I have been working, pretty much since I arrived in my new homeland of South Florida, at creating whimsical and feminine new styles to my online store Automatic Doll (also found here). For the last few months I have been working heavily with vintage and up-cycled denim, and yesterday I decided to add some frilly white lace to a vintage GAP vest that I bleached from the bust down. Here are some photos of how that's turned out. You can buy one like this here. To make one, see simple instructions at the bottom of this page...
To Do It Yourself, first, you will take a jean vest and submerge it halfway in a bucket of bleach for about 10 to 15 minutes. The bleach can sometimes rip and eat the denim, so I add about an inch or so of water to the bottom of the bucket before I pour in the bleach.
The vest will look whiter, or even brownish or yellowish where the top of the bleach is touching it, but that will mostly even out once you wash it and dry it.
So after the 10 or 15 minute dip in the bleach, rinse the vest off in some sink water, then wash it with whites clothes only, since it still has tons of bleach in it. Then put it in the dryer.
Once the vest is dry, I put a large piece of lace over the area that I want to be covered, and cut around the edges to get a pretty close fit, leaving edges longer in case of mistakes.
I use fusible webbing (found at a fabric store - just ask for webbing used for hemlines) to bond the lace tot he vest. You lay the lace over the webbing, which is applied only along the edges of the vest, and then top the lace with a wet cloth, and finally iron over the wet cloth until the the webbing fuses the lace to the vest. You will hear hissing and steaming, and see steam, but that's what happens. It's fine.
When you have ironed over all of the edges with the webbing, peel back the wet cloth. I say peel because it will kind of be stuck to the lace in some spots, but just gently peel away and voila! You have a lace accented bleached vest! To make it extra sturdy and durable, I then stitch around all of the edges with my sewing machine so that the lace is permanently sewn on there. If you want to use just the webbing that is fine, but it won't be suitable for washing and drying in the machine. Webbing is permanent, but only if you dry clean or hand-wash.
I hope you will try this fun experiment and enjoy your new summer clothes!
*I am wearing vest and shorts by Automatic Doll, and floral swim suit by Island World Apparel. Necklace is a 17th century Spanish coin from the famous shipwreck Nuestra Senora de Atocha, sunk off of Key West, Florida in 1622, and discovered in 1985.