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Changing Your Mind Instead of Your Jeans

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Those of you who have achieved advanced states of DIY, de-stuffing and re-purposing enlightenment will be able to chuckle at my childishness. I have patched some jeans! I haven’t worn patched jeans since I actually was a child and destroyed my jeans before I outgrew them. I’ve been getting rid of them and buying new ones!

A couple of things happened to inspire this. When I thought we were going to be having a baby, I purchased a pair of stretchy, skinny jeans with really cute holes all over them. The holes were patched when I bought the jeans. I don’t know if it’s a sign of my age, being a parent or working with minors, but I no longer want to show off my upper thigh through a hole in my jeans. I do, however, think distressed jeans are cute and will buy them if the holes are reinforced well. These jeans were not and the patches they came with pulled out after the first wash. Bummer.hole

Next, when I went through the Big Little One’s clothes for winter, I found a pair of jeans, also distressed, also with a hole. I think this is a theme! They had this cute patched/sewn area on the knee and one of the seams had ripped straight open. Can’t wear those to school! Also, mom loves these jeans and wants them to last as long as possible. Also, patches are cheaper than new jeans.

Finally, we were going through our end of the year donations (we donate everything we de-stuff) and itemizing. Some of this stuff had been sitting in our garage for months! Since then I have changed jobs and now need to be able to keep my tattoos fully covered at work, so I pulled a few items out of the donations pile. On a side note, bagging and setting aside your donations is a great way to stress test whether you can really do without them. In this case, I just felt like I gave myself my own Christmas gift and it didn’t cost me anything. In addition to some shirts with mandarin collars and a business jacket, I found my old pair of Lucky Jeans. I wore this until the knee split open. I don’t really need another pair of jeans in my closet right now, but pulling these out of the donation pile inspired me to finally patch those other jeans, because I really wanted to wear these again!

I can sew, but I went with a simple solution for all of these repair jobs. I purchased Singer’s Iron-On Patchettes. You can get these anywhere from Target to CVS for a few bucks a pack and they come in a variety of colors and sizes. They are meant to go over the hole right on the front and I’m pretty sure that’s how my mom patched my jeans when I was wee, but I patched everything from the inside.


 For the Big Little One’s jeans, I made sure the rip was completely closed and patched it from the inside. Because there had not been any fraying, you cannot see the repair from the outside.


For my Lucky’s which are hopelessly destroyed at the knee, (working from the inside) I cut a piece of iron-on patch to roughly the same size as the hole and placed it pretty side down over the directly over the hole. Then I cut a larger piece of iron-on patch and placed it sticky side down over the smaller patch, making sure it would make contact with the jeans all the way around the smaller patch.


You can still see the giant hole in the knee, but when I sit down you see you jean fabric instead of skin and they shouldn’t rip any further. Ultimately, I’d like to find a funky swatch of fabric to stitch over the hole.

patchstretchI patched the stretchy, skinny jeans in three different, very experimental ways. All three resulted in successful patches (for now) that maintained the distressed design, but reinforced the peeling patches between your eyes and my thigh. 😉 We’ll see how these work.

And that, my friends, is how the grasshopper takes tiny steps.


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