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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Distressed Denim Overalls- An Overall Success!!

Humble Beginnings

We all start out somewhere, and these humble $2 thrift store rejects were nothing special, but they were a perfect start for this distressing experiment.

I like the idea of taking an ugly duckling, and at least turning out an owl or bluejay.  These were not badly worn, and not expensive enough that I was worried about messing the whole thing up.  It was very freeing!  I have been wanting to try my hand at denim distressing for quite some time- this was a perfect starter project for me.

I used several different 'tools' on my project. I liked using a cheese grater the best, I could rub away the most fiber the fastest- however I also rubbed off a little of my knuckles as well! I used some 180 grit sandpaper to age the edges along the pockets and bib, and my handy seam ripper was great for adding tears.

I have been saving and cutting up my families old jeans to make a rag quilt, and I used some of the 'saved' pockets to add dimension to these bibs. The patches on the knee and vestback are from an antique 'cutter' quilt I have been looking to use on something- I love the worn out look of the quilt pieces with the distressed denim! On both the front and back quilt patches I set them from behind, so the ragged edges of the denim would add to the look.

One note on bleaching spots- I found that using a regular cotton ball worked the best. I could control the amount I squeezed out onto the fabric better than using a sponge. Anyway, it is what worked for me.

I made the Ticklish Moose applique patch out of some leftover creme-colored flannel, and added it after I bleached the denim and distressed the pocket.  The neat thing is that I know these will continue to wear and age and just keep getting better with time.   

Final Note

I decided to try adding a few more elements.  This pocket stamp is from  I tried some regular stamp ink I had, and even tried heat setting it, but to no avail.  I did a little more research and found a special ink just for fabric stamping  

I couldn't find any at my local hobby stores, so I ordered from a supplier online- there are several to pick from.  This ink performed perfectly, was easily heat set, and I look forward to trying it on many other fabrics and projects. 

I would just like to finish by saying this- sometimes you just have to jump in and let the project take you where it wants to go.  I may add a few more elements as time goes on- I have a few more ideas, but for now these bib overalls from humble beginings are complete, and I can't wait to wear them!  

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