Entries Tagged as 'Denim Class'

DIY: How to Hand-Sew Patches to Your Jeans or Jean Jacket

Friday, August 26, 2016

gucci denim jacket with patches
When I was in high school, I had a denim jacket that I wore almost every day. I wanted to personalize it, so I tried ironing-on (OK I asked my mom to) band patches featuring bands like Guns ‘N’ Roses and Styx. But even thought they were “iron-on” patches, they would never stick for long. And my mom usually caved and sewed them on for me, but I never learned how to do it myself. YouTube did not exist back then and such is the fate of an only child.

Fast forward to 2016 and patches are figuring prominently in every fashion show you can think of. Time to figure out this sewing thing, right?

Luckily, YouTube now exists:

What you need: denim jacket, favourite emblems/buttons/badges, strong needle and fabric glue or straight pins, a thimble.

Step 1. Place the patches on your garment to get an idea of where you would like them to be positioned. Take snaps with your phone to see what looks best.

Step 2. Secure the patches with a dab of glue or straight pins. Stay away from PVA glue, use fabric glue or an adhesive.

Step 3. Sew badges on starting from the back of your garment, and using a simple whip stitch (a.k.a. overcast) technique. Here is an easy guide.

[Photo via Gucci]

Note: this post was originally published 2013 and updated in August 2016

The Freezer Will Not Clean Your Jeans

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Editor’s note: This is an updated version of a post published on January 4, 2011.

Screenshot 2016-03-31 14.39.09

Back in 2010, we asked the question,  “Can the freezer really clean your jeans?” We had heard many stories from denim enthusiasts who would do anything to maintain the wash of their jeans, including going months without washing or dry cleaning them. Freezing was named as one method for getting denim clean without subjecting them to water or harsh chemicals.

The theory is that you can kill the bacteria (and smell) by freezing and killing the bacteria.

Well, folks, the theory is false.

Back before I started editing Eat Sleep Denim, I investigated this issue for Gizmodo. I found a few hands-on experiments and interviewed a few scientists. All of the findings came to pretty much the same conclusion: The freezer won’t kill all of the bacteria, and they will repopulate your pants once they thaw. All it takes is a single survivor.

But, raw denim aficionados, don’t fret too much if you can’t bear the thought of washing away your denim’s personalized imprint. One experiment found that jeans left unwashed for 15 weeks had nearly the same amount of bacteria as jeans worn for 13 days. The bacteria probably dies off rapidly enough that it doesn’t accumulate as much as you might think.

That’s notwithstanding spills (the drink and/or falling variety), barf, or other potentially grossifying substances. In those cases, might as well wash them on the gentle cycle with some ridiculously expensive organic laundry detergent. Any loss to your personal fade marks will be paid back in your improved social standing.

[Photo via Heddels]

The 5 Best DIY Videos on Distressing Denim

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 11.00.40 AM

This week I’ve finally decided to get out of my fear around DIY distressing jeans. I frayed the hems of a few pairs of jeans and am wearing them around. The whole thing got me itching to try out some other denim DIY techniques to get them distressed just exactly the way I want them.

While I regret nothing about buying my jeans pre-distressed, sometimes a pair of jeans would be “perfect” if they had just that piece of distressing that’s updated and on trend or subtle enough not to feel like I’m trying too hard. Distressing your jeans at home is not just a matter of taking a pair of scissors to them. Learn from the mistakes of others, and maybe get some inspiration to try your own experiments.

Here are a few videos I found to be helpful on distressing jeans at home:

The Basics on Distressing:

For the Sliced Knee:

For the Frayed Hem:

To Lighten Your Jeans:

To Splatter Bleach Your Jeans:

Ten DIY Denim Shorts To Try This Summer

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

jennifer grey

My first DIY project ever, was to cut off my jeans into shorts. Granted, I cut them off bermuda style a la Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing (see above). That was pretty much a no brainer. The only thing is to get the legs cut the same length, which for me was much easier said than done. None-the-less, it was pretty easy to hide my mistakes by rolling my  jean shorts.

Today, denim shorts are, well shorter. And the precision and perfection can make the difference between summer chic and summer streak. I usually just buy my denim shorts, but that doesn’t stop me from being amazed by what’s out there. So if you’re crafty and even if you’re not, these denim DIYs are pretty awesome.

