Restyle: Bleached Denim Shorts with Lace

Hello, there.

I have another denim restyle for you lovely people.

If you have spent any of your hard-earned cash on this type of hipster shorts, just stop.

Like right now.
You're killing me, Smalls.

They are so expensive. I was browsing at Urban Outfitters in Hollywood last week and oh em gee...$54 for a pair of their "festival shorts"! 7 For All Mankind Faded Cut-Off shorts for girls clock in at $69! I don't even want to pay $19.99 for these at Old Navy or Target. It's cray cray.

That, my friends, is highway robbery.

Remember all of those jeans I cut up into shorts for my girls?

Well, I have more incentive than ever to try a few creative techniques on their shorts. I'm nothing if not thrifty! Since they'll be wearing shorts well into November (darn you, crazy long Southern California summer and nonexistent Fall), I thought I'd make a few different looks.

Btdubbs, I loved the way the last pair turned out--you can't go wrong with an Aztec-print. You can find them here. They've already gone through the wash a couple times and the fabric paint held up nice. It looks slightly faded, but it goes with the distressed look of the denim.

Here are the deets for this pair: I dipped half of the shorts into a solution of one part bleach to two parts water. If you want to speed up the process, add more bleach. But know you breakdown your fabric by using so much bleach. Somehow, the bleach solution crept onto the non-bleached side of the denim but it's okay, they still look cool. Once they were fully dry, I got busy distressing the denim a little.

I had some lace left over from the Lace Insert Heart Tee project and I thought hmmmmmm, this will work. I'm all about using what you already have. And a panel of lace is cute and feminine--perfect for my daughter.

I'm still experimenting with glues. Aleene's from iLovetoCreate has a great variety of fabric glues so by all means check it out. For this project I used the OK to Wash It, which is a washable adhesive that permanently bonds fabric and embellishments to fabric. It dries clear so you can't see it through the lace.

You can go about measuring the area of your shorts that you'll be gluing the piece of lace onto whichever way you choose. I just placed my lace directly over the shorts and used a light-colored fabric marker to trace the shape. It was easy because you can see through the lace.

  • Cut out your shape with scissors
  • Glue lace onto the edges of your fabric
  • Don't glue down the lace in the center--too messy!

Once your glue has dried and the lace is permanently bonded onto the denim, you can distress them further by making tiny tears with the edge of your scissors, or lightly sanding them with fine grit sandpaper, like so.

Once you run them through the wash cycle, the ends will fray up nicely and do all the distressing work for you.

Your lace doesn't have to be perfect--the color of the bleached denim and lace is very forgiving.
I'm loving the way these turned out. I still have a few more pairs up my sleeve, so keep your eyes peeled like a pepino sprinkled with Tajin.

Until then, never pay full price for "festival shorts", people.

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  1. Oh wow, they came out really cute. Loving the lace.

  2. I LOVE these. I don't wear short shorts anymore (Stupid middle age weight gain!), but I can def see me making a sweet pair of capris like this!!! Thanks for the tute!


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