Lessons in Pink and Patience

Few wardrobe sorrows are more painful than having to say goodbye to a pair of pants that fit comfortably and go with everything. So you can imagine my dismay a few weeks ago when I dropped strawberry goop down the front of a pair of khakis that have been a staple in my wardrobe for longer than I care to disclose.

As soon as I got home (because of course this happened at work, early in the day) I treated them with a stain remover, washed and dried them, and thought I had won.  But apparently I had missed a few spots, which were now washed, dried, and permanently a part of these pants. Not one to be easily discouraged (at least by wardrobe problems) I went for the magic solution any thrifty girl should have in her stash: Rit dye! 

I should also note here that these pants had already been salvaged once. I bought them new and wore them for years until the hem was frayed beyond recognition. Then this tapered pants fad hid, so I attacked them with my sewing machine, tapered the legs and rolled the cuffs. So really I had already earned that penny saved.

But I like these pants!  And I also like the pastel pants trend I see across Pinterest, so I chose to cover up these pink strawberry stains with Petal Pink.

I followed the bucket method instructions. Sort of. As it turns out, I’m rather impatient, and didn’t pre-dissolve the dye in 2 cups of hot water, or wait long enough for all of the dye to dissolve.

When I rinsed out the pants, I realized that small chunks of undissolved dye had left dark spots all over the pants. So I was back at square one: pants with dark pink spots on them.

* facepaw *

Back to the dye bath!  I picked out a darker shade of pink in hopes of covering up my mistakes.

Round two

This time I dissolved the dye in two cups of hot water, soaked the pants in water, added the dye to a bucket of hot water, then added the pants for 20 minutes, stirring constantly. Much better!

What I like about dying garments is that some pieces will only take the color a little bit, others not at all. On these pants, the detail stitching and the buttons really stand out now:

Even with my impatient mistake, I ended up saving a pair of pants for less than $6, and now I have a new pair of fuchsia pants!

The pants are saved!

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2 responses

    • Rocco was eyeing up everything, seriously. The second I took the bucket out of the closet, he was in it. I had to lock him out of the bathroom so he wouldn’t jump in when I was using the dye.

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