Earlier this month I did a blog post on environmentally friendly ways to get rid of your old/unwanted clothes (click here to read). With that same idea in mind, of finding ways to reduce clothing waste, I decided to put together this blog post and share how I transformed old clothes to make them suit my style. Unfortunately, I do not have before – and – after pictures of the clothes, I did not transform them simply for the purposes of this posts, they are all pieces that I actually have in my closet and have worn at least for the past 2 years.
I truly hope that this post will inspire you to experiment with your own clothes and make you think twice next time you throw something in the trash. Use your imagination, go online and see what the major trends are at the moment or go on Pinterest to get more ideas. I personally do not bother following trends, however, if you do not have an idea of how you can make something wearable again, then they are great a starting point. And remember, you do not need amazing skills or a sewing machine to some simple changes on your clothes! Yes, you can truly do wonders with a sewing machine, but there are still SO MANY simple and affordable ways to change up your clothes and give them life again!
(Super) Distressed Tie-dye Jean:
So I was on the hunt for vintage clothes and I asked my aunt if she had any, she wanted to get rid of. The next thing I know, she is at my house with a bag full of clothes. One of the many items of clothing that I found in the bag, was a pair of dark blue jeans. I didn’t really like the cut/style of them, however, I knew they were good quality (because of their brand) so I wanted to try and change them up to make them wearable again. After some thinking, I finally had an idea of what I wanted to create/do and I must admit, I really took a risk with these jeans, they would either turn out amazing or absolutely terrible. I searched on YouTube how to distress jeans and how to tie-dye clothes and then all I had to buy were some rubber bands and chlorine (I know chlorine is a chemical and friendly to the environment, but buying a new pair of jeans would make A LOT more harm than some chlorine). First cute the jeans to the length I wanted (which actually turned out to be a little too short, oopsie) and then I added some cuts all over the jeans. Then I just tied together random parts of the jeans with elastics and let them sit in chlorine until I got the desired colour effect. I then rinsed off the chlorine, put them in the washing machine for a good wash and then they were ready to wear! The whole process took a good couple of hours but I enjoyed it so much. Also, when you spend an x amount of time on a project (even if it’s your aunt’s old jeans) it becomes your baby. I could not be happier with how they turned out!
What you will need:
1. Rubber bands
2. A bottle of chlorine
3. A bucket
4. A pair of rubber gloves
SAFETY NOTE: Wear a pair of rubber gloves so you do not come in touch with the chlorine as it is a harmful chemical.
1. Place your fabric/ what you wish to tie-dye flat on the floor and decide what pattern you wish to create (if you want something very specific).
2. Scrunch up the areas you wish to dye and secure them with the rubber bands. For these jeans, I just wanted to a very messy pattern so I just tied up random sections of the jeans.
3. For this step, which is the actual ‘dying’ part of the process, you have two options depending on what you are going for:
Option A: If you want a messy pattern, like mine, after you finish with step 2, scrunch up the jeans into a ball and use some more rubber bands to keep everything in place. Then place your jeans in the bucket.
Option B: If you want to create the tie-dye effect on specific areas then you will have to dye one section at a time. One at a time, you will have to place the scrunched up section of your fabric in the bucket (and you will have to repeat the steps 3-X for every section of the fabric that you wish to dye).
4. Add the chlorine in the bucket and make sure chlorine covers that the whole area you wish to dye.
5. Let your fabric sit in chlorine and check frequently. Only take it out when you see that you have achieved the desired colour. NOTE: the litter the colour and thinner the material the quicker this will work, so make sure not to keep your clothes in the chlorine for too long because they will get destroyed. Dark colour jeans, like mine, will take a while around 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Remove the fabric from the chlorine and rins well with water.
7. Let try and it is ready to wear! 🙂 (I suggest to also wash it in the washing machine to make sure it is completely clean and your skin will not come in touch with chemicals).
Another Pair of Distressed Jeans:
I got this pair of jeans from Mango ages ago but after wearing them to school every day their colour faded and they just looked so worn off. I thought it was time to say goodbye but instead of throwing them away, I decided to try and transformed them into a new pair of ripped jeans. I just took a pair of scissors and got creative… there was no plan and I was not looking to create something specific, I was just giving it a try. Little did I know, they turned out great. I love these jeans so much. I have now had them for 5-6 years and I think I might try dying them a darker blue again, to extend their life even more.
What you will need:
1. Lay your jeans flat on the floor and with a pen mark where you want to cut/distress your jeans.
2. Option A: To create cuts in the jeans, it is pretty straightforward. You just take your scissors and you cut across the line you marked with the pen earlier. That way you create the effect you see on the right knee.
Option B: To distress jeans and create the effect you see on the left knee you follow a slightly different process:
1. You mark with a pen where you want to create the distressing by making two parallel lines.
2. Similarly to option A, you take your scissors and just follow along those two lines to create to parallel cuts.
3. Then you take your tweezers and carefully pull out all the blue strings of fabric and when you are done you should be left with strings of white fabric.
Levi’s Denim Sleeveless Jacket:
Another favourite and this jacket was also my aunt’s. It was a long sleeve denim jacket that could have been worn as an oversized jacket as it was but I already had a couple of denim jackets, I didn’t need another one. Therefore I decided to cut the sleeves off and put it in chlorine for like 2-3 minutes, to create a very soft ombré effect to add to it a little something extra. Again it turned out so nice, I have worn it in so many different ways and it can totally be worn all year round.
With a little bit of imagination (and some skills) you can really do wonders with your old clothes so save yourself some money and find ways to reuse them. Stay tuned for a part two of clothes transformation coming next week! 🙂