Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Tutorial | D.I.Y Ombre Pattern Shorts

Hey everyone.. Hope you are all well and had a great weekend!
So I really wanted to get this post up yesterday but due to some issues with the weather I wasn't able to get the Shorts dry in time. However never mind since today I have a little tutorial on how to make your own Ombre Patterned Shorts for the Summer.
So I was browsing around online when I came across a website which sold customized denim Levi shorts to be designed however way you liked. I thought they were pretty expensive to buy though, and sure I could probably just make some myself. So that's exactly what I did.. I really like doing a bit of DIY to my clothes sometimes and I also thought it would be a fun blog post to make! So let's get started..

I picked up these vintage denim Levi shorts about a year or two ago in Urban Outfitters and they have lasted me quite well. Recently though, they appear to have seen better days and so I thought they would be perfect to use for my little project. 
I wanted to achieve the 'ombre' look on my denim shorts and so I proceeded to YouTube for a few tutorials. (Before I go into how I bleached the shorts, I just want to point out that the picture doesn't do the ombre effect any justice and so they do look a lot whiter in real life). For the bleaching of the shorts you will need:

A standard sized plastic bucket, measuring jug, rubber gloves (which are not pictured here), standard household bleach, a trousers hanger and some pegs.
First you will need to fill your plastic bucket with some warm water. Measure out 2 parts water to 1 part bleach and fill to about 2.5 - 3 inches high (Make sure you don't fill your bucket to the level where you want the ombre effect to stop as the bleach will run upwards through the denim). Fold your shorts in half and clip onto your hanger, placing them into the bleach/water mixture. Using some pegs, I secured the hanger in place to prevent slipping. 

You can see above how far I filled the bucket with the bleach/water mix.
At this point the bleach will start to run upwards on the denim but it shouldn't run any higher than about halfway. I left the denim shorts in the bleach mix for NO MORE than 30 minutes. Bleach which has been left on denim for a prolonged period of time will start to rott through the fabric, therefore causing the denim to completely rip and tear apart. (Please do not leave your shorts in the bleach for 24 hours as I have read in quite a few online tutorials). You will see some lightening happen to the denim after about 15 minutes and once the 30 minutes is up you should be able to retrieve your shorts from the bucket. At this point I rinsed the bleach off under some running cold water and then placed them into the washing machine (with a little amount of detergent) and set to a cold/rinse cycle.
Once the wash had finished I hung the shorts outside to dry.
The next part of the process was adding the pattern to the shorts...

For this part, I cut up an old top I had with this nice tribal/aztec style pattern on it. I really liked the pattern of this and thought it would look great on the shorts for a festival during the Summer. I cut the top up to match the shape on the front on the denim shorts.. I then used some pins to keep the fabric in place while I carried them over to the sewing machine. If you don't have a sewing machine of course, you could always just hand-sew the material onto your shorts. Here are what the shorts looked like after the pattern had been sewn on..

 At this stage I was really impressed with what I had achieved but I felt they needed a bit more customizing done to them. I had a few silver square shaped studs that I had bought off eBay a good while back and so I began studding the top left corner of the pocket on the shorts..

Using a pliers I attached the studs in a straight line along the pocket of the denim shorts. This is pretty simple to do but it is very time consuming and requires a little bit of patience  I only used 12 studs on the shorts as there was enough in 12 to create a nice pattern. Once this part was completed I then proceeded to create some 'on purpose' rips in the denim. Again, this was pretty simple using a sharp scissors I cut a tiny hole in the centre of the left leg.. once the hole had been made I went in again with the scissors to widen the rip. I then pulled some of the threads in the denim to fray the edges and add that roughed up/frayed effect. I only did about 4 of these 'rips' but you can do as many as you want if your trying this yourself.

And there you have it.. These are the finished shorts. Quite a difference considering what I started out with. Overall, I was really happy with what I had achieved myself. They did take some time to do but I feel it was worth it in the end. I will definitely be wearing these revamped Levi shorts all through the Summer months. I hope you guys liked this little DIY tutorial.. I thought it might be something you'd like to try for yourselves. If you do decide to have a go at making your own customized shorts then please leave a comment below and show me your designs.. I'd love to see them!

Happy DIY'ing!

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