Help me save this dress I plan to ruin!
October 11, 2010 11:00 PM   Subscribe

I bought a pretty white satin dress for halloween. Part of my costume is that I have to put fake blood all over it, since I'm going as Carrie. However, I'm starting to get really sad that I am going to ruin this dress, as I like the idea of wearing it for other things too. Is there any recipe for fake blood I can use that will wash out easily. Or is there any way I can rescue the dress afterwards? I was planning on making my fake blood with corn syrup and red/green food coloring.
posted by long haired child to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You could get some sort of shawl to put around your shoulders and cover that in blood.
posted by whoaali at 11:04 PM on October 11, 2010

I would almost certainly suggest going the thrift store/Goodwill route and finding a much less expensive and probably less nice dress to douse in blood that will NOT be removable no matter the material, in a manner that will return said dress to full wearability.

Use the nice dress for something nice!

(It's not to say that a good dry cleaning and a weak dye might work, but the amount and setting time is going to be a huge factor, and if you're going as Carrie, go big and get it *bloody*. Watered down in a misguided effort to preserve the dress just seems strange to me!)
posted by disillusioned at 11:06 PM on October 11, 2010 [5 favorites]

You could be Carrie just before the blood-dropping incident. Any way you can rig up a shoulder harness and suspend a bucket above your head? (Good how-tos on shoulder rigs here.)
posted by phunniemee at 11:07 PM on October 11, 2010

I say, don't worry about it. You're probably deluding yourself if you think that you will ever wear it again – it'll just sit in your closet for years. While it is a lovely gown, it is outdated and in addition almost screams "$100 bridesmaid dress", and would be inappropriate or at best cheap and cheesy at most dinners/cocktail parties or other more formal affairs.
posted by halogen at 11:31 PM on October 11, 2010 [20 favorites]

I've tried lots and lots of different blood-like substances, but at the end of the day, red is red is red. Even red crayola marker will leave a bit of a stain if applied in great enough amounts on certain fabrics.

You could make the blood detachable, though! Find red tinsel, or plastic "grass", or that stuff pompoms are made out of (maybe chop up a regular pom pom?) and create some sort of blood-shawl? (Gross!) I'm thinking that a combination of white or red fishnet fabric (buy a cheap pair of tights at a halloween store, slice up the sides of each leg, you've got a long X shape to drape around your shoulders) spray-adhesive, hot glue, and liberally applied red streamers and tinsel would give a cartoony result that would read "this is a Carrie costume" quite clearly.
posted by Mizu at 11:54 PM on October 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

Is that thing synthetic? You won't be able to redye it afterwards if that's the case, which is your main practical option.

I agree that the dress in its present form isn't as reusable as you think. It's an off-the-shoulder evening gown. People who get invited to black or white tie functions on a regular basis might reuse that, the rest of the population complains and looks for an excuse to wear a knee-length LBD or at most cocktail dress, and it's the rest of the population I end up socializing with and I'm guessing you're in the same position.

What you could do is find some sewing notions to appliqué over the stain, because it's not going to come out. I would question paying loads for a dress only to stain it, you may feel it's worth it though.
posted by tel3path at 12:35 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Wear wide large white ribbon over the dress and stain the ribbon
posted by gt2 at 4:09 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Test it, but we used laundry detergent with OxyClean in it (Tide or whatever) and added red food dye. We had basically no problem getting it out, but again - test on the underside of the hem or something before you go whole-hog.
posted by Medieval Maven at 5:31 AM on October 12, 2010

My first thought was ooh, I like that dress, buy another at the thrift store and ruin the cheap one. But then I thought wait, where would I ever really wear that dress, especially in white? So I get the thought process, but I'd probably say wear that one and look awesome for Halloween, but accept that it will be gone afterwards.
posted by mrs. taters at 6:13 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

You could just dye the whole thing red after Halloween and then have a long, RED satin dress should you ever need a satin dress.
posted by oinopaponton at 6:16 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

You could buy a similar fabric in red, cut out bloody splotch shapes, and attach them with temporary fabric adhesive.
posted by heatvision at 6:38 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

I was thinking something similar to heatvision, temporary fabric adhesive.

