Jeans. Ah the ongoing search for the perfect pair. The ones that fit you flawlessly in the butt, waist, and hips. Whether you are looking for the perfect wash or just the right amount of distress, when you finally find them they become like a best friend. (roll musical montage of you in the jeans) You go all in, no matter what the cost. You share good times and bad ..but then..something starts to happen..they loose their color or get those tell-tale friction holes in the crotch, at the pocket and in the knees. You gain or loose weight and they just don’t fit like they used to. You panic…How will I ever replace these? I will never find a pair like this again!
Good Jeans truly are hard to find.
Here are 4 ways to make use of your old denim:
1. Turn them into boyfriend shorts. They’re called ‘Boyfriend’ shorts, much like boyfriend jeans, because they look like you’re wearing your boyfriend’s clothing, and they’re totally in. To achieve this all you need is a pair of jeans that are a bit too big (Come on ladies get them out. We all have our “fat” jeans laying around in our closets!).
(above: Boyfriend Shorts)
Gather what you need:
A pair of jeans (ones that are a bit too big)
Now measure the length you want to trim it at and mark it. You need to decide how long you want them to be for wearing, then add a couple of inches. Since you’re going to cuff these, you don’t need to sew up the frayed end, but I would recommend you use something like Fray Check or a similar product to stop the fraying… it could look silly if it goes overboard and your fraying gets in the way of the cuff! Now cut them to your mark.
Next cut a small V on the outer edges of the shorts, the size of one cuff fold. This will give you a little extra breathing room… believe me, you’ll want it, and it will help promote the boyfriend look.
Then Put them on! Yeah, I know, they’re going to look a little long and a little silly. This is why we cuff them! With the jeans on (and comparing lengths in detail… you don’t want one side longer than the other!) and preferably while standing up, cuff them once at the length of the cut V. Cuff them one more time after that.
And your done! You have cute, cropped boyfriend shorts… you didn’t have to spend a bunch of money on them and you recycled some old jeans!
2. Repair. Unless you are adding patches to your jeans (um hello 1960’s) I wouldn’t attempt repairing them yourself. Home repairs tend to look like..well..home repairs! There is an AMAZING company call Denim Therapy http://denimtherapy.com/ that magically repairs the holes in your jeans! Seriously! I’ve never seen anything like it! For an average cost of $7 an inch they do a genuine reconstruction of the original denim material. It is not a patch. It is new cotton thread and stitch applied to the broken denim area. Crazy cool! They can even make any jean into maternity jeans!
3. Faded jeans? Give them a dye job. My advice DO NOT USE RIT Dye on denim. They will become a horrible color that looks fake and cheesey! Use coffee grounds to give them a cool “vintage tint”. (if you want to go with a bright color wash check out the dyes at Dharma Trading Company http://www.dharmatrading.com/ or ProChemical 1-8002BUYDYE they are much better quality than RIT).
To make the dye you will need:
2 bags of coffee grounds preferable Espresso. (cheap brand is fine)
3-5 gallon bucket
Filter. Use old stocking or socks.
Fill the “filter” with the coffee grounds and tie the top tightly. Put the “filter” into the bucket and fill it about 3/4 to the top with hot water. Make sure there’s enough room for the jeans without the water spilling over.
Let the coffee brew for about 15 to 20 min. Note: The darker the brew, the darker the stain. When its the right shade remove the “filter”
Then drop your jeans in and let them sit overnight.
The next morning throw them into the washer/dryer and BAM there you have it! Perfectly “vintage tinted” jeans.
4. Donate them to Cotton From Blue to Green http://www.cottonfrombluetogreen.org/ an amazing organization! Here’s what they do:
“Trying to change our World one pair of jeans at a time” Cotton from Blue to Green “denim drive is a call-to-action to donate denim and give it “new life” by converting it to UltraTouch™ Natural Cotton Fiber Insulation. The insulation is then provided to communities in need to assist with building efforts. UltraTouch™ is composed of 85% recycled cotton fibers and is an environmentally safe, non-itch insulation without carcinogenic warnings, formaldehyde or chemical irritants. It provides exceptional thermal performance and acoustically provides 30% better sound absorption than traditional fiberglass insulation. ”
“Since the start of the COTTON. FROM BLUE TO GREEN.® denim drive in 2006, the program has received a total of 270,617 pieces of denim and provided enough UltraTouch™ Natural Cotton Fiber Insulation for 540 houses in areas of the country affected by natural disasters, and more notably, preventing 200 tons of denim from being sent to landfills.”
Ah Yes Neil Diamond you’re right..we’ll do okay forever in blue jeans baby!
Great post!! Very informative. Thanks for all the tips!
LOVE it! Definitely gonna try the espresso beans trick!
This post rocks! I found my favorite pair of Joe’s Jeans (that have rips in the knees) just yesterday and was thinking of converting them to shorts! So happy I read this.
denim therapy is going to get lots of business from me. I pay way too much for jeans and literally cry if they get a rip!! yay!!! I swear you should get kick backs from all these places you promote!!
Coffee grounds? where do you find all this great information???
I remember when I could fit into my boyfriends jeans and they were to big.
Then the time when my boyfriends could fit into mine. Now, just happy I have a guy that doesn’t care what I wear as long as I’m out of the jeans! HA!