Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Shrink to Fit Jeans: Not As Easy As It Sounds!

  I like the idea behind a pair of jeans that have been shrunk to fit.  They are something uniquely yours, and no pair turns out exactly the same.  There are lots of tutorials online, and it looks pretty straightforward.  The only thing is, there aren't very many takes on the process from a woman's perspective.  It seems to be pretty much a guy thing.  Why is that?

  After watching a segment about vintage denim on CBS News Sunday Morning I decided I wanted to try my hand at creating my own special pair of jeans.  I read a bunch of stuff online and then went to the store and bought a pair of Levi's 501 shrink to fit jeans two sizes bigger than what I usually buy (because they are going to shrink of course).  I imagined my future self wearing some cool perfectly fit jeans, with naturally-occurring whiskering and creasing that would develop over time around the knees and hips .

  I filled the bathtub with hot water and put the jeans in to soak, then let them drip dry to the point where I could put them on and wear them until they dry.  I think this is a summer only project. 

  But when I put them on after all that effort, I was kinda disappointed.  They were fitted at the waist and hips, but they just don't feel fitted on the thighs.  They feel like bad mom jeans.  I don't think I did anything wrong, it's just the nature of the cut.  I see nice "after" photos of other people's 501s online, but I guess that's the point:  It's more suited to menswear:  not "boyfriend style for her," just boyfriend :).  They are supposed to be looser in the leg.

  I still want a pair of jeans that I could work on to become individualized, so I bought a pair of $9.95 skinny jeans in a dark rinse from H&M that I'm not going to wash for at least 6 months and wear as often as possible to see what happens.  My theory is that since they are inexpensive, the dye isn't going to be as incorporated into the denim, and therefore will become more worn looking overtime, at a quicker pace than other denim might wear down.

  So far there is definite creasing at the ankles, knees and hips.  Nothing faded but it has only been about a month and a half.  I've done some spot cleaning because 1) I spill stuff and 2) I have kids who use me as a human napkin. 

  I like the idea of jeans with some history, we'll see how it goes!