How to manage imperfections

Imagine you have this pair of cool jeans and you love the pockets, the colour or the quality… And there is this ONE SPOT that is spoiling everything. You have tried placing the pattern this way and that way and this spot is always in the middle. Grrr! Lets see how we can manage the faults and imperfections of second hand jeans for our sewing project.

How to deal with the faults of the used denim

I am a perfectionist and I never let any of my bags to be sewn with noticable spots, discolored lines or bad-looking signs of wear or storage. In this article I will show you how to deal with those faults on a few examples.

The imperfections are may be not so clear to see on photos, but you know that feeling when it keeps catching your eye and annoys you!

Retouch with paint

The point of this method is to choose right paint and very slightly retouch the ribs of the threads on the spot. Look closely to the fabric, it is not smooth, it is ribbed. So you are not painting over it, you just gently covering some of the threads to maintain the texture of the denim.

Please never use your usual ball-point pen! It might look blue to you, but really once on denim, it looks purple and it doesn’t wash off! Instead, use textile or acrylic paint. And the colour to choose is grey. Honestly, upon years of my experience, grey colour works best for denim and I don’t even have blue paint in my workshop.

Stencil something on

This happens quite a lot – a good pair of jeans gets discoloured lines along the side seams due to storage or some random light streaks after a machine wash.

There is not much you can do to hide it. But adding some cool design on top – is one of my favourite ways. Look at the picture below – there are discoloured lines here and there. The bag will not look good just as it is.

So let’s add some text and paint splashes for a grunge and rock look. You can use stencil shapes and letters. The paint you will need must not wash off, so it can be textile or acrylic paint.

Depending on your stencils, you might have to draw some guide lines with chalk. For stamping – you can use a kitchen sponge. Try different colours or a different amount of paint to make some words or letters to stand out more.

If you are wondering how to make a pouch like this see here >>>

If you don’t have stencil shapes, you can make your own. Print a simple design on a normal paper and cut it out. Of course this stencil will only last you for one use, but it will do the job! Just be very careful while stamping, it has to stay in place.

Splat some paint

Paint splats are awesome and so unique that nobody can predict the final result. You have to be brave and cover as much area around it as possible! Yes, it splashes everywhere! I keep finding tiny dots of white paint in very unexpected places, if I don’t cover about a meter around. Also cover the parts of the bag where you don’t want any paint to be.

Sprinkling can be done by a brush or your fingers. Surely it is a good idea to practice first on something else.

Done and looks cool
Sewing pattern for this bag is here >>>

Draw something

Simply draw something on your bag! You don’t have to be an artist to make some flowers or colourful smudges. They are in trend now!

Some more ideas for you

Sew on the original labels and small front pockets
Punk rock tote bag
Raw edge applique, stencilling and paint splats
Decorating with denim seams
Inner jeans seams sewn on look great too! Sewing pattern for this bag is here >>>
Denim beaching technique
Bleaching on denim

There are many ways how to deal with the faults of the second hand denims, with different spots and discoloration. Be creative!

Have you enjoyed creating with me? >>>Learn some more >>>