updating faded jeans with dye {before and after}

Do you have one pair of jeans you love to wear over and over again? 

My favorite pair ever is this pair of Miss Me Jeans:

Rob loves them like crazy, and so do I. I bought a pair of them on eBay a year or two ago, and wore them for a year, then bought the same pair in a better size on eBay again because I loved them so much. :) {I sold the first pair in my first Mandy's Closet!}.

I've worn them so much they are starting to show all the love I've been giving them. I wish I had taken a picture of me wearing them this week before I dyed them, but here's the before shots I did get:

Still wearable, but the hip to knee sections were yellowing in the fade too, which is what bothered me the most. 

I definitely didn't want to sell them anytime soon, but I wanted them to be a bit more dressy looking since they are trousers and were darker to begin with, so I decided to dye them myself.

I'd tried dyeing pants before and didn't have the luck I'd hoped for, so I did a little more research this time around and tried to follow the instructions more closely with my beloved jeans. :) {here's a tutorial I found helpful!}

On my previous attempt, I'd only used denim blue and it was glowing bright blue {think brand new pair of cowboy Wranglers blue}, so this time I bought two packets, denim blue and black to mix to give it a darker look. Next time, I would try navy blue only like Kate did.

I followed the machine directions, but only used 1/2 of each packet/bottle, along with a cup of salt because they were cotton. I used the smallest, hottest load setting and that black packet sprinkled a little bit of everywhere. I prefer the liquid version! ;) I let the jeans soak for 20 minutes in the hot water and then ran a full wash cycle, then washed them again in warm water with detergent.

Here's how they looked "after" dyeing with 1/2 black and 1/2 denim blue:

It was too dark outside to get a clear pic without a flash... {sorry!}

I liked them, but they ended up a bit more violet than I wanted:

So I decided to use the rest of the 1/2 denim blue and 1/2 salt and do it all again. It was less dye per gallon of water of course, so it didn't come out much more blue, but I liked it better.


after {the final result!}:

They are kind of vintage blue! :D I like them. :)

I'm happy with the way they turned out! Like I said, I wouldn't be against trying the navy RIT color next time, but I didn't want to go overboard or too dark with my favorite pair. I just wanted to bring a little color and life back into them. It ended up being a fun experiment! {good thing too, or I might have seriously cried! ha!} :)

Have you ever dyed your old jeans?

Did you know black dye is just every color mixed together? I had no idea until it spilled on the side of my washing machine... :)


MariLynn said...

Awesome. I may have to try this. Of course my kids like the "used" look. They also like it with holes in them. Insert me rolling my eyes.

JessN said...

Never ever thought of doing that. Great idea!!!

Theresa said...

I have a pair of jeans that could use sloe updating! I'm going to have to try this.

Magnificent Mayhem said...

This is a great idea, and they turned out great!

Jan said...

I'm curious, does the dye rub off on anything?

Anonymous said...

Did you use the washing machine or a bucket like Kate did? I have always had a irrational fear of dyeing anything!

Jessica Murray said...

I will definitely try this with my fav pair. I would like to site your article on my homesteading blog if you don't mind. Thanks again for the awesome idea!

Mandy said...

I used the washing machine and it was great! It contains the mess very well. :) don't be afraid- just start with something you don't love first. Let me know if you decide to I for it!!

Mandy said...

Oh sure! Let me know how it goes! :)

Mandy said...

Not that I've noticed- washing them immediately after with hot water I think takes all the extra out but I might be careful washing them with light colors :)

Heather Pace said...

Now, if we could just find the magic solution to holes and to too-small-to-go-over-my-pregnant-hips. Lol. I recently discovered a hole in the rear of one of my favorite pairs of jeans and I might have shed a tear when I discovered my absolute favorite jeans wouldn't even come above my thighs much less button. I have found some consolation in knowing I will be be back in them soon, though.

Margo said...

What a great idea!

Alicia G said...

Can I get some more details about your jeans? Very cute!

Mandy said...

thank you! they are miss me's, called the reminisce trouser. I bought them on eBay, and love them! :D

meditationsandbread.com said...

I have tried dyeing jeans before, but it was a long time ago in high school. I tried to dye a pair of very light, almost white jeans to black. I used one packet of dye, and they ended up dove grey not black, AND with the stitching still white. I wasn't happy. But blue to darker blue, that would probably work. I like really dark jeans and always get disappointed when they get too faded. Maybe I should give it another try.

Also there was an acid-washed jean jacket I dyed purple in Jr. High. That worked out well, actually. I really liked it.