Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Renew, Revive, Refresh

The joy of making do is in the preparation and effort. I love an opportunity to sort out my wardrobe and discard any truly beyond repair items. Often is something is beyond repair I'll wear it for a whole week to eek the last ounce of use out of it. I have a really nice t-shirt from Reiss but the cotton has bobbled so badly not even my debobble machine can assist in a refresh. I intended to wear it all next week until it either looks grubby or smells. I'm actually very clean and neat so I take an age to make clothes truly dirty.

In my most recent summer clothes pack away (which lasted 5 minutes as the weather suddenly decided that sunshine was the order of the day again) and winter item injection; I discovered three items I didn't think I'd wear again. One was my favourite jumper which I've had for 7 years and can't part with. It does need a small darn and I decided to dye it navy to give it a new lease of life with me. I wanted a navy v neck and decided it was cheaper to invest in some Dylon and salt than to buy a new one.


I know it was a lovely green but I'd got bored of the colour and needed something navy. I also updated my red jeans which were originally a pale red that I dyed to a bright red and now I've given them a russet edge for this season!

Finally I dyed a Zara cream top to Burlesque Red and a thick cable yellow cotton Pringle jumper to black! Both will work for me this winter as layers to keep me warm while writing at home in the day (I intend to not use the heating as much as I can to save pounds). 

All I have left to do now is sew on some new brown leather buttons I bought to replace the existing ones on Mr MDS's black trench to give it a little renewal.

Don't be afraid to dye clothes in a bucket or machine. I buy Dylon dyes from John Lewis or Robert Dyas and the required salt to seal the dye. I use washing up gloves to attempt to keep my hands dye free.

 Useful barrier

All clean again

Top tip: Wash dyed items with like colours for the first few washes after dying, just in case of any residue running.


  1. Hi my dear!! Wow, you make it look so easy, I'm very tempted to go for it now!

  2. I'm also tempted to try it - like Sharon said, you make it look so easy.

    And I'm also with you on the wearing more jumpers in the house this winter to save on the ever increasing cost of heating. Good plan!

  3. Once my washing machine is back in action (mid kitchen re fit this week) I will be sorting my wardrobe and mending/customising...sigh...sending to recycling. Partly for the next season, partly under duress as I can't fit it all in the wardrobe and my husband needs his home office back from under the piles of frocks. ;)

  4. It's been ages since I dyed anything, you're inspiring me to do something creative.
    I've started layering up at night to postpone the need to put the heating on. x

  5. Once I have finished ebaying, I might look at refurbing some of the remaining bits. You don't want a jade green cashmere V neck to replace your fave jumper do you - I have one on ebay at 99p which has no interest - send me your address and you can have it. I work from home on a webcam (all above board and fully clothed) so have the problem of keeping warm and looking smart, am wondering about getting a small space heater, we have oil heating here so keen to use the minimum possible without freezing to death.

  6. Wow! never dyed anything in my life! Never even thought about it before. What a brilliant idea.

  7. How clever are you to give these items a new lease on life with a new color? I've been afraid to try re-dyeing items in the washer, but may give it a go.

  8. I've been meaning to dye a few things, thanks for the inspiration! Off to see if I can buy some from Robert Dyas online xx

  9. check you out with your DIY wardrobe.... love the dylon machine dye's but after doing my sisters jeans it took 3-4 empty washes to get rid of the colour!

    Love the green to blue jumper the best!

  10. Everything looks great, although I would warn that Dylon is not as easy as the 'one empty cycle' it says on the packet to clean out of the machine, I had to scrub mine with bleach to get the dye all out, especially around the rubber seal as well as around 5 empty cycles. It worked well on my black jeans which had faded - not so much on the very expensive cardi I ruined.

  11. That's impressive! I would never think of dying something another color to give it new life, but maybe now I will.

    I really like the bright red jeans.

  12. This is a great way to give clothes a new lease of life.

    X x

  13. Pearl's dyeing horror stories have stuck with me - I am too scared to attempt it in case I muck up the machine and any of my other clothes. I don't know why I can't listen to all the success tales instead. Your newly coloured items all look amazing!

  14. isn't fabric dyeing just so addictive? What a great idea to pep up some old favourites - I love the jeans and the green-to-navy jumper. xoxo


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