Create / Enjoy: Weekend success: DYED jeans!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Weekend success: DYED jeans!

This was my big goal this weekend, and I did it!  So proud, and pretty happy with how they turned out!

Like the rest of the world, I've been jonesing for some springy colored jeans this season.  I have my red jeans (also upcycled), but I wanted either mint or yellow, or maybe coral, for spring.

In case you don't know what I'm talking about... here are some faves from my "Red jeans and brights" Pinboard!  Plenty more inspiration there if you're interested...











These next two from Forever 21 are only $15.80!  But, sold out in stores in ALL the colors.  I tried.
Source: rstyle.me via Suzannah on Pinterest


Source: rstyle.me via Suzannah on Pinterest


After striking out at the stores, my plan was to buy some white jeans at Goodwill and dye them myself.  I soon realized two flaws in this plan: 1) White skinny jeans are NOT common Goodwill donations at this point because they're still relatively new as a fashion trend, I guess... and 2) They don't make MINT dye.  Coral is also hard to find.  (This caused me to realize something else--I don't trust myself at mixing dye, like artists may!).

So, I got a little adventurous.  I figured if I could find some very light grey or blue skinnies, I could try to make them mint-ish, but that was a little risky, too.  So, Plan B.  I found these white flares and made them into skinnies.  The "before":

I've done the skinnification process before (here), although that's not how I do it anymore.  Now I turn the jeans inside out and lay them on the floor, and lay a pair of skinnies that I know fits on top, then pin.  On these, I also removed the funky belt loops and big white buttons, and gave them a regular jeans button.

I poked around for dye at some art stores, and found this beautiful array...
Via my Instagram

...but got overwhelmed by the idea of knowing how much to use, mixing dyes, buying soda ash (whatever that is), etc... all in my kitchen sink! I know there are books and other resources out there on dying--FaveCrafts just came out with one--and hopefully I'll learn someday soon. But for now, I don't know how to mix or get too creative.

So I decided, yellow it is!

I used a packet of Dylon that I got at JoAnn with a coupon for $1.50.  And the jeans were $3.50 (the sale color!) at Goodwill, so this project was a pretty reasonable expense for a trend.

I dyed them in my sink, which was not ideal because it was hard to stir them perfectly.  I also realized I probably should have bought two packets of dye for such a large garment--may have given me a more even color, and definitely a brighter one.  Luckily I was open to whichever shade of yellow worked out--the J.Crew/Anthro soft yellow, or the brigher, almost neon sunshine yellow.
Via my Instagram

Here's what came out!

If you looked really close, you'd see that it didn't dye perfectly evenly, and that there are some splotchy places reminiscent of a tie dye job.  But I think I'm going with more of the soft, romantic, Anthro-ey yellow jean look--so maybe it works.  Or at least isn't as obvious!

Do any of you have pastel jeans this spring?!?  Would love to hear your outfit ideas!

40 comments :

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  1. Oh my goodness! These turned out great! I posted this weekend about dying for the first time, too. My project wasn't as fun as yours, but it was definitely an adventure!

    always-a-project.com

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  2. hey, it worked! no worries and for less than $5 and some time id say it was an awesome diy!!!

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  3. Great idea! I would do that too if I could find some white jeans to thrift but I've never seen any. It's like the proverbial white rabbit.

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    1. Really? I saw quite a few pairs but some were kind of old lady-ish, and like I said no skinnies. I guess be open to doing some alterations! Or try bleaching a light pair of jeans...

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  4. This is rad. I think they look great, and cost only $5 and some ingenuity! Even though I am trying desperately not to buy new clotehs I caved and bought a few pairs of $15 coloured jeans... unfortunately they are the cheap kind that stretch out and look like crap after one wear. I have some white skinnies that are calling out to be taken in and dyed... Thank you for the inspiration!

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    1. Thanks! I know how it is to sometimes just need a few new pieces to spice things up!

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  5. Very cool! I love how they turned out.

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  6. That is a fantastic idea. You are so talented!!! How do you skinny your jeans now?

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    1. Thanks!! I turn them inside out, and lay them down on the floor with a pair of skinnies that I know fit on top. I use a fabric marker and pins to show me where to sew and try my best to make both sides match!

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  7. These are super cute! This makes me want to try my hand at dyeing something! :)

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  8. I've tie dyed a lot with the iDye brand from joannes. This brand, combined with doing it on the stovetop, really gives strong colors. I think it would be hard to keep jeans consistent in a big pot on the stove, though (not so much of a problem when tie dying!) I know that if you have a front loading washer you can dye in the washing machine w iDye, though I haven't figured out how to do that with my too-fancy top loader. I bet in the washer there'd be more room to move and less splotchiness!

