Old jeans, new jeans

Lately I haven’t been able to crochet much, due to a persistent arm injury I’ve been dealing with since our move. But that creative itch still needs to be scratched, and so — partly inspired by Rebecca doing the same — I’ve been slowly tacking my mending pile. A few weeks ago I patched our wedding quilt. Today I decided to deal with my favourite pair of jeans, which recently blew out a knee.

Poor knee. It didn’t look quite so gaping before I started; this is after I trimmed off most of the extraneous bits. These jeans came from a thrift store, and I don’t know how old they are. I do know that they’re the best pants that have ever fit my weird mom body (seriously: ever), and so I wanted to preserve them if at all possible. And since that size of a hole would be impossible to repair invisibly, I decided to embrace some visible mending and see if I could funkify them a bit while I was at it.

I started with just a quick blanket stitch around the edge of the hole, to reinforce it against further tearing (I hope!). I used regularly embroidery thread for this. Sidebar: remind me to buy a needle threader one of these days because shoving six strands through a needle at once is awful. After the hole was reinforced, I cut a patch out of some scrap denim and used safety pins to hold it in place. The patch is disproportionately large compared to the actual hole, in part because the fabric around the hole is also weak, and in part to have more room for some decorative elements.

I kept the jeans inside-out for all of my sewing, doing a running stitch back and forth across the fabric. It helped to be able to sew ambidextrously here! That meant I could just alternate which hand was sewing and which one was inside the jeans supporting the fabric, without having to constantly turn the jeans around whenever I got to the end of a row and changed direction.

Above is a progress shot. You can see that I kept the stitches very loose; since this is all going over a knee I didn’t want things to get too tight and start pulling more holes as I bend and move.

And finally, the finished jeans! I love how fun they look and the patch feels extremely secure (I’m wearing them now). I’m very pleased to get more wear out of these pants. We’ll see how long it is before I have to do something with the other knee, though…! Perhaps I will reinforce it with some decorative sashiko stitching before it comes to that. We’ll see.

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