DIY PolkaDot Denim Shorts


Boyfriend Cutoff


Tie Dyed Denim Shorts

Half Bleached Aztecan Motif Shorts

Horizontal Bleach Dipped Shorts

Scalloped Denim Shorts

Pattern Paneled Denim Shorts

how to decorate your denim shorts
Denim Mullet Shorts

Striped Denim Shorts


Mr. Blacks Can Wash or Refresh You Denim

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


How often do you wash your jeans? For us denim aficionados, washing your jeans is something to push off at all costs. Washing jeans breaks down the fabrics, washes out the wash, especially if you use regular detergents. Some even go as far as to NEVER wash their jeans, and using the freezer to take out the smell. But I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to do that.  Mr. Black, maker of two products, Denim Wash and Denim Refresh, is a great 1-2 punch to taking care of your jeans. If you don’t like washing your jeans, Denim Refresh is a step beyond Febreeze in that it has antibacterial qualities as well as making your jeans smell better between washers. The Denim Wash is soft enzyme free wash, which is gentle on the cotton fibers. It does not rip the colors out, maintaining the richness of those rinses (and distressing) we pay so much for.

Now, there’s no excuse to for dirty jeans.


Beyond Jeans… 21 Awesome & Unexpected Denim DIY Projects

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

There are loads of things you can do with your old jeans. Donate them, sell them, orrrrr… you can do DIY projects. While old jeans are great canidates for DIY projects in terms of trying out trends, like polka dot jeans, for example. You can also do many other types of projects (in case you have too many trendy jeans, or jean shorts, or whatever!) From reupholstering old furniture, to creating toys for the children in your life, or heck, even Christmas tree ornaments! The sky is really the limit!

1. Denim Upholstery




2. Denim Quilt

How to make an American Quilt? Use the quintessential American textile, denim!



3. Denim Rug

Inspired by parquet floors…



4. Denim Statement Necklace

Who needs jewels?



5. Denim Tote

These were old jeans? Totes amaze!



6. Denim Map

Made in the USA! Or whereever you happen to be. If you need a printable template to work off of, Mr. Printables has a great US map.


7., 8. & 9. Denim Pillows!






10., 11. & 12. Denim Lighting







13. Denim Gingerbread Man



14. Denim Whale



15., 16. & 17. More Denim Animals

No tutorial… but figure if you can do the whale, you can do any animal!

denim_fox2.jpt denim_fox


18. Denim Jacket Planter

Not sure if I love this or hate it… but still unexpected in a Grey Gardens kind of way.



19. Denim Advent Calendar

The tutorial is just for a garland, but I think it could also be used for an advent calendar!


20. Denim Star Ornaments

Looks super easy!



21. Denim Heart

Could be made into any shape, Christmas Tree? Star? Heart… whatever your fancy!





Denim Halloween Costume: Jacques Cousteau

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sharknado. Avalanche Sharks. Shark Week. Sharks are HOT this year. Well, they’re hot every year. But this year is my boy’s first Halloween, and guess what? He’s going to be a shark.


Since I couldn’t resist the cuteness of the shark costume, we could go as a family of sharks, but I wanted to do something to highlight Jasper in his cute shark cosutme. Shark victims came up, which sounds cute, but also kind of violent. So… who other than Jacques Cousteau, scientist, conservationist, lover of sharks, and compulsive wearer of denim…



The great thing about Jacques Cousteau, is that other than being a skinny old white guy, he is famous for wearing a red beanie with a chambray shirt. It can be unisex or you can feminize your Cousteau costume as well. (I’m personally going to do a “Jackie Cousteau” version.. part Jackie O., part Jacques Cousteau)  If you already have a chambray shirt in your wardrobe, picking up a red beanie is a piece of cake. Throw in your shark baby, and your costume is complete!

Jacques Cousteau Costume

[MAN]: Frank & Eileen Light Denim Shirt • Levi’s Rigid 1960’s 606 JeansDECKY Red Short BeanieRetro Aviator GlassesPipe

[WOMAN] AG Adriano Goldschmied Lightweight Denim Shirt •  Sally LaPointe A Line Leather Skirt1717 Olive Beanie in RedAlexandre Briman Fifi Ankle Tie Pumps


No Yoga Pants! 7 Easy Tips for Being a “Stylish Mom”

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Since having a baby, I’ve been getting a lot of requests to share how to dress “fashionably” as a mom. It’s hard to be fashionable as a mom… your life consists of getting vomited on, crawling on the ground, taking extra long walks and NOT getting a full night’s sleep. Hey, it’s been a long time since I’ve gotten to take a shower without a baby in the bathroom.

