Hello everyone! I have not posted anything in a while…I promise I have still been working on some projects; I just have not gotten around to putting them up. Must do better! Today’s tutorial is inspired by Current/Elliott’s star-print low-rise denim shorts, shown here:
You can check out the Current/Elliott version at: http://www.net-a-porter.com/
I’ve seen the patriotic trend showing up in several different brands on Pinterest lately. I’m still a bit on the fence as to whether it’s cute or just something that will show up on Awkward Family Photos in a few years. BUT…since we have a 4th of July themed cookout coming up and patriotic attire is a must, I figure, why not? AND what’s better than to make your own pair and not fork out very much money? Can’t think of many better options? I thought so! So here we go!
-an old pair of jeans
-sewing machine (optional)
-star-shaped foam cutout
-bleach and water mix (50/50)
1. Find an old pair of jeans you don’t mind possibly being destroyed. Obviously, you’ll make these into cutoffs, so try them on and mark how long you would like for them to be in the end. I like mine with a longer inseam. Also, remember to add about 3/4″ for fraying. Then, go ahead and cut away! (I folded up the jeans a bit from the bottom, as shown, to use as a straight edge guide as I cut.)
Kitty loves to help!
2. Next, I got out my trusty old sewing machine. If you look at the shorts by Current/Elliott, the fraying on the edge is very even. You don’t normally get that if you just cut off some jeans and throw them in the wash…you’ll end up with a stringy uneven hem. So, if you want to achieve a similar, neater effect, try sewing a straight line about 3/4″ from the hemline. This will help prevent too much fraying. You will still get some stringiness initially, but you can remove that and still keep the nice, even frayed look.
3. Set up your working space, making sure to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting messed up. (I always think I’m going to be nice and neat, but usually wish I had taken the extra precaution when I find bleach spots on my clothes later.) You’ll need to set an old towel on the floor to catch any drips, and insert the cardboard strips into the legs of the shorts to prevent any bleeding over to the other side. I filled a small bowl with a mixture of 50% bleach, 50% water. For the cutouts, I got pretty lucky. I found a Statue of Liberty foam crown at Joanne’s last week for a buck, so I picked it up just for this project. If you can’t find anything similar, no worries. Just pick up a sheet of foam, stencil on the shape you want and cut it out. I wore gloves during this project, but this presented a new problem…it was too awkward with gloves to be able to precisely place the stars on the shorts without making a huge mess with bleach drippings. My solution was to run just a bit of thread through the star a couple of times to make a knot, leaving long ends. This way, I could just handle the stars by the strings…much cleaner that way!
4. Now for the fun part! Dip the foam star (by the string) into the bleach, making sure to get it nice and saturated. Pick it up, shake off the extra bit back into the bowl, and carefully place onto the shorts. Press down firmly enough to make sure you get all the details of the 5 points. You won’t see anything right away, so keep a mental note of where you have already placed it. Keep following the design you want, until you have covered one side of the shorts. Flip over, and repeat on the back! You’ll start to see the bleach taking effect within just a few minutes. The longer you let it set, the whiter they will be. I worked pretty quickly, as I didn’t any of them to look too-bleachy. As soon as the last stars got to the whiteness I desired, I threw the shorts into the wash by themselves and ran them through a regular cycle. Be smart about it…use the same rules with these shorts as you would with bleach at any other time to avoid ruining any other items.
And here is the final result! (okay…not quite final..I hadn’t frayed the ends yet…) Pretty easy! The whole project took about 1 hour, tops. Hope you enjoy! I’ll be wearing mine cheesily to my next cookout
Total time: 1 hour (includes washing) Total cost: $1 for the foam