Feeling creative? We’re going to show you one way to take a boring old pair of shorts and turn them into a super-happening pair of strategically bleached-out cut-offs! If you’re looking for a professional bleach job or dye job done by the pros, Denim Therapy offers incredible bleach/dye services that will turn your jeans into a dream. But if you want to experiment and have some fun, read on and we’ll guide you through one of the many ways you can modify your denim!
We started out with a pair of bright blue shorts (with a bit of stretch) that hit just below the knee. We decided to give these run-of-the-mill bottoms a new life by turning them into a multi-color, semi-destroyed pair of cut-offs.
Step 1. Cut them to your preferred length. There are no definite measurements for this—it’s up to you if you want to show a bit of your behind or if you want to be more modest. Always try them on, and then mark them. Remember the fabric will rise up about 1/2″ once cut, depending on the fiber content. Cut them longer if you plan to cuff them up.
Step 2. Do a bit of destroying. You can always continue after you have finished bleaching them. Use a scissor, razor, or any rough/sharp edge. Separate fibers at the hem and slits you make in the denim (patience is a virtue). You will see an increase in fringe and loose threads after you wash them, so don’t worry if they look too clean cut at the beginning.
Step 3. Set up a bleaching station. You will need bleach, a bin of water and bleach (our ratio was 2/3 bleach, 1/3 water—but you’ll have to experiment to find your ideal mixture according to your denim’s wash, texture, and fiber content), protective gloves, and a toothbrush.
Be sure you’re doing this in a well-ventilated area, such as nearby an open window.
Step 4. Apply bleach with toothbrush. Flick, spray, splatter, and otherwise distribute the bleach how ever you please. We brushed ours downward from the seamline of the waistband, and then flicked some bleach at random on the fabric.
Step 5. Wait and watch! If the denim isn’t quite bleaching, add more.
Step 6. Repeat step 5 until you’re happy with your bleach-out! At this point, we added a towel to keep the bleach from hitting the wood base the denim was laying on.
Step 7. Once the front is dry, you can rinse and dry, or flip them over and do the same thing (quickly, because you don’t want the bleach to sit in the denim too long). By now you’ll have a good idea of how much bleach to use and how long to leave it.
We also added faux-pockets with bleach to our shorts, because the welt pockets weren’t doing it for us.
Step 8. Rinse thoroughly in hot water (don’t worry if some of the dye runs out of the shorts. It’s probably going to happen—just make sure there are no dishes in your sink). Hang them or lay them to dry somewhere with plenty of ventilation. Once they’re dry, you’re done!
Step 9. Embellish! If you’re feeling extra creative, grab a patch or some studs, and decorate your shorts!
In one afternoon, you can have brand new shorts to flaunt. Be sure to take them out this weekend, and make your friend jealous. If they ask where you got ‘em, tell them about your friends at Denim Therapy. *wink wink*
—Michelle Christina Larsen
Tags: acid wash, bleached denim, bleaching services, cut off shorts, denim bleaching tutorial, Denim Therapy, DIY, how to bleach denim, summer denim, tie dye
So you told us you refused to have a denim tattoo, but what about a denim wedding? We didn’t think this could be done in a charming, non-cheesy way, but someone has successfully pulled off a denim-accented wedding, setting the stage for future denim-loving couples to follow suit. Chambray suit jackets, pocketed-denim frocks, and even a tailored denim bustier can be seen in the mix! Refreshingly classy, non? They paired their denim clothes & accents with an awesome monogrammed wooden walkway for photos. It was an overcast day, so the clouds matched their color scheme perfectly. This is the ultimate denim-lovers’ romance.
Check out the whole (beautiful) set of photos at Once Wed. Photos by Tec Petaja.
—Michelle Christina Larsen
Tags: chambray jacket, denim bride, denim bustier, denim wedding, diy wedding, once wed, wedding photos
Sprucing up your closet for the holidays? Don’t get rid of those old ill-fitting jeans! The holiday windows at Mavi in Union Square reminded us of one other fabulous way to make use of your denim once its days in your wardrobe are through. We’ve put together a quick step-by-step guide to wrapping your gifts in denim. Scroll through the Mavi windows to see how it’s done. ?
1. Gather up jeans you’re not wearing anymore, or make a quick trip the Salvation Army and pick up a couple pairs of large jeans with the saturation and wash of your liking. A right blue with red ribbons could be just as stunning as a stone grey with silver and gold holly leaves.
Tip: If you’re looking for wrapping that’s a bit more uniform-looking, you can order denim by the yard from any variety of fabric stores. Check out Mood Fabrics’ wide selection of denim, and even order online.
2. Cut up the jeans into panels of fabric. If you have a sewing machine, you can create bigger patchwork pieces and even add some decorative top-stitching. Otherwise, it’s best to keep your pieces big enough to wrap all the way around your gift at least once.
3. Wrap up your gift! The denim can be held in place simply by circling ribbons or twine around it, or hand-stitching it together with some strong quilting thread. Depending on the severity of your stitching job, you’ll want to hand over a big pair of fabric scissors when it’s time to do the unwrapping.
