Designs on Denim: Part 2

This story starts with a pair of jeans.

They fit relatively well when I bought them as part of my massive haul from Thrift Town in San Francisco a few months back ($5.99). Unfortunately boot cut is not the most flattering on me… I only wear skinnies!

Inspiration for these jeans came from Isabel Marant S/S 12… aren’t they fabulous!

Net a Porter had these at £225, but they are now sold out. Not to worry though, I’m making my own pair!


In making these, I used an excellent tutorial from thefashionguitar.com, which I highly recommend. Here’s my take on it.

First, I made the boot cuts into skinnies. Wearing the jeans inside out, I pinned out the excess down the outside of both legs, then stitched along the lines. You can see the bottoms have already been taken up!

Here’s what they look like right side out. Not great, but they’ll do.

Next, using the tutorial, I scrunched up the jeans adding elastic bands/elastic as I went along.

Basically you put the balled-up jeans into a bucket of bleach and leave it there until it’s changed colour.

I had to leave mine all day and all night…. before rinsing in the washing machine….

But when they came out…. WOW!

I was completely smitten with them already at this stage. I think the back is even better than the front!

All that was left to do was take ‘em up a bit and then think of a way of styling them that doesn’t make them look too ‘out-there’.

Over at thefashionguitar.com, she styles her jeans with a white shirt and black jacket like so…

Which is nice, but I think something a bit more colourful would also work. Maybe something like this? (Testing my theory that everything goes with ‘nude’ sequins)

Or something in between, like this…. (taken at my friend’s Birthday celebrations at Les Trois Garcons recently…)

But which is better? There’s only one way to find out…

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28 comments

  1. Maman chérie

    Brilliant! I love the effect. No doubt the same technique would work with this summer’s coloured jeans to get an even more Marrant look. Now if you could just come up with some ideas of what to do with my pile of jeans that are now too big for me…

  2. Ali

    OMG! I seriously love those. At first when reading I thought… “uh-oh, what is she getting herself into?” and then they turned out seriously awesome!
    They have just the right amount bleached, with a great pattern (or lack of?) to them.
    Good work! This is soooo getting Pinned for future reference :)

    • charityshopchic

      Haha thanks Ali, sometimes I wonder what I’m getting myself into as well ;-)
      I am really pleased with how they turned out actually, although it was a bit a shock at first… I need to come up with more outfit/styling ideas so I can get more use out of these babies!

  3. cathgrace

    Super cute! As an aside, bleach will continue eating your fiber even after you have washed it, so eventually holes will appear in your fabric, a good way to neutralize that effect is by soaking your item in white vinegar after the first wash!

  4. Shelley

    Love the jeans. Bleach dyeing is so easy. I always run dyed items in a vinegar bath after the bleach to stop the action of the bleach. Great job.

  5. craftywubo

    I must try the skinny jean refashion. Regarding your outfit preference, I’d like to see the Black Jacket but a brightly colored tee, lime, red, yellow. Another great job!

  6. Michelle

    These are smashing! I love the way they turned out! I think I’m too thick on the bottom to get away with them, but I admire them!

  7. lovenicky

    Wow! Those jeans turned out really well. I think you can pretty much pair them with any outfit. They are super versatile. Speaking of which, I just want to let you know that I am passing a Versatile Blogger Award onto you. If you would like to accept it (and there is no pressure), come on over to my blog and grab it! I read your blog a lot and I’m really inspired by your creations.

  8. megthegrand

    I love all of your ensembles!! Those jeans are totally ROCK STAR – what a fabulous refashion and it works so perfectly for everyday wear and glamour wear!

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