Making do and mending
|That's definitely red!|
I first dyed things using Dylon washing machine dye a couple of years ago, re-blacking things, and last year tried changing the colours of some things (palest grey capris and beige blouse both turned apple green). It's so easy to use - you just put the dye in the drum, add a 500g of salt, pop in the item to dye and wash it at 40 degrees. After that, another 40-degree wash rinses out any excess, and job done. I chose red for this dress as I needed something that would blend well with the existing brown, and while the label said the dress and lining were both cotton, it said nothing about the embroidery. The embroidery DID take the dye, but none of the seam thread did. However, I like the effect of the brown buttons and stitches against the red, so this counts as a success. My green capris still have pale grey seams, though it's hard to see, and I suspect a lot of modern clothing is held together with synthetic thread, so that's something to take into account if you're dyeing things.
|A good, deep hem, ready to be let down.|
The other thing I did this weekend was tackle the shoe and coat cupboard. I might not have got my yellow shoes, but it was worth seeing what shoes I did have. I noticed a pair of shoes my mum got me a few years ago that I never wear because they need re-heeling and a pair of Victorian-style ankle boots also in need of heeling, plus a few pairs of cheapo Shoe Zone flats that I could wash ready for this summer. (They're pretty much pure fabric-covered plastic with cardboard insoles, but I can buy replacement insoles from Timpsons when I take the others in for repair.)
I also rediscovered a full-length grey wool winter coat that had dragged on every step I walked down one winter, and so had a lining that was trashed for the lower three inches. It's quite a boxy coat, so I plan to take it to an alterations place to be cut off to mid-calf; then it won't drag on steps, and will have a nice 1920s look to boot.
I've been in the mood to fix things. My new year's resolution was to 'make things better'. The results of the General Election weren't what I would have wanted, and I felt causes close to my heart would be likely to face horrible funding cuts over the next five years, so I made a donation to my local hospital's appeal fund, and to Arts Emergency. Can we fix it? Yes, we can!