Friday, 8 September 2017

Dye Dye Baby - How I Averted A Dollyrockers Disaster



I've always loved Dollyrockers, a vintage label originating from the British Boutique Movement of the 1960s. Designed by Samuel Sherman (aka Sambo) and with an advertising campaign headed by Patti Boyd, George Harrison's ex, Dollyrockers was active between 1963 and 1975. I've owned (and sold) a lot of their earlier stuff but their later hippy-style maxis remain a firm favourite in my wardrobe.


I couldn't resist snapping up this Dollyrockers maxi dress after spotting it on a stall selling vintage clothing rescued from a house clearance. Although in great, unworn condition, it smelled like it had been stored in a damp cellar for decades. Never mind, I thought, I'll stick it in the washing machine when I get home.


Ignoring the Hand Wash With Care instruction on the label, I threw the dress in the machine on a non-colourfast wash. When the cycle had finished, I opened the machine and to my horror discovered that the red dye from the skirt had leeched into the blouse part of the dress, turning it a horribly shitty shade of pink, my first washing disaster after a near-lifetime of collecting vintage clothing.


I tried soaking the top half in some diluted Poundland stain remover with no success so, reluctant to use bleach, searched for suggestions for a colour run remover on-line. The result was a product by Dr Beckmann's available from Wilko. At just £1.25 it had got to be worth a shot, failing that I'd have to dye the bloody thing red. I grabbed my purse, sprinted into town and grabbed the last packet off the shelf. I pondered the Dylon stand for a minute or two but decided to trust the 5 star reviews on the Wilko website.


Back home, seam ripper in hand, I carefully detached the top of the dress from the skirt and, as per the instructions, put the offending article in a bucket along with the contents of the sachet diluted in six litres of hot water and then popped a lid over the top.

Frock perfection - Quilted cotton skirt, braided corset belt, roll-neck wool crepe blouse, voluminous sleeves.

Although the instructions suggested leaving the stained article to soak for at least four and a half hours, when I checked after an hour the top was back to its original shade. After rinsing it thoroughly I hung the blouse up to dry overnight, ironed it and then sewed it back on to the skirt .

Good as new vintage! 

Jeffery Campbell Woodies - £2.49 chazza find last month

We're busy packing for Hemingway Design's Classic Car Boot Sale in Kings Cross. If you're coming down you'll find us in Lewis Cubitt Square with Gilbert, our orange VW campervan alongside. Keep your fingers crossed for dry weather!


See you soon!


PS This isn't a sponsored post, I paid the £1.25 for the Colour Run Remover out of my own pocket!

64 comments:

  1. Hallelujah!!!!
    Saved by Dr Beckmann's magic potion! The brand RIt makes a similar product in the US.
    That dress looks rather tame compared to the other Dollyrockers I've seen. Looks absolutely fabulous on you ;)

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    1. Thank you! I was a bit worried about the plain top half at first but quite like it now - and there's always waistcoats! xxx

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  2. dodged a bullet, good to know. Unlike the dry cleaning mess (not their fault) from this summer. I sent a period dress we just made to be dry cleaned, it came back with all the sparkles gone. It would have been nice if The Boos had read the fabric care label that said "No iron, no dry cleaning". I would have taken it home and washed it in my bathtub.

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    1. Oh no! That's terrible! Never been a fan of dry cleaning, read far too many horror stories! xxx

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  3. At least you now have a solution if it ever happens again! I hope you get a decent trading day outside!

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    1. I do! I was amazed something so cheap worked so well! xxx

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  4. I've been obsessed with the dress in the bottom left corner of your collage for years!!!! Luv it!!! Gorgeous skirt!!!!

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    1. I have seen that dress you like pop up a few times on eBay quite cheaply - I'll keep my eyes peeled for you! xxx

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  5. I'm glad you managed to sort out your lovely dress! I've had good experiences with Colour Run Remover in the past, but I managed to ruin my first vintage dress earlier this year that even Dr Beckmann couldn't fix unfortunately. Wishing you the best with your car boot!

