We all have them- jeans that we don’t wear (even though they fit) because there’s something we don’t like about them. I have quite a few pairs like this- jeans that fit, but weren’t getting worn for one reason or another. I didn’t wear the pair above because the too-light color and the flare-legs bordering on being bell bottoms. Instead of giving them away, and spending money on a new pair, I decided to give this pair new life.
My first goal was to fix the almost-bell-bottom legs. With Deb’s sewing machine and her help, that goal was accomplished in a few simple steps.
1. Undo the bottom hem. 2. Put the Jeans on inside out. 3. Pin them to where you want them, only taking them in on one side.* 4. Draw a vertical straight-as-possible line along the pins. 5. Sew along the line. 6. Cut the excess fabric off. 7. Resew the bottom hem. 8. Repeat for the other leg. 9. Adjust if necessary.
Once I’d achieved the desired skinny jean look, I needed to tackle the too-light color. I like faded jeans, but I have another pair in a nicer shade of blue, so I wanted to do something different with these. Inspired by my recent obsession with colored jeans. I decided to dye these purple. After all, I already had pink, red, green, and yellow.
Dying clothing is such an easy and inexpensive enterprise, thanks to RIT dye. I’ve used RIT dye before, and I figured that with their mostly cotton content, the jeans would take the dye quite nicely.
All you need to dye clothing is RIT dye, hot water, a bucket, salt, and gloves**. Chopsticks are optional. Immediately before I dyed my jeans, I put them through the wash. When they were just out of the wash but still entirely wet, I submerged them in the bucket full of previously prepared dye. To prepare RIT dye, mix the powdered dye, very hot water, and salt in a bucket (this is where I used the chopsticks). Soak your item until it’s your desired color. I made sure to mix the jeans in the dye using the chopsticks for the five minutes they soaked.
I let the jeans hang outside for a bit so they’d really absorb the dye. Then I ran them through another wash cycle by themselves to remove any excess dye. I don’t think I could have been happier when I saw them out of the dryer. I love the bright purple color. These jeans were going to get donated, but it makes me so happy that I was able to breathe new life into them! They make me smile with pride whenever I put them on.
*Note: My nonna (the seamstress) made sure I knew that sometimes you need to take in the seam from both sides when you alter pants. For these, I definitely didn’t need to, but if you decide to try this, make sure your newly sewn pants look good on, before you cut off the excess fabric.
**Note 2: Obviously, RIT dye will stain your clothes. That’s kind of the point, but it also stains skin, and that’s why you need the gloves!