20th Century

More pink dye

The benefit’s of dyeing the fabric for Emily’s dress meant that I got to dye some other stuff to go with the fabric, meaning perfectly matched dress accessories.  Woot woot!

In addition to the pink fabric, the original dress has pink ribbons trimming the top of the knife pleated ruffles on the hem, and would have had matching pink lacing cord for the bodice back.

Perfect ruffles with almost perfectly matched ribbon

Unfortunately the original lacing cord has been lost and replaced with a synthetic alternative, so I just have to guess what the original cord looked like.

The original bodice, with the later replacement cords at the bottom

When Emily’s dress was made the seamstresses probably just bought ribbon and lacing cords that came in almost matching colours.  The shade of pink was probably fashionable and popular, and easy to match.

I don’t have that luxury, but I do have one that is just as good.  I can just use the same dye I used on the fabric to dye my accessories.  This is what I dyed:

White piping cord (a lacing possibility), cream lacing cord (another lacing possibility), and cream ribbon (for the top of the pleats)

So, after dyeing my pink fabric, I saved the dye, and a few days later I heated it back up and had another go at dyeing.

The ribbons just out of the dye pot

After huge masses of fabric, ribbons are so easy.  Just throw them in, plenty of room to stir, easy peasy perfect results.

Well, mostly perfect.  Some fibres just take dyes funny.

Ewww. The piping cord came out a hideous pink colour. Guess I won't be using it.

This is what they all look like all dried and tidied.  I can’t wait to use them!

Pretty pink ribbons and ties

And while I was dyeing, I did a few other things.  A lilac dress from 1902 at Te Papa has matching lilac silk stockings, and two years ago I bought a bunch of silk socks that are very similar to the 1902 socks with the idea that someday I could dye them to match a dress.

That day finally came.

The socks just into the dye pot

Unfortunately, dye jobs don’t go well if you get a phone call, get distracted, and leave the socks in the pot for an hour without stirring.

Boo.  I guess I’m either going to have to try again, or settle for plain nude stockings.

At least my final accessory came out much better.


Oh yeah.  Those are dyed silk shoes.  Win!

Tomorrow I’ll do a tutorial on how to dye your own silk shoes (perfect if you have ordered a pair of American Duchess shoes!)




  1. Try popping the piping into a cup of coffee or tea for a few minutes. It might deepen the color enough for it to be usable.

  2. oh purrrrr, I think you just re-ignited my need to sew something frilly…and pink!

  3. Joie de Vivre says

    I actually really like the vibrant bright pink piping cord ! But then I would:) But OMG I LOVE LOVE the shoes! Must have!

  4. Madame Ornata says

    Ooops I hope that wasn’t me distracting you! Tee hee. The shoe are divine, so glowing and the nicest shade of pink. Makes me all warm on this grey Winter day.

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