As you know, we have been taking part in the Earnest Sewn 30 Day Denim Challenge for the entire month of June. We had to take a pair of Earnest Sewn jeans, in their raw form, and wear them for 30 days exactly (without washing them) and customize them to our liking. The jeans then get sent back to Earnest Sewn and whichever pair Benjamin likes the most will get re-created to go on sale. It was a really fun and exciting project to work on and I am actually really pleased with how mine turned out.
The last 3 images in the gallery are of the jeans changing over the course of the 30 days. Image 10 is in their raw state, as you can see they are really dark (almost black) blue and completely plain. Image 11 is of the jeans about 2 and a half weeks into the challenge. I hadn’t done anything to them as I was creating my own creases and whiskering just from wear. Then the last image, image 12, is of the jeans finished. You can see from the photos what a dramatic change there is. I didn’t notice exactly how much I had worked on these because it’s been a slow process that I’ve been doing over the entire month, but when I compared the photos, I was pleasantly suprised.
As I mentioned above, I didn’t do anything to the jeans for the first 2 or so weeks. The reason for this exactly was because I wanted to wear them as much as I could so that they formed to my body and told my story. I wanted to make sure that the creases set in the correct places and stayed there, which they did with a lot of wear. After I had created those natural wear lines, I slowly started fading them with sandpaper and light files. I was doing this for the last 2 weeks actually, getting them to go as naturally as possible and keeping it slow so that it didn’t look too forced.
As they are thinner denim, they did crease up in a lot of places. The lap area and behind the knees being the best places for that, so those two areas are what I worked on the most. I then faded the knees from the front and the inseam at the thighs, as creases had appeared there too. Since I have shorter legs, the jeans were stacked at the bottom so I decide to fade those creases as well which turned out to look quite nice.
For the final touches, I frayed the hems to add some more wear and I brought my pocket design to life. I had plans to re-create the heart in the top right corner for a while and it turned out really well in the end. If you are wondering why I chose to fade a heart into the pocket, it symbolises a few things. One being my complete love for denim and the other being my love for this challenge and being able to create a wash by myself. I think it also represents things on a bigger scale of people remembering to love one another. I like having details and meaning in my jeans, it always means a little something extra to me.
As you can probably see, the jeans don’t fit me very well anymore unfortunately, they stretched out loads and are quite baggy, but since I wasn’t able to wash them (which I found so frustrating and difficult, ha ha) they never shrank like normal. I’m hoping once I get these back from Earnest Sewn, I can wash them and have them fit me better and the wash itself will blend in nicer.
But I have spent a lot of time and a lot of hard work creating this wash over the last month. I have been sanding loads, staining my hands completely blue and making the denim softer as well as much lighter as I’m more of a fan of lighter jeans over dark. I wanted to use bleach to lighten them more, but since we weren’t allowed to wash them, that wouldn’t have worked out well because they would have stank and the bleach wouldn’t be washed away.
But anyway, I am really really happy with how they turned out, I think all the hard work paid off. I didn’t want to add anything to the jeans like paint or embroidery or something along those lines because I wanted to stay true to myself. That for me is keeping the jeans as natural as possible and just creating a wash that looks really worn in and vintage, like an old pair of jeans that have had some tough love. I definitely prefer this kind of look in my jeans so that’s why I didn’t add anything to them. I like to keep it simple.
Anyway, the challenge is now over and my jeans are on their way back to Earnest Sewn. I want to thank them for asking me to take part and I hope you readers like what I did with them! You can comment and let me know if you like them.
Images belong to Lorna Burford/DenimBlog.com.