' colour. Not quite what I was aiming for, so on went the computer, and oh fukkit went Lilith, as she discovered that polyester is wholly undyeable and she should bin the lot and start again.

But then I figured that if they're unusable as is, there was no harm in experimenting, so having cut one down to a skirt, I left some of the scraps in a mug of stewed tea (sans milk!)overnight. It took nicely, and resisted all attempts the following morning to rinse out the colour. That may count as undyeable in some people's books, being as I didn't give it a boil wash with sulphuric acid (or however they test it), but it works for me.

Thus there is currently a bucket full of Lady Grey tea (husband would have killed me if I'd used his precious builders tea bags) and nightdresses steeping merrily in my kitchen, ready for decanting tomorrow morning.

Occasionally the dog sticks his nose in for a taste- apparently Irish setters like tea?


  1. Show us pics when done pls!

  2. Buckets of tea and second-hand nighties ... the origins of glamour are truly wondrous.

  3. Heh, tell me about it. Much of my costume work and drilling bears the same relationship to performance as manure does to roses!

  4. I'm with Foxy, I want to see what it looks like! Have you ever tried dyeing with fruits/veggies/etc.? Those usually produce some really cool results.