Saturday 30 August 2014

Galaxy dress! No sew refashion.

I've had this blue linen dress in my wardrobe for a couple of years and it gets fairly regular wear through the summer as its light and airy and comfortable.

However a couple of weeks ago I came back from work and decided it was a good idea to start cleaning the bathroom while wearing it!  This was not my most intelligent moment!  This is what happened:


As this dress was still in good condition and I really liked it, I was determined to rescue it in some way.  I blame this refashion on a discussion about the Northern Lights with a couple of friends and a really bling-y episode of 'Don't tell the Bride' (trash TV viewing reveal!)  Galaxy dress refashion:

What did I do?
Since the dress had bleached so easily by accident I simply splattered it with ordinary household bleach, hung it up and waited for the bleach to do its thing and the colour disappeared and then bunged it in a bath full of water to get rid of the bleach.

In the interests of full disclosure I should say that the moment I choose to do the bleach spattering was about 5mins before my friend Grace came round for dinner. Just FYI if you ever get invited to mine for dinner it may involve helping out with a refashion/sewing/photography!

I think it looked pretty epic once it had been bleached and dried out. However, never satisfied with a simple life, I still had other plans for this dress. 

I wanted to try out some iron on diamantes which I had bought from here

My 'technique' with these was essentially; throw them at the dress and see where they land and then iron them on. Except for a few strategic places where I knew I wanted a bit of bling detail.

The diamantes cost me £1.49 plus £1.15 for delivery and the bleach I had in the house and since the process was started by accident I'm not going to count it as a cost but even if you included another pound for the bleach, this refashion cost me less than 4 quid.  Totally worth it to rescue my dress and give me a new sparkly, star spangled one.  However when I asked my boyfriend for his thoughts, he said "nice but I'm never really going to be a fan of sparkly bits on clothes", what?  Good job I'm not taking his refashioning advice!

 I love it!!!

 Just look at the space pattern, this makes me happy.

Although you'd never know it from the look on my face.  I'm not sure why I always look so grumpy in my blog selfies.

And some close ups to get a better view of the bling! 

You can just about see the flash glinting off the diamantes.   

Tips for bleaching dying clothes based on my limited experience:
Make sure your fabric is made of natural fibres, this will not work on synthetics. My dress was linen so the bleach worked like a dream but the thread used in the dress was clearly synthetic. Look:

Do it somewhere animal and child free. I have a lot of cats and foxes in my garden that I would really like to leave, however, bleach poisoning is not the way to do it. Despite my casual splattering approach, I did clear up afterwards, this stuff is really toxic so be careful. 

Do it somewhere that is other fabric free! This refashion was motivated by an accident with bleach but I doubt most people (me included, despite my love for this dress) want 'bleach spattered' as a look for their whole house. 

Go easy with the bleach, it takes a very little amount to remove the colour. In areas where I was more liberal with it, it took longer to work and meant that I had to leave the whole dress with the bleach on for longer. Bleach can damage the fibres of your dress so you want it on for as short a time as possible.

Notes on the diamantes:
There were 144 in the packet and I thought this would be LOADS but it really wasn't, the diamantes are much more sparse on the back of the dress than on the front as I started to run out.

The instructions said to press on diamantes with the iron on a low heat and covering them with a cloth, however, I found that they didn't attach at all when I used a press cloth so I dispensed with it and just left the iron directly on the diamantes/dress for 20ish seconds.  I could do this as my dress was made from natural fibres but its something to consider if you want to apply them to a synthetic.

After one wear some of the diamantes have started to shed, this is before it's even gone through a wash so I'm not sure how long the sparkly element to this dress will last.

So with a little bit of bling, I'm off on holiday for two weeks!  See you all in a fortnight for 'one week, one pattern'.


  1. I love this refashion!! I have yet to try bleaching anything (although I want to!), but I've had oretty much the same experinece with those little iron-on bits of bling. I used them for a fancy dog collar I made for my brother's dog (it was her "best man" outfit at his wedding, complete with bow tie and wrist cuffs), but sadly the bling didn't last very long. Luckily, she's a dog and didn't mind, and she only had to wear it once haha! :)

  2. Do it! It's so easy and fun, I'm actually glad I was such a klutz and ruined this dress in the first place. It's so frustrating about the bling, I'll keep you posted if I find a more reliable solution.