However… just because your life has changed, it does not mean that you have to give up looking fabulous, or at the very least– presentable. Sure, you’ll probably have to leave the sequins in the closet, and save those stilettos for special occasions, but don’t give into yoga pants just because you hear that’s what all the other moms wear.  Yoga-pant wearing moms probably wore yoga pants BEFORE they had kids and were just looking for an excuse, because I see no reason, comfort, convenience, time or otherwise, why a mom can’t look put together. Take it from me, I’m a wimp. I do not take discomfort well (the woman who complained through my easy pregnancy and threw up at 5cm during labor). Being comfortable is always more important than looking good.

Ground rules for “stylish mom” dressing:

  1. Don’t be precious: Yesterday I was on a call and my son puked all over my jeans. You have to be a mom to understand this, but I just wiped them down with a wet cloth and still wore them. I’m not precious about my clothes. They don’t smell, they’re not stained, so why change? I try to stay away from “dry clean only” clothes so anything can just be thrown in the wash. So don’t make a big deal about getting dirty.
  2. Wear clothes that fit: Moms complain about jeans being uncomfortable. I don’t understand. If your jeans are uncomfortable, they are too small. Period. Go up a size, get a pair with a bit more stretch, for for a pair with a 9″ rise,  high enough to get rid of muffin top, low enough not to pinch at the waist. With your tops, if you’re nursing, wearing anything tight is  probably a no-go.
  3. Have a few quality pieces: I know, I know, your “disposable income” has probably flown out the door the minute you found out you were pregnant. Daycare, toys, clothes, baby gear, it all adds up. Personally I find it hard NOT to spoil my baby. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to look like a pauper. Have a few quality pieces (I’lll go through them below.)
  4. Trendy or classic? Err on the classic side: When deciding what to wear, or splurge on err on the classic side. Don’t fall for this season’s “It” color (unless it’s your favorite color), or splash out on pattern mixing or whatever. However, certain things like ankle boots, skinny jeans, slouchy skinny, are all things that will stay around for a while. You still want to look like you live in this decade, but you don’t have to give the street style blogs a run for their money either.

The easy “mom” uniform:

I pretty much wear the same thing every day. Different pieces yes, but the same logic goes behind every outfit (which is why I quit personal style blogging).  Slouchy top (tee shirt or sweater), jacket,  jeans, ankle boots or flats, and special occasions– heels. There are millions of combinations that can be done with that, so I’m going to share the examples below:

Slouchy Top:

slouchy topOne of the things I always have to keep in mind is “easy access” for nursing. That pretty much means either very low cut or stretchy enough on the bottom to lift up the top. I found that slouchy tops, either tee shirts or sweaters work the best. Make sure your tops have either a raglan sleeve or drop shoulder to avoid looking too frumpy. I also like boat necks and scoop necks to avoid the frump. This Vince sweater is wool, but also machine washable. Bonus!

Splendid makes amazing tee shirts, I have the slub tee shirt (with a raglan sleeve and scoop neck) which fits amazingly and usually I wear it as soon as it comes out of the wash I love it so much.


Skinny Jeans (but not too skinny)

skinny_jeansI tend to like my jeans with a little bit of slouch. Even my skinny jeans. As much as I like wide-legged jeans, they’re hard to pull off. Boot cut jeans are hard to pull off as well without looking like you stepped out of 2005. Stick with skinny jeans just to be safe. You can riff of that and look into “Lazy Jeans” or boyfriend jeans, but like the boot cut, they’re really for people who know style well. I don’t even know how to successfully style boyfriend jeans! Eek!


  • Paige Hoxton High Rise $178: Was sent a pair for review, and they are very comfortable and great for hiding the post-pregnancy pouch.
  • J Brand 811 Mid Rise $198: I have several pairs of 811’s in my wardrobe, they’re a classic mid-rise skinny jean that doesn’t cling too tightly.
  • Levi’s Demi Curve $98: If you can get these on sale, you can get them as low as $50 ish… for the money, they’re the best jean I have ever had. The Curve ID program really works to get a perfect fit, and my pair has held up well over the years.

