Who can find a pair of jeans that fit? For they are more precious than sapphires. Therefore guard your jeans and keep them in good repair....
One night, Mr. M pointed to my hip and said, "What happened to your pants?" (I can't imagine why he was looking at my hips but he seems to make rather a habit of it.)
Turns out my jeans were ripped. A favourite pair, weary with long years of service, they had given way at a weak spot right next to the back pocket. I could have thrown them into the scrap pile, but was unwilling to give them up, because they - prepare to be astonished - actually fit. (At waist and hips!)
Desperate times call for desperate measures; time to get out the sewing machine and brush up on my Jean-Patching Philosophy:
- Do not trim loose threads, but leave them in place to preserve as much as possible the original weave of the fabric.
- Use soft old denim to patch soft old denim. (There's a Biblical precedent for this.) I never throw away jeans, but keep them in my fabric stash to use as patches and potholder backings.
- For an inconspicuous repair, place the patch on the wrong side of the fabric.
- Don't try to eliminate the hole completely; instead, provide a solid backing slightly larger than the hole, and make sure the jeans, and any loose threads, are securely attached to it. The backing will then carry the strain of wear.
|The embarrassing tear.|
|Scrap denim to the rescue!|
Cut on the bias as an experiment
(to avoid having to zigzag the edges),
it worked out very well.
If you cut your patch on the
straight grain, be sure to finish
the edges, or they will fray.
|The two stitches I use for patching:|
1. 3-step zigzag
2. Normal zigzag
|Trim excess patch fabric, leaving|
at least 1/4" margin all around.
Note: This is not a "pretty" patch job, but a very functional one. I didn't worry too much about the thread showing, because I usually wear these jeans with a long shirt that covers up the patched area. For a nearly invisible patch, use grey or even black thread.
As long as I had my machine out, I decided to tackle my jeans' badly frayed inner thighs, choosing bias tape for a thinner, more comfortable patch.
|Holey thighs, Batman!|
|Cut a strip of bias tape long enough|
to cover the frayed areas.
First stitch it to the jeans' seamline...
|...then zigzag the edge of the bias tape|
to the seam allowance.
|Now for some 3-step zigzagging along the outer edge|
of the frayed area, then regular zigzagging
to hold everything together.
|Look, ma! No more loose threads!|
|Extreme close-up, showing how the black thread|
practically melts into the denim.
A bit of follow-up: these photos are dated October 4, 2012, making this patch job 4 months old. The jeans are still going strong (in fact I'm wearing them as I type this).
Use it up, wear it out, make it do - and patch when necessary. This will postpone the misery of shopping for new jeans. :)
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