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    1. Oh no! It's horrible to ruin a vintage frock, it's not like they're replaceable! xxx

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  6. Back from the brink of disaster and you look fabulous in it! Have a wonderful weekend Vix. xxx

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  7. I've only ruined a couple items this way, but they were the pieces I'd least wanted ruined. I wasn't aware of dye removers, so I'll be investing in some in the event of future mishaps. Thanks to alerting me to the existence of stain remover.

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    1. I thought that they might be a bit gimmicky and was hugely impressed! xxx

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  8. Phew, Wilko to the rescue! You look the business in your DollyRockers and I'm guessing you got rid of the pong too? Good luck in the big smoke this weekend...we had the mother of all downpours this morning so hope you stay dry. xxx

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    1. Thank goodness the pong vanished in the wash, it really was rank! xxx

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  9. Dr Beckmann has saved clothes ruined by me more than once! That sinking feeling when you look in the washer is a familiar feeling.
    The dress looks great.
    Have a good weekend trading xxx

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    1. Dr Beckmann is a genius - whoever he is! xxx

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  10. Any hints on correcting bleach spotted clothes? Would dying them work and would I get them to all be the same color-the bleached out spots plus main? I destroyed a really great pair of pants-fortunately thrifted, but still sad.

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    1. Try fabric paint - it worked beautifully with a 1950s ballgown dotted with bleach spots. Just apply to the ruined areas with a paintbrush, set with an iron and leave to dry. Dylon or Tulip are both good and, I think, available in the US as well as the UK! xxx

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  11. Good to know! I have ruined a couple of vintages with washing.

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    1. Easily done - I'll be more careful in future! xxx

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  12. Well, they SHOULD have sponsored you. Hahaha. But I'm glad you made this investment on your own. What a dress-saver! I didn't know this existed but I'll know to check online if I'm struck. Fantastic dress and well worth the effort. Whew. I love your Dollyrockers!

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    1. Why is it that the sponsorship offers are nearly always stuff I have have no use for whatsover? Stain removers, booze makers and airlines take note! xxx

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  13. Phew, glad you were able to save that fabulous maxi. Good to hear the Dr. Beckmann product actually works. I have a box of it among my washing products, but never had reason to use it. I'm always wary of vintage clothing involving red. I've even had red buttons giving off colour ... xxx

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    1. Forearmed is forewarned - hopefully you'll never need to use it! xxx

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  14. That is a gorgeous dress and a real save. I have used that stuff before. It is the bizz. I have a whole load of my stuff that got damp in storage so was just going to try the vinegar in the tub to get rid off the smell, or maybe bicarb. Do you have any tried 'n; tested tips? BTW, I am still coming down to London tomorrow to peruse the Grayson Perry exhibition and am meeting up at King's Cross. Really excited so will see you there! Xx

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    1. Eeek! I can't wait to meet you! xxx

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  15. Oh I remember Dollyrocker so well; I must have owned at least one maxi dress of theirs.

    I'm so glad it turned out well for your beautiful new dress - how patient you are to unpick the bodice and resew it. I would've given up I'm afraid!

    The forecast is not good I'm sorry to say...
    xxx

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    1. It was a challenge, I must admit! I couldn't abandon a Dollyrockers frock though, it's cruelty to vintage!
      The forecast was wrong - hooray! xxx

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  16. very cool dress indeed!
    and luckily you could rescue it after the washing desaster. i often see and like items that are sewn together from different fabrics - and i leave them always behind esp. when one part is white..... color run is invitable and i do not have the patience to unpick every time i want wash the piece. :-)
    xxxxx

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    1. I do like those dresses with the contrasting bodice - I bought another from the same seller that washed up a treat. Next time I wash that Dollyrockers I'll remember to throw in a Colour Catcher sheet! xxx

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  17. Good job you are resourceful missus. It's a beauty of a dress. I especially like the skirt fabric. I'm chuckling at your shoes, as fabulous as they are I'd be falling off them for sure. Hope the weather holds for you xxx

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    1. I'm amazed I can stay upright in those shoes, I have difficulty sober and barefoot most of the time! Must be 'cos they're a posh make and ergonomically designed! xxx

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  18. Amazed at how effective the colour run remover was! I never really expect this sort of thing to work properly. Those wedge shoes are lovely, even more so at that price.