Ankle Boots

ankle_bootsAs you can tell from these boots, they get A LOT of wear. These are actually my second pair of Rachel Comey Mars booties. The first one I wore until they basically need to be resoled for the second time. I love these in particular because they’re so comfortable. How comfortable? I once got lost in the woods Blair Witch style for four hours, made it out ok, and what was the biggest thing on my mind? Was it my feet? No! I was thirsty and starving. Yes, after four hours… I’ll be one of the first to go when the Zombie Apocalypse hits. You don’t have to get a pair as pricey as these and get the Ash Spiral booties, or if you can splurge for the Isabel Marant booties. Either way, they’re trendy enough to look up to date, but classic enough to last a few more years.



This is where I leave it to you. The uniform I shared with you is merely a base. I wear accessories to be fancy or casual. The good thing about this, is that an edgy cuff or a statement necklace can go a long way. Just make sure you’re not wearing anything your baby can choke on!

What tips do you have for “mom” dressing?

Boyfriend Jeans, Mom Jeans, Dad Jeans… What’s the difference?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Is she wearing mom, dad, or boyfriend jeans? (via Vanessa Jackman)

Gosh, all we have to do is add “Brother Jeans” and “Sister Jeans” and we have the whole family of jeans! No really, with the noted comeback of “Dad Jeans”  this summer, it became clear that it’s time to break down what all this malarkey means. Unlike traditional styles of jeans where the name of the style often had something objective and directly correlating to the style, ie. “Skinny Jeans” they have a tight fit all over, “Flare Jeans” have a flared bottom, “Low Rise” have, well, a low rise. Boyfriend, Mom, and Dad all bring a unique picture to everyone who imagines them. My parents both wear light-washed jeans and Hawaiian shirts, thankfully they live in different states so no one seeing them together will think they’re twins. My boyfriend is now my husband, and he wears dark wash skinny jeans, and as of this summer is now a dad, so what are his jeans called?


Well, I’m here to un-confuse you, with these examples and definitions!

Mom Jeans

Mom Jeans are simply put, high waisted jeans with a slightly relaxed fit. The rise of the “Mom Jeans” started the whole, relationship names for jeans (pun intended!). Back in the mid ’00s after  super sexy-low rise jeans dominated, we all started to rebel and do away with whale tails, and get some real underwear back on and some less sexy jeans. This correlated with the rise of vintage since with the internet you could search for specific items, like vintage denim. Since most people searching for this vintage denim were young 80’s jeans were worn by their mothers… mothers who stuck to this particular style.

Boyfriend Jeans


Boyfriend Jeans on Hanelli

Boyfriend Jeans are just relaxed fit jeans that are mostly cuffed at the bottom. The Boyfriend Jean trend hit in 2009 when Katie Holmes was spotted wearing Tom Cruise’s jeans. To be honest, this is a trend that outlived my most optimistic expectations, as this trend has evolved from shabby to chic. More often than not, they are distressed so they look “worn in.” Since many of us don’t have boyfriends or have boyfriends whose jeans will never fit (ie. I’m a 27″ and petite, so wearing my husband’s 34″s with a 32″ inseam would never ever work). Most “Boyfriend Jeans” are made specifically for you, so no boys required.

Dad Jeans


Dark wash “Dad” Jeans on The Sartorialist

Dad Jeans are the menswear equivalent to “Mom Jeans” high waisted, relaxed fit, washed out.  This summer Barak Obama was spotted wearing them causing several magazines (though NOT GQ… they don’t think Dad Jeans will ever come back) attested the comeback of the embarrassingly nerdy style. What would dad style be, if it weren’t embarrassing? The fashion jury is still out on this, however, there have been some men who could make it work. Time will tell, but I do have to say, when my husband who had worn the skinniest skinny jeans for years opted for a more relaxed style last week when we went on our annual “shopping trip” I’m thinking there’s something to this… we’ll see how it evolves.

Denim DIY: Inspired by Anna Sui Spring 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013


Anna Sui sent a few looks down her Spring 2013 runway that have stuck in my mind ever since seeing the show back in September. The denim was noteworthy, especially an unforgettable denim sweetheart dress dripping with pearls. Totally over the top and amazing! I wanted to mimic the same design elements but a few steps down on the embellishment scale and ended up with a wearable denim top. All it takes it a quick trip to the crafts store and an old (or new) denim or chambray top. And there is much room for interpretation as you can add more pearls, less pearls, more gold paint, less gold paint — it”ll look good either way!

