Radiant Orchid Dress? No problem…

This weekend, I am attending a crafting event hosted by Kim Wardell, a fellow blogger who runs Design + Life + Kids. This event is called “A Radiant Orchid Summer” and is celebrating summer and the Pantone color of the year, Radiant Orchid. The weather is going to be beautiful, she’s gathered some fabulous sponsors, including one of my favorites – Whipped Bakeshop in Philadelphia!

Kim has asked guests to wear “your favorite Radiant Orchid inspired outfit.” When I tell you I’ve been scouring for over a month and a half trying to find the right outfit, I am not exaggerating. I think I had a picture in my mind of what I wanted and nothing really fit the bill. Not wanting to disappoint, and running out of time, I had a revelation. Why not just find a white dress I like and dye it?! Did you know that Rit Dye gives formulas for different colors on their website – included formulas for Pantone colors? So, off to Old Navy I went and found a cute, cotton white dress. Then I went to Michaels and purchased the dye.


Truth be told, I’ve never really dyed anything before. So, I was a little nervous and of course googled it. Here’s what I learned –

1. Think through your process before getting started.

2. Get all your supplies out and ready before you do anything.

3. Wash your garment to remove any sizing.

4. Expect the unexpected. It may not turn out exactly as you envisioned. You need to be ok with this.

Since I was using the powdered dye, I had to follow a conversion guide from liquid to powder. I found this a little confusing and am pretty sure I didn’t do it right. The formula for Radiant Orchid is 4 tsp Petal Pink and 1/2 tsp Purple liquid dye. I reversed the measurements. I know, I’m a genius. Anyway, you’ll need the following supplies:

1. Rubber gloves

2. Large bucket with room for garment and dye (I used a Home Depot bucket)

3. Something to stir with. (I used long stainless steel tongs)

4. Lots of paper towels to clean up messes.

5. Old towels to put under bucket and mixing utensils.

6. Apron or old clothes

7. Somewhere to dump dye and rinse garment. A stainless steel sink is optimum. (I have a porcelain sink in my kitchen, so I ended up draining in the washing machine, not optimum)

I was lucky to have my handy helper, Izzie on hand. Together, we diluted each dye packet, then mixed the ratios in a third large measuring cup, (because I reversed the ratios, it looked too purple, so we added a lot more pink.) and added it to 3 gallons of hot water in the bucket. Pre-wet your garment in hot water, and lower it into the water, as evenly as possible (not bunched up).


Using your stirring implement, keep the garment moving until it has reached a little darker than your desired color.


This is what it looked like after 10 minutes:


(please ignore the dirty dishes in the background – dyeing was my priority… :-))

Next, I rinsed it out really well, wringing it out under the water as it filled the washer. Then I drained the washer and washed the dress, by itself, in cold water once. Then I washed it again, with a load of dark clothes (I would not recommend this, dye was still leaching out). It took a good three rounds of washing to get all the dye out of the washer… Once it was thoroughly washed and dried, I was really happy with the result (even though it was nothing like I expected…)


You can see that the stitching and tassels didn’t absorb the dye – my thought is because they are synthetic. I kinda like it. I’m also pretty sure this is nowhere near the color of ‘Radiant Orchid’. I will place it in the Radiant Orchid ‘inspired’ category…

Now I’m really looking forward to this event!! I’ll be sure to share the projects, goodies and fun soon! Have a great weekend, everyone. 


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  1. Your dress came out great! It was fun seeing you at the party, thanks so much for coming out!

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