It all started as a mistake. Isn’t it true that out of something bad comes something good? I have learned that lesson one too many times in my life but my latest accident was on a more superficial fashion level but none the less celebratory. Cleaning one day, I spilled bleach on one of my most comfortable cotton maxi dresses. I kept wearing it trying to cover up the blemish with a jean jacket but it just never worked. As usual my three boys, husband included, like to provide support or advice. I thought maybe I could bleach the whole dress? Then someone suggested tie-dying it? So I combined the two efforts and decided to use a reverse tie-dye process with diluted bleach. My handy helpers went on line to find out the best technique to get a real tie-dye look. The key was to lay the dress flat, wet it and then carefully spin spirals creating a wheel type shape. I tried to secure it with rubber bands and then carefully placed it in a flat bucket partially filled with the water and bleach mixture. It did not take long for the grey color to turn pinkish white. As always, our DIY projects become a great learning experience for the boys. It is almost as if they could see the color disappearing right before their eyes. Once we thought it had spent enough time soaking in the liquid, I took it out and laid it flat on the sidewalk to rinse it out with the hose. The key is getting out the bleach before it destroys the fabric. Unraveling the bunched up cotton dress was like opening up a present. The amazing shades of grey and pink swirls were fantastic. I let it dry in the sunshine, ran it through the washer on its own and voila! My new favorite maxi dress was born. Now I wear it to the beach with my head wrap or with my flip flops out on the town with the kids. I get compliments every time I have it on, but don’t always feel the need to tell them our DIY success story. But it is true, with a little ingenuity and inspiration an ordinary mistake can become something special. Now I have an original “Nolan” design!