15.3.11

Tuesday Tip: DIY distressed denim shorts!

So, it's Day 2 of my Dorothy Perkins Denim dress up challenge (See Day 1 here!). Today is supposed to be the Skinny Flare day. But, like I said yesterday, Dorothy Perkins have given us free reign to customise the jeans as we please. Considering flares don't particularly suit my "rockabilly meets librarian" style, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share some denim snipping tips with you guys.

I had so much fun dressing up in these jeans before I snipped them, because they reminded me of the flares I used to wear as a young teen when I was just getting into alternative music. I actually recreated one of my teen 'grunger' looks, but am saving those lolz for another post! You might be able to see my lesser spotted lip ring I donned for the occasion in the pictures below...

And don't go thinking I'm flaking out of taking risks in this Denim challenge... Flares will be addressed again, in their entirety, later in the week! (Eep!)

So here is the final product and my outfit:



(T-shirt - Topshop, Tights - Primark, Cardi - Primark, Socks - Topshop, Boots - Charity Shop, Belt - H&M kids)

And here's how the jeans started life! They were so comfortable and a really lovely shape. I know with my epic jugs I probably ought to be wearing a flare to balance me out a bit, but they just don't suit me! If skinny flares do suit you, you can find Dorothy Perkins' selection here. They don't seem to have this wash online, unfortunately, but the line number is 70154724 if you want to find them in a store.


DIY TIME!

♥ Right, to start with, determine the length you want your shorts, and snip a diagonal line (see below left) a bit longer than you think they need to be. It's better to be able to trim off extra material. You're screwed if you go too short!

♥ Put the jeans back on and see if the leg you've snipped is the right length. If not, trim some more. I wanted mine folded at the bottom instead of frayed. If you're of the kooky disposition, consider leaving them this way. It might catch on!

♥ When you're happy with the length and shape of the first leg, fold the jeans in half inwards (the seams line up better when folded this way) and use the chopped leg as a template to cut the other leg to match it.

♥ Woo, you did it! If your folds don't stay folded, you can either iron (or use straighteners) or just put a few stitches in to keep them in place.




If you want to put your own stamp on your new shorts, here are some distressing tips that work for me! (As in denim-distressing tips - not that these tips caused me emotional strife!)

Most places on the internetz suggest Sandpaper, but we don't have this in our flat, so I busted out my Models Own nail file! Which worked perfectly, I must say.

I found the best way to do it was to put the leg that you're distressing first 'on', but upside down. Like in the pic below (imagine my knee sticking out of the top of the picture), so it's like the jeans are sitting on your lap, but because they're on, you can pull the material taut and file it easier. I hope to god that made sense!

So we've sorted out the wear, onto the tear! To get a more ripped look, I used that side of the cheese grater that nobody knows what to do with. Anyone care to enlighten me?! I made the material taught but pulling upwards with my palm, and then gently grated the material over my hand. Be careful not to stab yourselves! This just pulls the threads out and makes little rips, which you can enhance with a seam ripper if you want to.


When you think you're done, try the jeans on and see how they look. I decided my nail-filed areas were a bit small, so I just filed them whilst they were on, so I had more control over which extra bits to do. It only takes a couple of minutes to get a faded look.


I absolutely love how these turned out. I am going to keep filing them and make them an ongoing project, but I was surprised how easy it was to get a cool faded/ripped effect! I might add some studs too when I next have some pocket money!


I accidentally made mine a bit too bummy, so will be wearing them with some cycling shorts like all the cool cats, until we get a heatwave!


My latest nails and my adorable 'LOL' ring sent to me by Stolen Thunder. If there was ever a piece of jewellery that was made for me, it was this. Lolz are my life. You can get 15% off Stolen Thunder jewellery using the code 'GEM'!


(Nails: OPI Banana Bandana, spots of Models Own Nude Beige, Leopard done with Superdrug 2True liquid eyeliner!)

And that wraps up this week's tip! What do you think? Do any of you have any tips for distressing or customising denim?

Don't forget to see how the other bloggers got on with Skinny Flare day at Style HQ!

53 comments:

  1. I made some denim cut off before and they looked really strange, now I know where I went wrong (I cut them straight across instead of diagonally) I will definitely remember this for next time!

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  2. I love how you distressed them - definitely very you. You styled them beautifully too. That ring is amaze!

    Rosie x

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  3. Thank you SO much for posting this! I've got about 3 or 4 pairs of "skinny" jeans that aren't skinny at all so I never wear them but love the colour of the denim. Now I can get some wear out of them! :)

    Can't wait to see what the flairs look like either. xx

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  4. love that tip... ive got a couple of pairs of jeans that are a little bit in the naff stakes these days. and i live in denim shorts so i might just aswell make myself some!!
    ive got the spotty tights like yours so might just copy and team with shorts and ankle socks!!

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  5. lol, that side of your cheesegrater is for hard cheeses like parmesan or peccorino :) but I love the idea of scuffing stuff up with it, heh.

    I have a couple of pairs of jeans that I never wear any more so this might be the perfect opportunity to snip away :)

    Sarah (@miametro)

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  6. Haha, the cheese grater is inspired! I am a little scared of flares, too many years in skinnies. Much prefer the after shots! x

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  7. Haha i just LOL'd (sp?) at your comment for a 'kooky disposition' wear one long and one short as a number of times while eating my lunch at work has the same girl walked past me wearing exactly that... brilliant! really need to ask her about it, we'll be seeing it everywhere soon!

    On another note loving the look of the shorts! i always cut mine waaaay too short so have lost my nerve a little, might have to give it another go! - darwin xx

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  8. I really love the T-shirt you are wearing, and would like to know where you bought it. Thanx!!