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    1. I've used iDye Poly before and it gave a good, strong color. It did have some splotches but that may have been my fault for not stirring it enough! I think it could work really well to dye things in the washer but I probably would have needed a second packet of dye for these!

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  9. They look lovely! That shade of yellow is perfect for Spring - well done!

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  10. I have been on the same quest for jeans to dye at goodwill. I've even decided that i may have to bleach the jeans first (larger sizes are hard to come by) but sorting through the denim racks seems very daunting. You've re-energized my desire to give it a try. They look great!

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    1. Definitely, and keep trying! I almost resorted to that if I had wanted to test mixing some colors for mint jeans. Light blue (bleached?) jeans plus green dye might = mint? =)

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  11. very interesting! Maybe I'll try that too! :)

    xoxo,
    Taylor

    taylormorgandesign.blogspot.com

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  12. I don't know about the quality of your die, but the color will probably fade and even in the wash. It has for me when I have died stuff. So don't worth about the unevenness.

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  13. WOW! They turned out pretty fantastic! :)

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  14. Ha! I've bought those exact dyes (the overwhelming ones) at what looks like the same art store to dye jeans! I did not have any success. Even with stirring the color was blotchy, which is never a problem for me with rit.

    I recently used rit dye remover to turn some horrid pink chords into some jcrew-esque light pink pants and they are amazing!

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    1. Oh, really?! Glad to hear the pre-mixed ones are better for this kind of thing. And it's cool that Rit Dye Remover works on manufacturer-dyed things, too--like bleach, almost! Those pants sound cute!

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  15. I love those jeans! The yellow is a great color! My fave dye job so far was with iDye which makes little disposable packets filled with dye that you pop in the washer along with the fabric/clothes. It's the most even color I can get. You can use the washing machine with Rit or other brands but it's more complicated. If you do want to mix dye colors Rit has formulas for many colors including the Pantone 2012 spring colors which include mint! http://www.ritdye.com/colorit_color_formula_guide#color_guide=2089

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    1. OMG, this is an amazing resource! Thanks!!

      I've used iDye Poly before and the color was good but had some splotches--coulda been my fault. Would love to get better at dyeing!

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  16. We did some tie-dyeing with dye that used soda ash. You can get it at a pool or hot tub supply place. The dye held up beautifully, and the shirts wore out before the color faded.

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    1. Maybe it makes the dye last longer! Good thought. The art supply stores I went to had the soda ash there, but it was just another thing to think/worry about when I don't have tons of dye skills... maybe next time!

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  17. Hey! Thanks for the idea. I was just coveting some green J Crew capris that would set me back nearly $100. I realized that I have a white pair of NYDJ in my closet that I never wear because I don't like wearing so much white. I think that I'll give them a skinny treatment and dig out some of my Jacquard acid dyes. I've had good success with these dyes in the past....

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  18. Wow, great job! I have a pair of white jean i haven't worn in years i think they will soon be rescued from the back of my closet!

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    1. What a great use of not-often-worn white jeans! Sometimes they are hard to break out...

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  19. oh wow! Who would have thought! I sure havent! Thats genious! Great job hun!

    Olga

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  20. I just bought a pair of white jeans to dye red! yours look great, i can't wait to try :)

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    1. Cool, good luck! It may be hard to get a true bold red... try a strong dye, not RIT, and get two packets!

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  21. they look great! i really like the fact that they're light yellow and not so bright. Makes me want to have a colored pair of jeans as well, and I'm not even a big fan of pants to begin with (I once had a 5-yr plan to only wear dresses and skirts and succeed 80% of the time). awesome job!

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    1. Thanks! Wow, that's a lot of dresses and skirts! I bet that colored jeans and pants would be a good transition back into some pants!

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  22. That is such a great idea! Definitely will try it! I think your came out really great! Luv the pastel soft colours this season :)

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  23. Oh mint jeans, how I covet you.

    Your jeans turned out SO beautiful! I actually bought some Dylon black dye last night to dye a pair of jeans (grey to black ombre) and I'm really excited to get started! Sadly, they did not have light green dye... only olive green. Oh well! If these turn out good, I think I'll search out some mint dye.

    loving your jeans,

    kati

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  25. Those turned out so well! I'd like to try my hand at dye-projects again but I'm a little wary of doing it directly in the sink, even though we do have stainless steel in the kitchen (since we're renting, not owning!) What did you use to clean your sink afterward, if anything?

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    1. Thanks! I've dyed three times in the white sink in our rental (risky, I know) and it's washed out really well all three times. The only scary thing is potential splashes on the counter and spots you might miss rinsing! I don't think I used anything special to clean it out. Maybe just some bleach. Give it a try!

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  26. I think I might be wanting to try dying done jeans, your burgundy ones came out so good, I'm wondering your thoughts on dying light blue jeans to grey- have you tried that combo or have any tips?

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