Hubby gave me a pair of his old jeans to play with this week, and after trying out several different things, bleach pen, gesso, and soft scrub with bleach, I decided that the soft scrub gave me the effect I was after.
The gesso didn't stay as white as I wanted it too, so for future denim projects I will get out the soft scrub! One tip...leave it for several hours or else you will not get much bleaching action, and wash it before moving on to the other steps. I'm working on a denim jacket also, and I made the mistake of not leaving the soft scrub on long enough. I ended up re-stamping the whole thing with white fabric paint!
To get the alphabet on the legs, I used a stencil, with a stencil adhesive to keep it in place. I then used a washable latex black can of spray paint, and masked out the overspray areas with plain copy paper. The stencil was repositionable, and cleaned up real good with just water! I believe I saw this in Cloth,Paper,Scissors but it could have been in one of the Somerset Magazines??? I just had to try it!!
Today I cut the jeans into managable sizes to use in other altered clothing for patches & pockets. The backside of the jeans were not painted, so I also have scraps of plain denim to play with again.