Monday, December 15, 2014

Save these Jeans!!! DIY Denim Repair

Jeans have history- they live with you, move with you. Each wash and wear make them softer and more comfortable, until the sad day when the waft and weave just can't take any more! Dear Mr. D had such a pair of jeans. Now Mr. D isn't a non-consumer, he is more than happy to replace anything thing that wears out. But these jeans were his favorite. They weren't fancy or expensive, but they fit him just right. When he threw them in the garbage, I promptly dug them out, planning to make them into a quilt, bag, or something else. When he saw them again, he asked if there was a way to patch the hole. Well, yes- yes there is.

Now there are lots of cute ideas of how to patch jeans for your little ones. You can even make toothy monsters out of the hole. But Mr. D's repair demanded a bit more subtlety. I had done this repair once before and thought I would share it on the blog for others that might like to save their beloved jeans. As the old saying goes, "A stitch in time, saves nine". Or in other words, do this repair when you first start to notice the fabric is thinning. You can do this over a true hole, but it may not last as long or look as good.

What you need:

-Sewing Machine
-Denim (or blue) thread $1.99 (use 40-50% off coupon) Of course, you could also use a contrasting thread for a different, less subtle look.
-Heat and bond (I used one that felt like a light cotton muslin on one side and had heat and bond on the other.) You do not want a thick stabilizer, thinner is better. But I did want one that had fabric instead of one that would just pull apart. I bought 1/8 yd for 34 cents and have plenty for several more repairs.

Cut a piece of heat and bond larger than the repair.  I rounded corners to help hide the patch. Often the area around the hole is weakening also. You want to extend your repair to an area that is strong.

On the wrong side of your jeans, iron on the stabilizer heat and bond. Follow directions from the manufacturer. 

Now turn the jeans right side out.* Starting from a strong area of denim, start going back and forth over the hole. You can use a straight stitch or a zig-zag. A zig-zag will be a bit more obvious, and will give it a more apparent patch for a distressed look. A straight stitch will hide the repair more.
You are trying to replace broken threads and stabilize the repair; so take your time, go over the entire area, and extend out to strong areas.
It takes a while, but eventually, you will have the entire hole covered by your repair.
Here's a view from the inside
Turn right side out and prepare to receive love and appreciation for your labors! In this case, the thread was not an exact match for the area, but it will work for this repair. If I had more time, I would have found a thread that was a bit lighter. I may go over it again with a lighter thread if it bothers my (very small) perfectionist side.

*If the hole is on the leg or knee, you may have trouble accessing it with your sewing machine. I would suggest unpicking the leg on the side that is not top-stiched, doing the repair, then sewing the leg back together. Sometimes an area is too thick to fit under your presser foot. I would then just remove the presser foot, feed the fabric under, then replace the presser foot.  Let me know how your repairs turn out!

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