Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday - patching ripped jeans

I got a new sewing machine, a Baby Lock BL9, and I am trying out some of the cool features on it that I don't have on my antique Singer. I love, and will always keep my Singer, but this Baby Lock is fun to play with!

One of the features is zig zag & fun stitches, like these:


Now, i'm sure that this has been done before, one version of it or another, and i've probably seen it on a craft website before. I would love to give credit, but can't remember, so please let me know if you've blogged something like this & i'll link to you.

Ok, this is dedicated to all the moms out there with 5 year old boys & up! Jack's Jeans' knees were pristine, until he hit 5, and now he gets a hole in the knee every other week. Sometimes being green is just taking care of, and fixing, what you already have, so it lasts longer. Even after my son outgrows these, they are more likely to be worn again because they are "fixed", rather than be thrown away because they have a hole.

Ready? You will need a hole in the knee, and a scrap of soft felted wool or cashmere (what I used) that is a little bigger than the hole.


Now, seam rip an opening on the outside seam of your jeans big enough for you to comfortably sew.


Place your scrap on the inside of the jeans, and zig zag or funky stitch (I don't know the name of it, but I used the bottom "D" stitch, pictured above) all over the hole, holding the hole closed as best as you can. Now, turn the jeans inside out & sew up the seam you seam ripped, and you are done! Now you have the "destroyed" look that clothing stores charge more for! You can actually cut the jeans and do this all over, if you want that trendy look. I think it looks cute!

I like how this pair came out (please ignore the grass stains... i'll get those out later today)...

... and it went well with the overall "destroyed" look of those particular jeans...


On these, I wish I would have used a closer matching color, because the hole in this knee was bigger than the other pair, so the cashmere peeked through a little. I also could have used slightly darker thread to make it look better (I used light gray).


Overall, a quick, easy, and useful project! Jack's knees will stay warm this winter ;)

13 comments:

Sarah said...

First off, I've been patching my husband's "construction worker" jeans for about 6 years now. Second, I never, ever thought to seam rip the side of the jeans. That would've made things SO much easier than trying to shove the sewing machine down the pant leg and still get something that looks decent as an end result. Oh my gosh! Thanks for the tutorial! I'll have to try it the "easy" way now! LOL!

Mommy to 2 handsome boys said...

I have a six year old and you are right on the mark with holes in their knees! I'm dealing with HUGE holes, but I think I can make this work. I too love the fact that you thought to seam rip the sides of the legs. I hope I, and my machine can do this! :)

Nike@ChooseToThrive said...

Seam ripping the side seam ... you. are. a. genius. Scrunching up the jeans and trying to shove them through drives me crazy. Thank you for the tip!

Ann said...

THese look great! Mine would never look that nice. When my 2 boys were little (they are now 13 & 10) they would blow out holes constantly - especially the 13 year old and it was always the right knee. I saved enough of them to make a ragged quilt with flannel backing. I used the holes in the squares so we can always remember how rough they were! I stitched labels from other jeans and even pockets onto some of the squares. It is a true blessing to have boys that can blow holes into jeans! ~Ann

Resweater said...

I had to open the side seam or I wouldn't have been able to do it! My son is a skinny boy, so the pant legs are too narrow to get under the machine otherwise.

Ann, I love that you used the pieces with holes!

Susan said...

Felted cashmere (or felted recycled wool from old sweater)... BRILLIANT! thank you for this great idea!

I thought your thread looked great - but FYI, I have used "Jeans" thread by Coats & Clark Dual Duty (Bought at Joann's)called Denim Thread 250 Yards-Jeans Blue that looked good. It's sort of a variegated thread.

Anonymous said...

As a mom of 4 kids, {now grown}, and gramma of 10, I've been patching jeans 4 many years now, but never, ever, ever, thought of ripping out the seam, to make it easier! Of course I'm no professional seamstress, and often sew patches by hand. I like old fashioned patches, and sewed many on my own jeans, when I was growing up. {they were considered cool back in the 70's}, but neither my kids or grandkids think they are cool now, and would rather have the holes! Tho I keep offering to patch them up 4 them! Maybe they would like this type of patch job better? The one type of hole in the knee I could never successfully patch, was the type that ripped all the way across, from seam 2 seam. No matter what type of patch I put on it, it would come unraveled. So those all became cut offs! Great idea to turn old jeans into a memerobilia quilt! Wish I'd thought of that! What a cute way 2 preserve memories of childhood!

Resweater said...

I remember when patches were cool too ... and on the back pockets were rainbows and strawberries ;)

wintunancy said...

Clever idea! BUT, at our house if the jeans need to be patched I steal them and cut them up for quilts. They make great rag quilts with felted wool fabric, flannel or even quilting cotton, on the other side. I have even been known to piece large squares and finish with batting and backing and binding just like a regular quilt.

Peggy said...

thanks. great idea to rip out the side seam. I use old jeans for the patches but will try wool

worthygoodstextile said...

Thanks for the seam ripper solution to tiny pant legs, so smart! I've been searching Pinterest for something similar since my four year old is busting a hole in jeans on a weekly basis. I can't keep up! This will help. :-)

Unknown said...

I bookmarked this tutorial months ago, and I just got a free, 1970 Keystone sewing machine off of Craigslist. With that and your help I can FINALLY fix my FAVORITE jeans!
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Anonymous said...

I have been doing this for my husband for a while now too (before that destroyed look was "in") and never thought to open the side stitch. Thank you! I actually use an old worn out pair to cut up for patches. This way you don't have to worry about the cloth showing through because it matches, it just may not be as soft. Sometimes I use a little darker or lighter patch of jeans material and I think that looks cool too.