Oops! I did it again. I really don't intend on making this a new series on my blog because that would be a bit sad, don't you think? Norbyah never learns from her mistakes and ruins beautiful vintage clothing. No, I don't want that to be my message because it couldn't be farther from the truth. I do all I can to save it!
But...washing mishaps happen. Maybe that's my lesson. Don't wash any vintage. At all. But then I would have an outrageous dry cleaning bill. Not so environmentally sustainable and against one of the reasons I wear vintage. I actually don't know how this mishap happened. I just took my black vintage jeans out one day and noticed the rinse looked all weird, almost like they had been tie dyed.
So, they sat in a pile for a very long time while I contemplated what to do with them. I do this with many of my clothes as a way to think about how I can rescue them or change them so they'll get more wear. They're worth it I think. And that way, I'm not adding to the textile waste that fast fashion creates, so it's all good.
Then one day, the answer came to me. I can't recall now how I decided to bleach them, but that's what I decided. I consulted some DIY blogs and got advice from my good friend Vicki (Vic & Lily Vintage) who has done some vintage DIY herself. In fact, she and I had a little vintage rescue going on in her shop until she moved to Scotland, which I'm totally over (hmmpf).
The nice thing about this project was that I actually could do-it-by-myself. Some of those other ones I've shared, like the most recent vintage dress rescue (see here), I only did with the assistance of my seamstress Jilly in Stanley.
So, I only have two bits of advice which were handed onto me. First, make sure to work in a well ventilated area (taking precautions to protect your eyes). Second, don't over bleach. In addition to lifting color, bleach also corrodes the fabric. If you're going for a totally distressed look, then never mind, but if not then start lightly. You can always go back a second time if you think you want more splattering and distressing.
I'm quite happy with how these pants turned out. Not too busy for me, so I know the jeans will get more wear. And that was the whole goal anyhow. In a surprise turn of events and having no knowledge of jean rinses, I learned that my jeans (or the dye) have a yellowy brown undertone. When the bleach lifted the color, the spots didn't turn white but tan which gave them a bit of an antiquey feel.
Oh, the vintage lessons I'm learning...