Time: 1 – 2 hours

You’ll Need: 

Denim or Chambray top

Plastic Pearls. Multiple sizes depending on desired result.

Jewelry/Fabric Glue. I love Jewel-it.


Gold Fabric Paint

Tear-Shaped Beads, and/or Droplet Pearls. Again, up to you! I based my top more loosely on Anna Sui but you can be literal.

Arrange Stencils on Shirt to form desired pattern. Apply gold fabric paint over stencils. Remove stencils and let paint dry. Give the garment at least half an hour to dry. Test by tapping lightly with finger.

After paint is dry, apply pearls along border of collar. First apply a dab of Jewel-it, then continue pearl by pearl until collar edge is covered. Give pearls over an  hour to dry. Using the same process as with beads, apply glue to blouse, and embellish with larger, tear shaped plastic beads in desired spots around top.  Or, add droplet pearls. There is opportunity to add much more embellishment. Again, I went with a less-is-more look but more-is-more pearls would be fun too.

That’s it! Make sure to dry clean denim top or delicately hand wash since the beads will not fare well in the wash.

DIY Dip Dye Denim Shirt

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I’ve stared at my beat up old Madewell chambray shirt for weeks now, debating over whether I should let it go, or transform it into something new and exciting. I’ve opted for the latter option, yippee! Inspired by the dip dye denim shorts and jeans spotted on blogs and the runway (Dries did an amazing bleach job a few seasons back I keep dreaming about), I pulled a little diy dip dye effect on my chambray button up. And the best part, I bought all the supplies from the .99 store for just under $5! I love that place.

 You’ll Need

Chambray or Denim Top
Plastic Bucket
Household Bleach
Durable Rubber/Latex Gloves
Either a pants hanger or plastic clothes pins
Tailor’s Chalk
A ruler Optional


1. Make sure you have all the supplied lined up and ready to go. Don’t forget your gloves, and try to find a clean area away from anyone and anything that can disrupt your D.I.Y.

2. Use your tailors chalk (and ruler if you need one) to trace a line for your bleaching. Keep in mind that the bleach does run so mark a bit below where you would like the dye to start.

 3. Create your bleach solution by pouring 1 part bleach to 2 parts water. Make sure you have enough liquid to submerge fabric.  If using a hanger fold top part of blouse and clip. Dip your blouse bottom first into the liquid, and stop at chalk line. Drape hanger over back of bucket while keeping fabric submerged. If using clothes pins pin the top part of blouse over bucket. Let sit in bleach for 45 minutes (or longer depending on desired effect).

4. Remove blouse from bleach solution, soak in bath tub with water for a few minutes, and then rinse thoroughly. Hang blouse to dry completely. Wash and dry solo first time around.


Denim Tutorial: Polka Dot Denim Shorts

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Denim shorts are the easiest way to update your closet on the fly, and for virtually no additional cost or that much additional time. Especially if you have a tired old pair of jeans you just can’t wear anymore, but aren’t ready to get rid of. This Polka Dot denim shorts tutorial is really fun and easy. All you need is a new pencil, a ruler, a tube of fabric paint, and and hour of your time.

Supplies: Wooden pencil with eraser (safe to have a couple on hand), a ruler, denim shorts, white fabric paint (I chose white but you can go with any color, it would be really cute to do a grey or even metallic), a paper plate or container to hold the paint.

Estimated time: 1 hour

1. Pour a generous sized amount of paint into your container. Dab Pencil eraser in paint, but make sure to shake off any excess paint to prevent dripping.

2. Use the ruler to align polka dots in straight line. Dab eraser on fabric. Repeat until line is complete. Make sure to dab eraser a separate time for each dot. You may be able to get a couple dots per dab but paint tends to thin out after first use. Do the same on the next line making sure to place dots in alternate pattern. Try to space lines evenly. Depending on your preference, but I like to give an inch of space between dots and lines. Repeat until all fabric is covered.

3. Allow 30 minutes for paint on 1st side to dry. Repeat Steip 1 and 2 on second side of jeans.

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