dying vintage slips


 This summer at the fringe festival, I purchased a lot of vintage and antique slips from a very nice lady who had kept them safe for decades. One slip belonged to her mother and is made of lux silk with beautiful cotton lace, but is so tiny that it won't fit on my size 6 dress form. It's shocking how much smaller we were in stature and frame just 80 years ago. A combination of food, medicine, and evolution. Amazing really.

So this time, I was working a batch of 1950's pure nylon slips with tons of pretty gauzy details. I used the stove top method to get the mix nice and hot, did a lot of checking and agitating, and knocked back a glass of wine. That last point is pretty much tradition for me when dying slips. I love these times. It's a great feeling to revive something unused and under appreciated through creative process.

After the dye is rinsed and set, I assess the garment for repairs. I find that doing repairs after the dye is through to be preferable, because it's sometimes unpredictable how old thread will take dye vs. new thread. If I leave repairs to the last step, I can color match the thread to the result rather than possibly having two differently colored stitches in my garment. I have also started to replace straps with solid cross back ones in place of the original adjustable bra strap. This step can be done before the work is dyed so the color match is closer.