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Monday, April 25, 2011

Tea Dye & A Girl Party

SHS lovers! Have you heard about clothing exchanges? Tanya has been doing them for years and writing tutorials about them on November Grey.  If you're one of Tanya's nearest and dearest, chances are you have not been able to escape these twice yearly rituals. (Not to mention, she constantly makes everyone dress up for any type of party she's throwing!)

Recently, we hosted one of these babies together at my pad - with a new, Secondhand Star twist, of course!

(How cute is Tanya's baby sister, Leah?)
This adorable crochet tank was a beloved thrift store find of Tanya's that accidentally got stained with dark clothing in the wash.
So we decided that not only would we be trading and exchanging clothing and accessories with our elected and selected fashion elite, but we'd also do some mending, boot scuff shining, and item salvage dying as well!
In the case of this top, since it was already stained with blue, we figured why not even it out? We used a RIT dye bath on the stove top and let it soak for about an hour. This method created a soft, watercolor-y finish, but here are some tips for other dyes. In most cases, there are three methods for at-home dyeing:

1: Bleach baths: to get pesky stains out of white garments or drastically alter something from dark to light. (check out last week's post here.)

2: Tea dyeing: which involves using hot, brewed tea to create sepia tones. This can be done using black teas that have steeped for the better part of an hour. Once the tea bath is dark, you can soak the items in a pot, letting it all boil together on the stove top.

3: Fabric dyeing--on the stove top, the microwave, or the washing machine.

Tips for general dyeing:

To create an all-over, even finish, use a double pack of RIT dye and add the powder to a warm, small sized laundry bath. Let the cycle take its course and don't worry. During the rinse cycle the machine will wash out all the remaining color leaving no stains on its interior.

To create a watercolor or tye-dye finish, (like we did down here) swirl the garment on the stove top to create uneven layers of color.

For smaller items and more intense color, microwave a plastic bowl with double parts dye and single parts water. This is great for dyeing ribbons, accessories, gloves, etc...

A few hours later we went from this... this!
And we LOVE this new twist on classic crochet. The hand dye process turned it a denim hue, which we have yet to see on crochet currently anywhere else, making it a Secondhand Star original piece!

We mixed it up with baggy tweeds, a shiny coat and studded heels.
 We added my signature, huge, silver earrings, bangles, and an antique ring...
 To make it evening casual, for a dinner out.
Do yourselves a favor and clean out your closet, then throw one of these parties of your own. We promise it will be one of the best nights ever.

Go to How to Host a Clothing Exchange for more deets.

Noa B. and Tanya D.

Shoes: NYLA
Bag: Le Sak
Bangles: Swap Party
Crochet top: Swap Party
Earrings: Olvera Street, downtown LA
Jacket: Diane Von Furstenburg
Ring: Vintage, Israel 1960's


  1. Love the crochet top! Amazing what a little DIY can do!
    Nicole F.

  2. WOW! amazing!! You girls are sooo beautiful!