4. Get creative! Spray the edges of frayed denim strips to create a beautiful bow. Use glitter glue, studs, or any kind of paint to create a fabulous finish. Use a panel with a pocket and slip your gift card in it. By the time you’re finished you’ll wonder why you ever resorted to boring old wrapping paper in the past.
Voila! A creative, thoughtful way to give gifts this holiday season that will brighten up anyone’s day. Just make sure the gift itself is awesome… you don’t want the cool wrapping paper to overshadow whatever’s inside.
Post your holiday DIY denim projects on our facebook wall and we could feature yours on the blog! And be sure to stop by Mavi’s Union Square location to check out their windows for yourself.
Mavi Jeans – 832 Broadway (between 12th & 13th Streets); New York, NY 10003
—Michelle Christina Larsen
Tags: broadway, christmas 2010, DIY, gift wrap, holiday 2010, holiday windows, Mavi Jeans, patchwork
You, too, can have your own Balmain/Lady Gaga-inspired denim jacket. We asked DIY Queen Michelle Elaine, co-founder of FVNCY, to give us some step-by-steps on how to refashion our tired old denim jackets into fierce creations. Michelle Elaine (aka M.E.) also has an unhealthy obsession — and might I say fetish — for sequins, so we get some double DIY action here via a shredded jacket with peekaboo sequins.
1., 4., & 6. BALMAIN RTW Spring/Summer 2011 – via Vogue.
2. & 3. PLAY ME High Waist Sequin Short – buy it at REVOLVE Clothing.
5. Lada Gaga studded jacket as seen on her music video, “Telephone” – via Nitrolicious.
Follow M.E.’s simple step-by-step instructions and see where you can apply your own individual do-it-yourself look! Click below for more.
Tags: Balmain, denim jackets, DIY, Lady Gaga
Are you sick of your old blue jeans? If so, maybe it’s time to brighten them up; How does any or all shades of red sound to you?
Let’s experiment (all natural ingredients that can be found in your backyard possibly or perhaps in your kitchen pantry)-
- Red leaves will give a reddish brown color
- Sumac (fruit) (light red)
- Dandelion (root)
- Beets (deep red)
- Crab Apple - (bark) – red/yellow
- Rose (hips)
- Hibiscus Flowers (dried)
- Canadian Hemlock – (bark) reddish brown
- Japanese Yew - (heartwood) – brown dye
- Wild ripe Blackberries
- St. John’s Wort – (whole plant) soaked in alcohol – red
Getting the Fabric ready for the Dye Bath
You will have to soak the fabric in a color fixative before the dye process. This will make the color set in the fabric.
Salt Fixative (for berry dyes) 1/2 cup salt to 8 cups cold water
Plant Fixatives (for plant dyes) 4 parts cold water to 1 part vinegar
Add fabric to the fixative and simmer for an hour. Rinse the material and squeeze out excess. Rinse in cool water until water runs clear.
To Make the Dye Solution
Chop plant material into small pieces and place in a pot. Double the amount of water to plant material. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour. Strain, Now you can add your fabric to be dyed. For a stronger shade, allow material to soak in the dye overnight.
Place wet fabric in dye bath. Simmer together until desired color is obtained. The color of the fabric will be lighter when its dry. Also note that all dyed fabric should be laundered in cold water and separately.
Then again if you are not the creative type ( because things are always easier said than done) or just don’t like getting DIRTTYYYY, it might be a better idea to have Denim Therapy take care of the messy work… Check out their latest and greatest new service!
Voila, a new love affair has begun.
– Jackie Racer
Tags: colored denim, DIY
Lindsay Lohan in PRPS
Ashley Tisdale in Siwy
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could make a wish to the Jean Genie for a pair of this seasons trendy cut-off jeans? Hell, I’d ask for every premium jean from here to Tokyo! Since that isn’t going to happen, here’s a way to breath new life into your old jeans. Copy the look that so many celebrities (Lindsay Lohan and Ashley Tisdale to name a few) are rocking. Show off those sexy gams of yours and sharpen those scissors of yours.
D.I.Y. instructions to create your own Jean Shorts
(Source – Life & Style):
Tools needed: Tape measure, pen, scissors.
Step 1: Mark the length on the midthigh, adding an extra 1/2 inch for fraying.
Step 2: Cut straight across the legs with sharp scissors
Step 3: Machine-wash and dry to encourage frayed edges. the more jeans are washed, the more the fabric will unravel.
Tip: To get the best length, lay a favorite pair of shorts on top of the jeans and match up the crotch seams. Cut along the hemline.
PRPS Ladies cut-off denim short in Splatterpop, $349 (as seen on Lindsay Lohan)
Siwy Camilla cut-off shorts in Superstition wash, $168 (as seen on Ashley Tisdale), $168
America Eagle Destroyed denim cut-off short shorts, $34.50
–Nikki Cho Russo
Tags: American Eagle, Ashley Tisdale, Celebrity Pink, DIY, Jean Shorts, Lindsay Lohan, PRPS, Siwy