Monday, May 13, 2013

DIY Old Jeans to High-Waisted Shorts Restyle

After a 4-month long hiatus, I'm finally back! I've done a few projects with the intention of adding them to my blog, but laziness sets in and we end up here--months later, with no posts.

BUT! I liked my most recent project too much to keep it off my blog, and I'm now on summer vacation, so I have time!

For this restyle, you'll need:

  • Old or thrift pair of jeans
  • Another pair of shorts you like the fit of (not necessary, but very helpful)
  • Chalk
  • Scissors
  • Bucket (or sink) big enough to fit your shorts in comfortably
  • Bleach (optional)
  • Sandpaper (optional)

I knew I wanted to create these shorts for a while, so when I got home from college for the summer, I jumped right in to thrifting. I found these babies at Goodwill for around $5, I think. I tried on quite a few pairs of jeans, mostly just looking at how much I liked the butt/pockets and if they were comfortable in the leg, and aiming for higher-waisted pants. Not too hard to find in the ladies section of a thrift store. So I found these Levis that I really liked :)

After matching them up with my favorite pair of shorts, I marked them with chalk where I wanted to cut them. For how to cut them the right length, see my blog post from last summer on how to make cutoff jean shorts here. I think I marked these about an inch below where the other shorts landed.

Once you mark the shorts, try them on to kind of eyeball where they'll land. If you like it, cut them off. You can always cut more, but you can't add fabric back on, so make sure you're okay with cutting off that much!

The next step, bleaching your shorts, is optional. I knew I wanted mine a lighter shade, and the bleach also makes them a little softer, so I went with it. When you've cut them to the length you want them at, take your bucket and put some water in it, just enough so that the shorts will be completely submerged. I did a little research before to figure out how much bleach to add to the water, and I found all kinds of responses, from "two parts bleach, one part water" (WAY too much, in my opinion!) to "one part bleach, three parts water" to "a bucket of water plus a half cup of bleach." I happened to have another pair of cutoffs from last summer that I never did anything with aside from cut them from jeans, so I tested my first bleaching on them (didn't want to ruin my Levis!). For the first test run, I used 9 cups of water and 3 cups of bleach, so 3:1 ratio of water to bleach. OVERBOARD. I mixed it and then put the shorts in the bucket, and turned/swished them after 30 minutes. After only an hour, they were almost yellow from the bleach!

 While you might want that look, that's definitely not what I was going for. So glad I tested it first!

SO. For my real run-through, I filled the bucket up with a little more water than the first time, probably somewhere around 15-20 cups, and added ONE cup of bleach. This way, it's a whole lot more controllable. I'd definitely recommend doing a ratio with less bleach than you think you'll need. It might take longer, but you'll be able to control the lightness of  your shorts much more easily.

I still came back every 30 minutes to flip the shorts, just to make sure they were evenly covered. Mine were in the bleach around 3 hours. Keep in mind that they are wet, so they'll turn out even lighter when they're dry. That's something I definitely didn't think about haha.

When you get them to a color you're happy with, rinse them thoroughly in cold water in the sink, then throw them in the washer. I put a few white towels in the mix too, just to help the washer out a little bit.

And here's how they turned out! :) I didn't stitch these like I did in my other jean cutoff tutorial, because I wasn't sure what length I liked. I like them rolled and not rolled!

I also gave these a tiny but of character with distressing. I used the scissors to rough up the tops of the pockets and a razor to scrape up around the pockets a little. For the most part, I wanted to keep them pretty clean looking, but I wanted to do a little something :)

 So there ya have it! Oh and I just got the white top too at Salvation Army for like a buck, score! I'm all ready for summer now, as soon as it warms up here in chilly Michigan! :)