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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Curse of the Boy Child or A Tutorial for Patching Jeans


When M was a toddler, he outgrew pants before this Y-chromosome trait had a chance to manifest itself.  Now, he has but to look at a pair of pants and the knees wear out.  We brought two pairs of jeans  with us to Greece that were already worn a little thin at the knee.  Lovely jagged holes took up residence not long after we arrived.

A couple of years ago, I would have donated the jeans to Goodwill because it didn't occur to me to patch them.  (What was I thinking?!)  Now, with Goodwill unavailable and the price of Athenian jeans a little spendy for my taste, I am turning to my own ingenuity.  Necessity is the mother of invention, or so I am led to believe.

But really, the idea of patching jeans conjures up the not-so-fashionable pre-made denim patches that my mom used on our jeans.  (Sorry, Mom.)  If I have to patch jeans, why not make the patch look like it was meant to be there?

I started with a stained and damaged T-shirt of M's.  I was only allowed to use this shirt if I promised to cut out the bee for future use, which I readily did.  One of the nice things about this T-shirt is that the knit is thick and not very stretchy, which means that the patches will hold up well.

I cut open the seams, and traced my patch pattern onto the back and sleeves.  I traced the pattern twice for each patch so that I would have a layer inside the jean leg and a layer on the outside.

I marked the placement of the patch on the leg with the larger hole, and then I transferred the markings to the other leg.  (It would be nice to have the patches be symmetrical.)

I used an iron-on glue that I found in a store here to hold the patches in place.  The one I used was pretty light, which allows the patches to move a little.

I layered inner patch, glue, jean leg, glue and finally the outer patch.  The next time around I will probably sew the embroidered embellishments on the outer patch before I affix the inner layer.  M says that the stitches and knots don't hurt when he kneels, but he has yet to wear them for a full day.

Because the fabric is light in color, I was able to use a regular pencil to draw where I wanted to sew.  I sewed these on by hand, but I'm hoping to do this at home with the machine.

M requested lightning and a storm for the embellishments, and he's very excited to wear these pants to school tomorrow.  Very gratifying for me, I must say.

There are some great ideas out there.  Go crazy!

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