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    1. Neither did I! Those Wilko reviews are worth reading! xxx

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  19. Hi Vix, glad the dye situation got sorted out! I have a red Dollyrockers dress and the upper part is rather uninspiring. I'm considering turning it into a skirt but am hesitant to do it as I've never turned a dress into a skirt before. Your post has reminded me that I have to get to it. Xx

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    1. You should do it, Jess! It's a shame to leave a Dollyrockers dress unworn! xxx

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  20. Wow! That is INSANE! I need some of that stuff! I've had this kind of thing happen before. I doubt I'd have been able to detach the top from the bottom though. I can sew but my skills are pre beginner level.

    Love this dress! I'm so glad you managed to save it. What we won't do for some choice vintage!

    Wishing you much success at this show!

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. It's a great little product! I was hugely impressed.
      I was a bit worried about unpicking the top and resewing it but it went back together really easily, thank goodness! xxx

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  21. well it should be a sponsored post! that's incredible stuff - can't believe it can put things to rights on such a big scale. Clever you!

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    1. Definitely a product worth keeping in your cupboards! xxx

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  22. Phew!! I'm glad you salvaged it. I've tried Dylon colour run remover stuff before, but it was definitely much more expensive. Worth remembering this one. xx

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    1. I didn't even know Dylon did colour remover which is a bit daft seeing as they are the first company you think of when you dye clothes! xxx

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  23. Good job saving the dress!! Gosh, I'm still drooling over those gorgeous shoes!!

    Happy thrifting ;)

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  24. I must admit I do prefer the Dylon product having tried both. Having said that I am also OBSESSED with Colour Catcher sheets. I tend to put 2 or 3 in rather than just one then chuck all my colours in together (apart from black or dark denim) and all is well.

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    1. I shall stock up on Colour Catcher sheets, every time I see them in Poundland I keep meaning to buy them. xxx

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  25. I didn't know they made stuff that would remove leached dye like that! You Brits have a solution for everything when it comes to fabric. Glad you were able to save the dress.

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    1. I was amazed that it worked - I thought the dress was ruined for ever! xxx

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  26. Phew! I can imagine how you felt when you opened the washing machine door! That awful stomach sinking feeling... yuck
    x

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    1. I couldn't believe my eyes, I couldn't even take a photo of the damage, I was so traumatised!! xxx

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  27. Sounds like a great product! I got color spots on my white skirt and soaked it in diluted hydrogen peroxide and it worked! Love that dress! :)

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    1. Great tip, I'll remember that! xxx

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  28. Oh, good to know you were able to rescue the dress!

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    1. I know, I refuse to be defeated! xxx

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  29. You are brilliant to think of saving this fab dress by detaching the bodice and sewing it back on. I think we have a similar product in the states, Rit Color Remover. And I love the color catcher sheets. They work really well, but there are limits, especially when mixing reds with whites. Red seems to be the color the bleeds the easiest. And I've actually thrown print cotton dresses in my pool that had a little color transfer. The small amount of chlorine did the trick!

    I've never seen a Dollyrocker label dress in the US. I guess all you vintage loving gals over there are hoarding them for yourselves :)

    Theresa

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    1. Red does seem a pain to stay true, even the hair dye doesn't seem to last!
      Us Brits do like to keep hold of our Dollyrockers although I have seen a few US sellers on Etsy asking stupid money for them! They're fabulous but hardly rare! xxx

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  30. How did I miss this post? Amazing story! So many little tricks to know about washing clothes... The dress is gorgeous, and I am happy that you were able to rescue it! <3

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    1. You've got so much going on I'm not surprised if you miss a post! I was hugely relieved to rescue the dress. I will not be defeated! xxx

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  31. Amazing, I'll make a note of that product in case I ever have any washing disasters! I don't have anything from Dollyrockers myself but would love to find a piece one day xx

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    1. You'd look fantastic in some of their mini dresses! xxx

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