Friday, 18 July 2014

Patching big holes in the seat of jeans!

Just recently I have had a hole patching frenzy with lots of jeans in this house! It can be very frustrating to rip a hole in those favourite oh-so-comfortable jeans and render them useless. Unless you have no neighbours to be offended the sight of a bit of backside hanging out of your jeans that is! I got quite good at patching those stress tears that happen across the worn seat of your jeans, and sometimes, on the inner thigh. The patch isn't going to stand in for a $200 a seat Gala Charity Night outfit, but will be just fine for casual, garden or around the house wear.

Here's what I did...

 
You can see the stress tear across the seat of the pants. Its not a tear where its been caught on something, just where its worn out, and then you bend over - that's all those jeans could take!

 
First I pinned them together with long quilting pins as well as I could, so that the two halves of the hole are where they should be.

 
Then I turned then inside out and cut a patch from our "sacrificial" jeans (especially kept to repair other jeans) to a fair bit bigger than the actual hole.
 
Pin the patch to the inside of the jeans so you know it is where it is meant to be - covering the whole hole with some well over the edges. Then turn the jeans back the right way and put more pins in the top side to hold the patch from the outside instead of the inside - and take the inside pins out. It needs to be sewn from the top side and you cant see pins on the inside and if the machine needle hits one you might break it.
 

 
Then sew in a zig-zag, well beyond the tear, back and forth across the tear using your back stich button. I found that the tear always opens up, hence using lots of pins in the first instance. Take the pins out as you move across the tear with the sewing machine.

 
The take the jeans out and rearrange it all so the you can do the same thing but along the tear - rather than across it as we did last time. The idea is to give as much support to the underlying good piece of material as possible. Its almost like re weaving the material! Go back and forth as many times as you think it needs, always going well beyond the edges of the tear to give as much support the worn material as possible. You can do this as many times as you think it needs. The wider the gap and the more worn the material - the more zig-zagging I do.
 
 
Keep the patch underneath as flat as possible and keep checking that you haven't caught it under the needle on your way across. I keep running my hands over it checking for bumps.
 
 
When you find one - just snip away the threads that have caught the patch and resew over that area again. With so much stitching running back and forth, you probably wont have the patch unstitch itself.
 
 
Its not the most glamorous patch in the world but it gives me (another) pair of garden/work jeans that are still very comfortable!

 
The inside isn't going to win any fine stitchery awards at a local show, but since not many people are going to see it - it doesn't have to be a work of art! The new strong material and all the lines of stitching should take the pressure off the strained and weak material letting you get quite a bit more wear out of what otherwise, is a perfectly good pair of jeans.

 
Snip of any excess material being careful not to cut the lines of stitching and pop your jeans back on!

Having fixed four pairs of jeans over the weekend (not all of them mine!) I got this down to a fine art. I wore these patched jeans this week I can say that after the first few wears, I didn't notice the patch anymore. When I bend over, there isn't as much give in the back of them as there was - but that's probably a good thing (and reminds me to bend my knees more).

Its a good quick solution to keep wearing jeans that otherwise are good. This works with knee patches as well as long as its a tear and not a gaping hole. We sacrificed the oldest most worn jeans we had between us to patch all the other jeans but any solid, thick robust material would work - but its going to show through the patch when its finished so pick a colour that you don't mind people mistaking for your undies!

Score card:
Green-ness: 5/5 for not sending something to land fill 
Frugal-ness: 5/5 for using things you already have and not spending any money at all.
Time cost: About 20 minutes a patch - some of its a bit fiddly.
Skill level: Back and forth straight line sewing.
Fun-ness: It was fun to present various family members with their favourite jeans able to be worn again!

2 comments:

Marigold Jam said...

Make do and mend is alive and well in your neck of the woods as well as waste not want not. Well done!

Practical Frog said...

Thank you ma'am - its what we do! - K x

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