An easy tutorial to make any denim a bit more rock 'n roll
I’ve been wanting to get some new clothes, but since I’ve been doing a lot of shopping lately I thought maybe I should give it a break and try to bring some new life to some old clothes of mine. I had the idea to distress a pair of my jeans and try to make them a little bit more rock ‘n roll. I looked up on line some ideas for what would be a nice way to distress them, I know from experience it’s really easy to over do it or to not put the distress in the right place and your jeans won’t look natural. I would recommend that you flip through a couple of celebrity gossip magazines or check out online some styles. Professionally designers know how to make clothing look natural and still look stylish.
I used an old pair I had picked up at the Gap years ago, I put them on to get an idea of where I wanted my distressing to happen. At this point you can place some general marks on them with a pencil or similar colored but slightly darker pen to indicate where you want your distressing to start and finnish. Try to focus on the areas that wear and tear happen naturally, thighs, knees and a bit below the knees to make it look natural and also the hem of the jeans and a little bit around the ankle to make it balanced. Or you can do a pattern and have a shape running all the way from the top to the bottom.
This is an easy but messy project, that requires a couple of hours, so place a garbage can next to your work area and take your time to make your cuts so that you don’t have any strange patterns going on, like doing too much or going to wide. You might also want to wear a mask to help keep the dust out of your lungs, it can get pretty dusty.
Behind the distressed denim we’ll be placing a patterned fabric, so that you don’t have to worry about sticking your foot through the hole when you put on your pants.
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Step 1: Decide where you want your distressing to happen and put little horizontal notches at the top and bottom to indicate where to start and stop. Just make them around 3 cm high because for the distressing to look good you have to work in diamond shaped patterns that start small then get wider and then narrow out again at the bottom, or else you will end up with a wide line at the bottom and that will look strange.
Here you can see some of the top and bottom marks I’ve made for the top and bottom of my diamond pattern. Don’t measure out your marks while you are wearing the jeans it’s too easy to make a mistake or cut yourself. I put some vertical lines instead of horizontal lines in my jeans without thinking.
Step 2: Make slaches around a cm wide to get a evenly distributed string, make them less than a cm to get a lot more space between strings, and make them bigger than a cm to get some thicker denim patches left in your string. Making your slashes bigger than a cm can get kind of frustrating though, because it’s difficult to remove the strings.
Step 3: Pick the short blue strings out with your knife but flip your knife around so that you use the back side were its not sharp, or else you will cut through your white threads. It will get dusty and messy fast so put all your stray strings into the garbage as you work because this stuff is killer to get out of a carpet.
Step 5: Choose a fabric that will go underneath the slashes that you will like peaking through the threads, you can choose any color, I used a black and white cotton. Cut out pieces a bit larger than the distressed area at least a cm because the material may fray in the wash, if you have a serger you can serge around the edges to help prevent fraying.
Step 8: Turn your pants inside out. Get a needle, thimble and coordinating color string. Using a double thread knotted at the end, start to hand sew around the edge of the distressing using a running stitch. Every third or fourth stitch, backstitch to secure, especially around the corners. Make sure to always work flat so that your fabric and pants all lay smoothly and there is no bunching or bulging.
If the material inside has too many loose corners and flaps around to much just tack the corners down with a couple of stitches.
Now turn them inside out, dust them off a bunch and put on your new jeans.