Blue Jean Baby, Carmel Lady…

Yeah, I know that’s not the real words; it’s called improv.

As I’ve mentioned in many past posts, Husband is taking me on a trip for our 5th wedding anniversary.  I’ve been getting ready for weeks now, making a necklace, sewing a new bag, and now, dying my blue jeans.  You read that right.  I’ve taken on dye, and it’s not as hard, or as messy as you might think.

In getting my outfits together — I’m a planner, and a girl, so I plan each day’s outfit, down to accessories, when I go on a trip — I decided I wanted a pair of slim jeans to wear to the airport.  Airports can be cold, so I always try to go prepared.  I know you understand.  I didn’t feel like shopping for jeans, it’s a difficult process, and besides, I already had a pair of slim jeans, I just didn’t wear them anymore.  Why?  Well, because they had faded in the knees, and just didn’t look good.  They were also a bit too casual for nice anniversary trip.  I had seen over on YHL that dying was a fairly simple process, and decided to take on my denim.

This is what they looked like before…

The pair on the left is the pair I intend to wear, but the pair on the right had terrible white spots just below the knee, so I figured why not toss them into the mix, too.  See what I mean about the knees?

I promise, that’s not just light.

So I went to Joann’s and picked up some powdered dye.

I wanted the iDye brand that YHL used, but they didn’t carry it, and the sales-lady told me that the Dylon would work better than the Rit.  I took her word.  The package said to weigh the fabric dry, and that one package is good for 1/2 lb of dry fabric.  How was I supposed to know how much a pair of jeans weighed?  I figured I’d be ok, and walked out with one package.

I weighed my jeans when I got home.

Turns out that one pair of size 2, petite jeans weighs one pound.  Two pairs weighed two pounds.

Remember that when you step on the scale, ladies.  If you’re wearing jeans, you can automatically subtract at least 1 pound.

Since the package said that more fabric would simply result in a lighter dye-job, and I didn’t want to go back to the store, I decided to run with it.

I followed the directions to a T.  I warmed 4 cups of water on the stove, just until simmering, and then mixed in the dye.  Then, after cleaning my sink, I filled it with more warm water, and mixed in 1/4 lb of salt.

When the salt was dissolved, I poured in my vat of dye.

I swirled it all around, and then pressed in the pair of jeans that I intend to wear on my trip.

The instructions said to stir continuously for fifteen minutes, so I pushed and swirled with my gloved hands.  A word to the wise here:  If you are pushing down fabric in dye, be careful of the air pockets splashing dye everywhere.

After the fifteen minutes were up, I added the other pair.  I figured they weren’t as important, and only really needed the knees dyed, so I wasn’t worried about it being even or dark.  I then let it all sit for the allotted 45 minutes.

When the timer went off, I rinsed the jeans in cold tap water, and then, moved them to my washing machine.  I turned it on to the cold-rinse cycle, and let it go.

Once it had finished, I followed the instructions, again, and washed the jeans in warm water.  When they were done, they looked like this…

Yep.  The knees were still light, and the jeans weren’t as dark as I’d hoped for.  Luckily, I hadn’t drained my sink of all the dye yet, so I took them back, and let them sit for another hour.  Then I repeated the washing process all over again, and dried them in the dryer.  Since the instructions said to dry them away from direct heat, I only sent them ’round for 30 minutes, and let them air dry the rest of the way.

Now my jeans look like this…

Not much better, but it’s something.  And I know that the lighting is different; it was a full day process.  In any case, dying is something I would do again, and now I know that weight is REALLY important.  I’ll weigh my stuff before I go to the store next time.  Still, a $2.99 package of dye is cheaper than new jeans!


Have you ever dyed, or otherwise re-vamped an item of clothing that you no longer wore?




Filed under Fun and Free Ideas, Musings, Save my Wallet, Save the Earth, Sewing

2 responses to “Blue Jean Baby, Carmel Lady…

  1. I followed this method. It works! I am happy with the results.

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