How I Saved Hundreds on This Maternity Dress

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When it was time for my maternity pictures, I wanted to find a dress that truly captivated my style. I didn’t want to settle for just any dress and I wanted the dress to be appropriate for the outdoor pictures we would be taking on the farm. After some Pinterest searches, I found a photo of a dress that I loved. I used my reverse engineering strategies (*wink*) and did a reverse image search to try and determine where the dress was purchased. Every time I did a search, the photo was leading me to foreign websites that had stolen the maternity image to what they were claiming to be that dress. I then searched for reviews on the websites only to find out that none of these sites were legitimate clothing sites.

Finally, after deep searching, I found the blog post by Kate Nelle showcasing the dress in her maternity photos and linking the source to the dress. To my dismay, I found out that the dress was over $400 and was no longer being sold by the company, Doen. I found the dress available on eBay listed for over $500. It was a splurge for me to pay for professional photos; there was no way I could spend that much on a dress, no matter how beautiful.

At this point, I was in full force on my mission. Surely I could find something similar to Kate’s dress. My search continued and I found this look-a-like dress on Amazon for only $32!

While I didn’t want white, I knew I could purchase this color and dye it the color I wanted. I purchased this dress in white and light pink in a smaller size, just to see if I might like the pink color and have a back-up size. Ultimately, I returned the light pink dress.

I took a look at Rit Dye’s website for their color chart to see which dye colors I would need to purchase to achieve the look. I decided to purchase Tangerine and Cocoa Brown to dye the dress a “dusty pink” color. I also purchased the ColorStay Dye Fixative to lock in the colors.

Now was the moment of truth: dying the dress! Here are the step-by-step instructions and supplies needed to complete the project.

Step 1:

Gather Your Supplies

Supplies Needed:
Rit All-Purpose Dye
Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative (Recommended)
Measuring Cup
Large Metal Spoon
Plastic Container or Stainless Steel Sink
Paper Towels
Plastic Table Cover
Rubber Gloves
Salt (If Dyeing Cotton, Rayon, Ramie or Linen)
Vinegar (If Dyeing Nylon, Silk or Wool)
Dishwashing Liquid

Step 2:

Start with pre-washed fabric (dress) and soak the entire piece of fabric in clean, hot water. (Take it from me, do not do this in a pretty white bath tub, or your tub will no longer be pretty white… oops!)

Step 3:

Add 1 cup of salt or vinegar (depending on fabric type) to the water. I added salt since the dress I was dying was 100% cotton.

Step 4:

Add one drop of liquid dish detergent. Stir it all up!

Step 5:

Put on gloves. A very important step… that I regretfully skipped.

Step 6:

Shake the bottles of dye and pour in the appropriate amount into the water. Since I had an entire bathtub of water, I used the entire bottle of each color. Stir the mixture until the colors are well blended and the area looks like a murder scene. Yikes!

Step 7:

Use a piece of fabric (made of the same contents) and test the colors. I used an old white cotton t-shirt. I was so happy with the color I saw!

Step 8:

Add the dress to the dye bath. Stir for 10-30 minutes until the colors thoroughly cover the dress and the desired color is achieved. I left the dress in the bath for about 20 minutes.

Step 9:

Drain water and start with another area of clean hot water. Add the ColorStay Fixative after dyeing and before washing to enhance the color and reduce color bleeding. (Peep Justin’s discolored shorts that I dyed dusty pink, too!)

Step 10:

Stir occasionally for 20 minutes.

Step 11:

Rinse in cold water until water runs clear. Then, wash in warm water with a mild detergent. Rinse and hang to dry.

Step 12:

Enjoy your dress and take the most beautiful maternity photos!

Here’s a helpful video with step-by-step instructions.

Original dress: $400

Amazon dress and dyes: $47

Money saved: $353!!

When I was finished with the dress, I sold it on Poshmark for $60! In the end, I made money by choosing this dress. I am so happy with the way it turned out for our photos. It was exactly what I was looking for.

Let me know if you try this experiment! I would love to see this in other colors and styles as well. Here are other styles that would also be great for maternity photos:

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How I Saved Hundreds on This Maternity Dress

I'm a South Georgia girl making strides in the world with big dreams and a heart to serve others!  I'm the champion of planning, organization, and being a perfectionist (hello, type one ennegram.) I'm really glad you're here!

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  1. Amanda Williamson says:

    Wow! That’s brilliant Jenna! It turned out so pretty! Thank you for sharing, I’ll definitely keep this in mind when looking for dresses in the future for the girls!

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