Thursday, September 19, 2013

Bleached Denim Skirt DIY



I can still remember back when I was in 4th grade my brother taking me downstairs to the laundry room to bleach our jeans--not an all over bleaching, but more of a splatter bleach on our regular denim for the latest cool-kid look.  Of course we didn't consult our mom or even think twice--hello?  My brother was a sixth grader... totally knew what he was doing--we simple laid our jeans out on the washing machine, took cap fulls of regular strength bleach and started throwing toxic chemicals on our jeans.  It was thrilling and the results were perfect.  That memory was the inspiration behind this maternity skirt DIY.

So maternity clothes always take a little creativity, but being pregnant in the summer, in Texas I've had to completely reinvent my maternity wardrobe (and to add insult to injury I've been sporting compression hose as well.  You're green with envy).  Since jeans are out of the question I've been wearing skirts, dresses and capri length leggings non-stop.  I forgot about this denim skirt until a couple weeks ago, but wasn't really into the dark denim.  It looked too formal and dressy.  I wanted something casual and a little edgy.  There are a ton of Bleach Dye DIY's out there--ombre, dipping, splatter, the sky's the limit.  You can read what I did below...


Supplies:

*Denim--should be good quality.  If it's too thin/cheap you could ruin your denim (especially if you use too much bleach).  Try this at your own risk!
*Bleach--it's a good idea to buy new bleach as it tends to lose it's zap pretty quickly.
*Plastic Tub
*Thick Rubber Gloves

A few notes:  Take precaution when using bleach!  I did everything in the bathtub (with good ventilation)--yes I used a plastic tub, but it sat inside the bathtub.  I still wore old clothes and used gloves for my hands as I dipped and stirred the skirt around.  Also, when you go to rinse make sure you rinse your plastic tub as well--even the bottom--it would be a shame to accidentally drip some bleach on the carpet or other clothes as you carry it to another room.  


1.  With any type of fabric dying it's always a good idea to get your fabric wet first.  It helps get a more even dye job... even though I didn't care if it was a little uneven.
2.  The bleach to water ratio isn't set in stone, but it's always best to start out on the conservative side.  A lot of sites recommend 3 parts water to 1 part bleach.  I think my first bleach bath was much more watered down than that.  And for some reason the water was coming out red when I started bleaching this skirt--weird.  I just kept at it.  Using my glove covered hands to dip and move the denim around every few minutes.  Just keep watching it--add more bleach if you feel it's not doing much.
3.  When you're ready to check your results dump the water out and rinse your skirt until water runs clear.  In this picture I still wasn't satisfied with the overall color, so I took it for another dunk.
4.  The 3rd and final bleach bath.  This time I used new bleach, left it in for a while longer and when I came back it was just the shade I was hoping for.  Once rinsed out I put it in through the washing machine and dryer.




Next, I wanted a bleach-splattered look... ahhh, just like in 4th grade.   I just took small cap fulls of straight bleach and threw them on the skirt.  Note, your skirt should be completely dry, or the bleach will just sort of bleed and make little rings. My skirt wasn't completely dry...wish I would have made sure--fortunately I still like how it turned out!  (not a great pic, it's a little washed out here)


Ta-da!

It turned out great!  The overall color is a very light denim and the splattered bleach is subtle.  Perfect. The only problem is that the skirt is still a little too big, but room to grow right?

I love it when a little repurposing make something feel completely brand new.  
Anyone else into bleaching denim or any other fabric for that matter?  

2 comments:

  1. super cute! loving it, and loving your pregnant belly!

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  2. I have bleached t shirts with bleach in a spray bottle and had awesome results...
    I have used tin foil(or anything that will block the bleach) to make patterns, dots, stripes, etc. (once I made a faux peter pan collar by covering the entire shirt except for the peter pan collar)
    And then sprayed on top and let it bleach as much as I want...then rinse it out and toss it in the dryer - the possibilities are endless :)
    Love the skirt!

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