In the spirit of redoing almost my entire Poe Dameron cosplay, one of the pieces I wanted to redo was the pants. The pants I used originally were pretty close to the right color, but the style wasn’t quite right. I found a pair on eBay that were just about right after a few modifications and some dye. This is what they looked like before I made any modifications:
The things I ended up modifying:
- Removed the cargo pockets from each leg
- Removed the back pockets
- Removed thin belt loops
- Replaced the buttons on the fly
- Removed the adjustable buckles on the waist
- Converted the buttoned belt loops to regular belt loops
- Created two new belt loops in the front
- Removed the cinching ties in the leg hems
It sounds like a lot of work, but it didn’t take very long at all. It was mostly taking my seam ripper to everything, and just a little bit of sewing.
This is what they looked like after the modifications:
A lot less “stuff” on them, that’s for sure! That meant only one thing…DYE TIME. I used Rit Liquid Fabric Dye in Dark Brown, because I assumed (and this is where it will come back to bite me later) that the pants were 100% cotton. Why? I have no idea. Because of that assumption, this is what they ended up looking like when they were dyed, washed, and dried:
The dye only dyed some of the fibers, and the rest were left khaki. If I wasn’t going for a particular color, they would have looked really cool, but…unfortunately they were all wrong. A comparison shot of the before and after:
I immediately checked the listing on eBay to see if the fiber contents were listed, and it turned out the pants were actually 65% polyester and 35% cotton. Whoops. I purchased a bottle of Rit DyeMore in Chocolate Brown, which is meant for synthetic fabrics. That also meant I needed to borrow my mum’s giant stock pot for some intense stovetop dyeing fun. This is what they looked like after the second round of dyeing:
Darker, but not quite the dark chocolate brown I was hoping for. Sigh. Here’s the comparison between the original pants, the first round of dyeing, and the second round:
For the third attempt, I bought a packet of Jacquard iDye Poly in Brown and a packet in Black. I used the entire packet of brown and about 1/3 of the packet of black. I figured the black might help darken the brown a little. The result was more of a dark olive green than I expected:
I’m not really sure what happened. The dye coverage was definitely better with the iDye Poly than the Rit dye, which made me happy. Here’s a comparison of all four iterations of the pants:
At this point, I’m going to call it good and go with this sort of brownish/olive/whatever color they ended up being.
The plus side of all of this is that the Rit DyeMore and iDye Poly dyes will actually dye plastic buttons and zippers, so I didn’t have to replace the zipper in the pants. I guess that’s something that turned out better than I expected!