It has been a decade since my husband and I got married. We were young and did not have a large budget for our wedding. We had a family friend do our pictures…they are not my favorite. We decided to finally get the pictures we wanted ten years ago, so I book an anniversary photo shoot.
This involved some preparation because my dress had been sitting in the bag since our wedding. I never had it cleaned or preserved, just put it in the bag and hauled it all over two states for the past decade. It was pretty badly stained and I was worried about getting it dry cleaned. So, I started to do some research about cleaning it myself. I found that there are many women who do this. I also learned that dry cleaning can destroy the beading, so it turned out my procrastination worked in my favor.
So, with my research and the mindset that it was already wrecked from all the stains, I jumped in. I only used Shout for my stain remover/treatment. I made sure to coat the stains well and then let it hang dry overnight. I treated them one more time the next morning and then filled my bathtub with luke-warm to mostly cold water and some All Free and Clear detergent. I did not want to use a detergent with dyes because I did not want to risk dying my dress. I let the dress soak for about 5 hours and then I just lightly rubbed the stained areas that still had to be lifted with my hands. There were still a couple areas that had light stains, but I was very pleasantly surprised how easily most of the stains came out.
I hung it up to air dry overnight and then sprayed a couple of the areas that still had light staining with the Shout one more time. I decided not to soak my dress again as the staining was light and only in a few small areas. Instead I used a cup of cold water and a soft cloth to gently scrub the remaining staining out of the dress. I then rinsed the entire skirt with cold water and let it air dry. Even though they didn’t come out 100%, my dress is clean and you can’t really see any of the remaining stains.
Now for the fun part…. seeing if I can fit into my dress still? I have gained some weight in the last decade and wasn’t sure if my dress was going to even work for our photo shoot. The top is an actual coreset so I knew I had a little wiggle room with the ties. I could get it on but, I ended up making a new tie for the back so that it would work.
I took an old scarf I had and cut it into four strips. I hand stitched the pieces together end to end and made a new tie. The scarf I used was colorful and floral and went well with the rest of my photo shoot items. I will share those with you in the next two articles.
Stay tuned for my DIY Flower Crown article coming soon.
Erin is a Spiritual Life Coach and Reiki Master Teacher. She started this blog as a way to share her self-love and body acceptance journey. Over the past 5 years it has become her business, her passion, and her purpose. She has created coaching programs to help other women find their truth, love their bodies, and embody their power and purpose.