But thoroughly wash the red fabric first. Otherwise when it comes into contact with the adhesive it may run, or it may run if it gets at all damp while worn.

I was trying to come up with other possibilities besides fabric that might be less likely to accidentally stain white satin, like maybe Play-Dough or red colored silicone caulking that could be molded and stuck to it (bonus: glossy!) But I think anything made with a red dye might have a tendency to let white fabric leech the coloring out of it, so thoroughly pre-washed :) red fabric temporary appliques are probably your best bet.
posted by galadriel at 6:56 AM on October 12, 2010

You could try pigments meant for coloring soap. This, for instance. Since it's for coloring soap, it's meant to wash out, but I would still contact the company first and tell them what you're planning, and see what they think.
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:10 AM on October 12, 2010

nuts, I missed a /b there
posted by galadriel at 7:50 AM on October 12, 2010

You might also want to consider that homemade fake blood will dye everything you come into contact with throughout the night, not just your own dress. Make sure you're 100% dried before you sit anywhere, and try not to rub up against anything.
posted by you're a kitty! at 7:52 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure how you would wear this again. It will look like a wedding dress where ever you wear it. And, other than a wedding or a black tie affair, I can't imagine being able to wear a dress like that. And, since it's white, it'd be in poor taste to wear to a wedding (and maybe even a black tie thing, but I'm no expert).

Ahem. If you are still set on keeping it, I'd suggest the shawl idea. It'll still look like you had blood poured on you from above with the shawl wrapped around your neck and hanging down.
posted by two lights above the sea at 8:06 AM on October 12, 2010

Just dye the whole thing a darker color post-Halloween.
posted by troublewithwolves at 9:43 AM on October 12, 2010

To heck with the naysayers! You would be the pride & joy of any man lucky enough to take you out in that dress.

Now, to the blood issue...

Buy red acrylic paint, and dribble onto wax paper. If you want bigger splatters, slightly dilute the paint with ammonia (which will dry faster than water). Allow to dry THOROUGHLY - you can speed this up in an oven on the lowest setting, if needed.

Carefully peel the paint off of the wax paper. If it sticks, trim the paper to the paint edges.

Now, test some adhesives. Rubber cement, glue sticks, etc... something thick and weak. Try attaching them to an unseen, right-side part of the garment - a rolled hem edge would be perfect. Satin's sheen can be fragile, not to mention the floating threads that make the shine happen...

Finally, glue the blood drips to your dress. Keep in mind that they are only lightly attached - this won't hold up to a night at a rave, and you may leave a "trail of blood" at the party, but since it's just dried latex, NBD.

posted by IAmBroom at 11:18 AM on October 12, 2010

Why not just dye it a darker colour after?
posted by Neonshock at 1:12 PM on October 12, 2010

Can you get sheer white gauze, drench that in blood the way you want it, let it dry and then wrap that around the dress? The gauze itself shouldn't be all that visible, you'll just see the dress and the blood.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 1:33 PM on October 12, 2010

folks, most satins are mostly polyester fiber, which is impervious to dye. i know, weird considering it will still stain. i'm thinking a very bloody shawl w/ some IAmBroom's paint appliques on the skirt?
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 7:02 PM on October 12, 2010

You CANNOT dye synthetic fibre. If it's silk satin (which is very expensive so probably not) then it's a professional job. It'll stain, though. Temporary fabric adhesive may well stain too as satin is more delicate than you think.

It may not be reusable as others have pointed out. I go to a couple of dress-up parties a year and none of them are formal enough to require a full-length prom-dress. In fact, I came over here from another thread which recommended it as a wedding-dress, so it may look a bit costumey at a formal occasion anyway.
posted by mippy at 9:32 AM on October 14, 2010

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