This dress is to dye for!

posted Jul 13, 2012, 7:03 PM by Robert Schulz   [ updated Jul 13, 2012, 7:08 PM ]
From Alix Miller:

Original dress. Photo by Alix Miller.

But seriously, folks.  Recently I asked actors to raid their closets looking for anything we might borrow for their costumes, and the magical Maddie Stone comes in with this little number:

This dress is the exact cut I had envisioned!  But… “Steven… it’s just so graaay!”  Psyche is a vibrant character, and I despaired at having to put her in such a dull-colored dress… until Maddie gives me the go-ahead to dye it!  Problem solved.

The process of dyeing a dark colored piece of clothing starts with one of the more amazing things you can buy at the fabric store: color remover.  Add it to the water in a washing machine and let the dress slowly agitate for a while, and it pulls the color right out of it so it is capable of taking up more of whatever color you dye it afterwards.

After about 30 minutes soaking in color remover.
Photo by Alix Miller.
Because the dress was so dark to begin with, the color remover could only lighten it so much; however, this new shade of gray looked considerably more friendly, and looked like it would mix pleasantly with the colored dye to give it a richer tone.  Now that I was dyeing the dress, I didn’t have to compromise on the color based on what I could find, so I was able to make it the same purple as in my original sketch, which luckily had a certain amount of gray in its tone to begin with.

The final product. Photo by Alix Miller.
E voila!  I’m really happy with the shade of purple that resulted here, as are Steven and Maddie.  And in just a week’s time, you can see it in person!

Alix Miller is Costume Designer for Psyche, and is co-Costume Designer (with Anna Eckert-Kramer) for Or,.