DIY: Colored Skinny Jeans


Happy 4th of July, everyone! I'm really excited about this DIY project! I saw this blog post about making colored jeans and I knew I had to try it!

I headed to my local Goodwill a few days ago and couldn't find any white jeans that were my size, so I settled on a pair of Lee jeans with a no-gap waistband that fit pretty well.

Normally, I skip over all light-wash jeans and go straight for dark jeans, but with this DIY, it's a lot easier to find jeans that fit at a good price because you're dying them anyway!

If you can't find skinny jeans, don't sweat--keep reading to see how you can turn regular jeans into skinny/straight-legged jeans!

Once you have your jeans, it's time to break out the bleach! I learned the hard way and wasted several hours trying to bleach my jeans in a very diluted solution in the washing machine. After letting it soak all night, I was frustrated that the jeans had barely faded! So I filled the bottom of a bucket and poured in a little water to dilute it and let my jeans soak. I stirred them occasionally, and they were bleached within a half hour!

Pretty cool, huh? It opens up a world of opportunities for bleach-splattered clothes that are usually thrown away!

Next, choose your dye color. I chose Rit's Golden Yellow color. I also recommend you use salt and Rit Color Fixative as well. Follow the instructions on the box; I chose the washing machine method which frees you from constantly stirring them in a bucket. I just continuously set my washer to the "soak" setting that agitated the pants for me.

I let the pants agitate for about an hour to ensure that the color would be bright. If you choose a brighter/darker color, make sure you let it soak/agitate for as long as possible.

After you've rinsed and followed with the Color Fixative (optional), make sure you clean your washer with bleach and detergent, as the dye packaging recommends!

Here's how my pants turned out!

It's amazing what a little dye can do!

If you've already achieved the look you want, congratulations! You are finished!

If you want to make your jeans into skinny jeans, keep reading! I used this tutorial as a guide; it was surprisingly easy to do!


  • Jeans to alter
  • Skinny jeans that fit you well as a pattern
  • Thread to match
  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors
  • Chalk or washable marker
  • Ruler
  • Safety pins and straight pins


Step One: Turn both pairs of jeans inside out.

Step Two: Lay the skinny pair on top of the flared pair, matching the inseams together. I smoothed the seams out so that the outer seam laid flat while the inseam had the excess, if that makes any sense. This way, when I drew a new seam, I could easily connect it to the original seam accurately. 

Step Three: Trace your skinny jeans/use it as a guide to draw a new outer seam. My yellow pair was quite a bit looser than the skinny pair, but I didn't want to dramatically alter it by messing with the top of the jeans, so I chose a point about 1/3 down and began to taper the jean by drawing a line at a diagonal. 

Step Four: Using a ruler, measure your new line at various points and duplicate it on the other pant leg. I took measurements at each 3.5 inch chunk (the width of my triangle) and marked it on the other pant leg. This ensures that both legs match exactly.

Step Five: Safety pin the seams and try on your pants to make sure they work out. If not, draw a new line or make adjustments. Replace pins with straight pins.

Step Six: Keeping the jeans inside out, stitch a new seam, following your new line.

Step Seven: Trim the excess jean off, leaving 1/2 inch. 

Step Eight: Sew a zig-zag stitch on your new seam and on the edge of your excess trim. This will hopefully prevent fraying.

Step Nine (optional): Sew the flap of your jean in the direction it lies by folding it and stitching it on top of the bottom seam. This will make sure it lies flat while you wear your jeans.

That's it! You did it!

Here's how my jeans turned out. The pictures are pretty unflattering, unfortunately, but I was going for more of a looser fit so I could wear them to school.

I'll be interested to experiment with how to style these jeans. I'm thinking navy, stripes, floral...who knows!

What color would you dye your jeans?

Today I'm linking up to: