December 10, 2010

A Dying Experiment

Kludging goal: Make black/white dress more interesting, cover up some previously existing dye bleeds
Kludging skill level: Apprentice
Permanence: Permanent
Starting materials: Dress, RIT dye
Required tools: Drywall bucket, rubber gloves, paint stirrer, lots of water

I found a really great BB Dakota dress at a thrift shop and snatched it up for a few bucks. I really liked the style and fit of the dress, but its black and white color scheme was a little boring and waitressy for me.

On today's menu: Yawns.

Another issue was that when the previous owner had washed the dress, some of the black dye from the skirt had bled onto the white top. It was not very noticeable, but I figured I could try to cover it up.

I decided to buy a package of magenta fabric dye and try to spruce this baby up. I followed the directions on the dye package closely, dissolving the dye in a small amount of water before adding it to the larger bucket.

The world's first look at our hideous basement shower. Ta-da!

I dipped just the top half of the dress into the dye, swishing it around with the paint stirrer. I also threw a beige corduroy jacket in the dye bath on a whim.

Just out of the dye bath.
The color turned out very nicely. It hid the majority of the bled areas, too. For just a few dollars spent on dye, now this dress is one of my favorites!

Hot to Trot

Kludging goal: Keep slingback straps from slipping, cushion peep toe squish
Kludging skill level: Beginner
Permanence: Semi-permanent
Starting materials: Slingback shoes, Shoe Goo/Household Goop/Similar silicone all-purpose glue, Gel shoe inserts
Required tools: Scissors

I found a fantastic pair of peep-toe slingbacks on an emergency day-before-a-fancy-wedding-and-I-have-nothing-to-wear run to DSW. They are by Paris Hilton...but let's pretend they're not, okay? Not only were they 90% off the original price, but, well just look at them:

The hotness.

The problem is, they're peep toe slingbacks. Neither peep toes nor slingbacks work on my feet. Of course I bought them anyway.

I gave the shoes a test-run around the house and was confronted with my usual problems with shoes of the peep and sling persuasion-- the strap slipped off my heel and my toes jammed through the opening in the front. In short, I couldn't take two steps in them. I was determined to make them work, so I got out a pair of scissors, my Household Amazing Goop, and a gel shoe insert and got to kludging.

Make it work time.

I first cut two long strips from the gel insert and glued them from the side buckle to the side seam on the slingback straps.


Then I cut two half-circles from the gel insole and glued them to the inside of the big-toe area of the peep toe.

It worked perfectly! The grabbyness of the gel kept the straps from slipping, and the cushionyness of the gel kept my toes from being squished through the peep toe opening. I danced the night away at my friend's (gorgeous) wedding and my feet were comfortable the whole time. I even perfected a little high-step trot in order to show off the shoes' pink soles. Subtlety first!