Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How to Make Your Jeans Like New Again

A week ago, I wanted to buy some new jeans, but now I have too many jeans to fit in my drawers!!!  I didn't buy a single pair.  Instead I just stitched up and dyed my old jeans to look like new.  I'm so happy I don't have to go to a million stores to find new jeans that fit right.

Repair Small Rips

First, I had to stitch up some of the little rips that were beginning in the crotch area.  I don't know why but I never wear out the knees of my jeans, instead I get rips by the zipper.  So this is what I did.  

It is hard to see in this shot, but the fabric was ripping right below the zipper.  I took my tip from some recycled jeans I saw in a Levi store back in the 90's.  They stitched over the holes in old jeans with the zig-zag setting on a sewing machine and blue thread.  Really there is no rhyme or reason to the technique, I just kept going back and forth with my zig-zag stitch until the rip was repaired.  Easy as that.  

It may not be too pretty, but after I dyed the jeans and put them on, the thread virtually disappeared!     

Dye Your Jeans

The best way to bring life back to an old pair of jeans is to get that nice dark color back (and it is slimming, yay!)  So I bought two boxes of Denim colored Rit and went to town.  

The powdered stuff is fine.  Just don't leave some powder in the package and accidentally shower it all over your bathroom (I'm not saying this happened to me, hehe.  My bathroom was covered with a fine sprinkling of blue powder that still has not come out of the toilet seat.  Just sayin'.).  I used two boxes of powder for three pairs of jeans.  I also used two buckets I picked up at Lowes.  

The directions are on the box.  It is pretty simple.  Just wet your jeans and mix the powder with hot water in a bucket.  You can dye clothes in the washing machine too, but mine is a front loader and I'm afraid I will mess up the new washer.  

The worst part is that you have to rinse out your jeans under warm to gradually cooler water.  You rinse until the water from the jeans run clear.  Don't be fooled.  I never got the water totally clear, but it did get better.  

Be sure to use gloves for the rinsing step because this stuff stains.  Don't worry, the dye come out of the tub quite easily.  

To dry my jeans I simply threw them in the washer for one last rinse/spin cycle and then the dryer.  I have worn and washed the jeans since, and the color has not come out, although I would suggest you wash your jeans in cold water and with other darks.  (My white towel got a slight bluish tinge, nothing I can't fix with some bleach and really hot water.)  

Now I have three new pairs of jeans that I am not ashamed to be seen in public wearing.  They look good, and I didn't have to spend more than the $5 it cost for some dye.  Not bad.  

Let me know if you are inspired to dye anything.  The possibilities are endless.  I'm so excited to be wearing jeans again after a summer of so much heat.  Jeans and scarves here I come!  What do you look forward to now that it is fall?  


  1. they look great... the color looks like new!! well done Chans.

  2. Love this! I've done this to a couple pair of jeans and they look great! I did mine in the washer, although I used dye that was specifically ok for washers. I was so nervous to ruin it, but thank Gawd it came out okay.

    Yay for refreshing the wardrobe! :-)


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