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  9. I love your ideas from distressng denim, I'll be taking a cheese grater to my jeans later!

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  10. You're such a clever monkey :) You could totally wear the 'too bummy' shorts on their own with a thicker pair of tights.

    I also think you definitely suit the flared skinnies look but if it's not your style it's nice you can chop and change.

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  11. I use that bit of the cheese grater for grating lemon zest. If you fancy a Tuesday Tip about how to clean it without shredding your fingers off, that would be fab!

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  12. Oh, GOD.
    One too many times have I been screwed from cutting jeans too short.
    It really IS better to just take the extra 30 seconds to try them back on.
    Really liked this post!

    essiebutton.blogspot.com

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  13. Spotted tights are so rad, I'm glad I'm not the only person who loves them!<3

    http://moronicramblings.blogspot.com

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  14. love that ring! defs checkin out their website x

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  15. I use my boyfriends skate board to distress my jeans because the top of the deck is basically sandpaper.

    xx

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  16. So resourceful! Love it! xx

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  17. Nice pins!

    xxx

    ps - the funny bit of the cheese grater is for Parmesan :)

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  18. For me, the phrase 'epic jugs' is just not used enough in the wonderful world of blogging - at least not in the high brow blogs I frequent, ahem. Nice work on the shorts, I can't handle a flare either, unfortunately for my large lady lumps.

    Look forward to seeing the rest of your denim challenge!

    Penny x

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  19. oh these are gorgeous shorts, they fit you really well! great 'distressing' tips! xoxo avs

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  21. You look bangin' in those shorts! I don't blame you for getting scissor happy - flares scare the living daylights out of me. I too should be wearing them in a Gok-world, but in my world, they look freaking awful and get soggy in the rain. Drainpipes all the way!
    I'm actually wearing dotty tights and the same cardigan right now!

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  22. great tip, and a good way to style up something you might not waer otherwise!

    love the ring also, adorable!

    xx

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  23. love these! I recently edited a pair of denim shorts i had to make them more frayed but i couldn't think of a way of distressing them, can't wait to try this! :) XX

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  24. shorts are sooo short at the moment and I would never wear them, but I can make my own now at a length that will cover my modesty :) Distressing them was a fab idea xx

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  25. Love that you just cut the jeans to suit your style... But what I love more is those NAILS! So awesome.
    Also, I have just launched a giveaway if you're interested!

    Olivia x
    unionolivia.blogspot.com

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  26. That's an awesome tutorial! Thanks :D I'll be sure to make some serious use of it this summer.

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  27. Another great tip Gem! And another lovely outfit x

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  28. they turned out lovely, when i first saw the photo i thought you brought them that way. i prefer them rolled up like that than frayed anyway (they tend to unravel and get embarrassingly short on me but hey..). i love those nails as well :)

    http://afluorescentadolescent.blogspot.com/ x

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  29. You've done a cracking job on these jeans. I'm not really a fan of flares either but never would have made these shorts so fancy either. I've cut the legs off but never bleached or grated so thanks for the wonderful tips =)


    Bow Dream Nation xx

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  30. Flares don't suit me either! You look great in the shorts though xx

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  31. I love this tip! I once made the mistake of snipping my jeans in a straight line instead of diagonal... It's safe to say they're tucked inside my wardrobe never to come out again :) x

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  32. I always remember doing this to jeans when I was a teen! I like to scuff up all the buttons and studs too so they don't look all shiny and new.

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  34. I like to use the clorox bleach pen (or just bleach and a paint brush) to add tiny dots and flecks of bleach for distressing denim.

    Love the nails too!

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  35. I absolutely love this outfit!

    Your figure is amazing!

    I love your nails too, i need to try these!

    Perfect!
    Pretty lady! :)

    xx

    www.xsantyx.blogspot.com

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  36. i love this post, i've always wondered how to do this properly. just saved me from buying vintage ones from urban outfitters! thanks!x

    also if you get a chance could you please take my survey; its for my final yr dissertation on social media and the fashion industry :)

    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7N99TMV

    thankyou!x

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  37. Wow you did a great job on those shorts hun xx

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  38. I love this tip AND the outfit! Good job, Gem. I've tried snipping jeans into shorts before but have never ever thought about a) doing a diagonal line and b) folding them up like that to get the other leg equal! Definitely bookmarking this page.

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  39. So glad you are a fellow lolz connoisseur! I get a little tired of straight laced, overly reverent fashion blogs - we need more self deprecation and fun! x

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  40. Flipping eck' Gem, you have amazing legs! The DIY denim shorts are awesome too.

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  41. love this so much, tried it at home with a pair of grubby primark jeans and they look SO COOL NOW LITERALLY.
    also gem your legs look fantastic. xxxxx

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  42. GENIUS!!! Like seriously, why are you so smart with this stuff? LOL not actually asking btw ...hahha

    Lovef this look :)

    Xisses, Onyxsta

    http://say-bleurgh.blogspot.com

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  43. i am in love with your tuesday tips! :)

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  44. dude. you have got some amazing handy man skills! ive never seen shorts made so well :)
    absolutely well done chicken!
    xxx

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  45. They look great.

    Oh golly - denim cut offs and cycling shorts . That brings back memories. Wore them under everything. Makes me feel old!

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  46. I did this with some jeans I got from the charity shop but accidentally cut them to short to roll up so instead their just normal cut but it adds to the affect if the bottom is all freyed like mine xx

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  47. The shorts turned out great! I just found your blog, and fell inlove with it! I hope you take time to visit my blog too :)

    http://funandoblivious.blogspot.com/

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Thanks for commenting! ♥