“Acid Wash” Cord DIY


Want a quick recap of the last three weeks at the Tribe’s? It involves multiple rolls of toilet paper in any given room for quick access.  We’ve been sick. Like, beastly sick. I’ve been in and out of bed for three weeks, which is unheard of for me, I’m usually annoyingly healthy. I’ve suspected everything from mono to mold, and after starting antibiotics on Monday, today was really truly the first day I could stand up for more than 5 minutes at a time.  The good news is I read like 4 books, and the other news is I’m going through some major sewing withdrawals.  I did bust out some crazy Easter sewing a few weeks back (I think actually that’s what did me in now that I think about it), and will eventually get my kids clean enough to photograph. But when I woke up today I was absolutely pining to get my craft on a bit before trying to reclaim the house from absolute squalor and catching up on my decluttering project.  Without even thinking I grabbed these pants from my refashion pile and started seam-ripping those cursed flat-felled seams.

I thrifted these brown cords about a month ago with plans to skinnify them. I did that first thing, but then was unsatisfied with the dark brown. It just felt stuffy, and after an hour of wear I wanted a change. I decided to throw these suckers in a bucket for a bleach bath and see what happened.  I think somewhere in the back of my mind was this acid wash look that I’d seen somewhere recently, and Ialso kept thinking about that time my mom let my older sister dry her dark washed jeans in the dryer with a bleach soaked rag. I didn’t really know how the cords would bleach, but I knew I wanted a splotchy uneven leach, so I reckoned the confined space of a bucket would lend itself to the look.

mad mim_acid wash jeans refashion_05

mad mim_acid wash jeans refashion_01It worked so awesome.  I just came in every 15 minutes or so and gave it a stir but otherwise just let it sit.  Overall, it bleached into my favorite terracotta color, with the darker splotches turning a rusty maroon.

mad mim_acid wash jeans refashion_04 mad mim_acid wash jeans refashion_06 mad mim_acid wash jeans refashion_02

mad mim_acid wash jeans refashion_03I rocked those bad boys out on my errands tonight, and I got three full-on double takes. Not sure if that’s good or bad, but I enjoyed them either way.  I’m sort of on a bleaching-my-dark-stuff-rampage (especially the few black items I have), and I gotta say it’s all been pretty successful! One of the books I read was David Zyla’s Color Your Style, which was a real treat (more on this later!) I love that type of stuff, it’s so fun to me.

So a week from tonight is the Perfect Tee class, and there’s still room left! Sign your little self up, it’s going to be a Party with a capital P and that rhymes with T and that stands for Tee….shirt.


Cathy Kizerian

As the undisputed Queen of Brown Cords (hanging in my closet in at least three different sizes), I am willing to relinquish my title after reading your post! Good luck with the Tee class, too. Oh, wait. It has already started, so let me edit that to say that I hope it’s going well. When I get down to a size where I can wear semi-fitted tees again (have dropped one size already, but more to go, LOL), I have some rusty knit skills to bone up on. Glad you and the family are feeling better. Enjoy the sunshine! Hugs, Cathy


I was so happy to hear from you today! And thank you for the honorary title of Queen of Brown Cords, I’ll try to live up to the name! The class went well I think, hopefully everyone’s tees turn out well, fingers crossed!
Congrats on shrinking sizes, maybe we’ll see you around the garden sometime! I actually haven’t helped at all, just when I thought we were over being sick my little Tiny and son got sick again. It’s been such a terrible couple of months for us health-wise!
Still thinking about that trip to the Humanitarian center, we’ll have to make that happen soon!

beckie clark

I LOVE this so much. If we weren’t heading into the depths of damp hot summer here in Georgia I would be rocking these. But I have pinned to tackle in the fall!


Oh I must know- how did you skinnify them?? I have a pair almost identical to the first image.


I don’t have a tutorial for that, but there are lots out there I know. I basically just unpicked the flat felled seams, and then took it in on both sides to my liking. I think it’s really important to take in both sides for a good fit, but other than that I just took it gradually by basting until I had the fit I wanted, and then went over it with a smaller stitch. It’s such a pain, but worth it if you have a good fit on top! Good luck!

Maggie S. B.

You mention “bleach bath”– do you just use a combination of bleach and water or something else special?



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