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Sunday, September 8, 2013

You CAN Repair Your Blue Jeans!

Yup, everyone's got 'em. Those once expensive blue jeans with mysterious rips and blow outs at the seams and pockets! 
 The Welding Man will wear his jeans as long as there are seams and not much else but for the rest of the fam, sometimes we want to salvage our jeans and our dignity.

You know what I'm talking about...those gaping holes in the involving the the whole crotch area. View the disasters below.....

Unfixable, right? Just throw them in the rag pile and start pinning "Denim Projects" on Pinterest, because these blue jeans are done for. But wait, you CAN fix these. I'll tell you how!

 There are companies who repair denim for a pretty price, but why do that when you can do it yourself with similar results? I'm learning how to repair denim and I'm finding out that it is not a hugely expensive or complicated process. Here's how....



First, I straighten out the pants so the torn area lays flat. Do NOT trim the edges of the hole. I cut a piece of lightweight cotton or even tee shirt knit that covers the hole on the inside of the pants. If you use denim your repair will be thick and bulky and feel stiff. Choose something lighter but strong. Cut your patch bigger than your hole, you can trim it later. Try to keep your patch color in the blue color range, tho hardly any of it will show when you are done.



Here is one of the crucial steps for a successful repair. COLOR MATCH YOUR THREAD for the best blend. You can actually find thread called "Denim" that is a nice mix of blues. I chose from the thread I had on hand for the closest colors. I will be buying more shades of blue thread because, as you can see, nothing is exactly right. In the repair process you will address this color matching by using different shades of thread as you stitch. In the photo above the thread is too light in color, even though the repair is a good one. I'm learning as I go!




Baste or pin your patch in place on the inside of the pants. Be sure to overlap all seams generously. You can trim the excess later. Better to have too much patch material than less. Here is my first attempt at denim repair of the holey pants shown in a previous photo. As you can see the thread color is crucial to a disappearing repair, but this is a good patch. It is strong and will last longer than the original denim.





Look closely to find the "grain" of the denim and using STRAIGHT stitches only, follow that grain as closely as you can. Most of the time the grain will be diagonal. I've tried different stitch patterns above and you can tell which stitch disappeared the best. Go slowly and make adjustments as you go. Sew back and forth in closely spaced lines to cover the entire hole. DO NOT trim the excess torn denim threads around the edges of the hole. Use a needle or seam ripper to lay them down beneath the stitching as you
sew. This makes your repair stronger and helps your stitching to blend into the surrounding fabric.
 I have learned you can layer another color of thread on top until you get a match you are satisfied with.




And here is a before and after of a pair of blown out Logger jeans. I asked him how he managed to destroy such a significant and necessary area of his pants. The answers were instructive and amusing, lol! 


I'm starting to get the hang of this. Now I have a whole stack of torn up jeans to repair and I tell myself I am saving a whole stack of money, too.  If I start charging for this as a service should I go by the size of the original tear or by the time it takes to fix it? Like most things, I'll figure it out eventually!

I'll be linking up to the parties in my sidebar. Come visit and share your own projects. You'll be glad you did.




4 comments:

  1. I just starting using this method too but I use iron on interfacing instead of a patch fabric. Its easy-peasy and doesnt move around :) I have found that the stretchy knit kind works the best.

    I like your grain tip -- I usually go with the easiest direction regardless of the grain so will maybe try your way for a better match! :)

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  2. Hi, I'm just learning how to sew, primarily so I could fix these exact problems. In your post, you mentioned using different stitch patterns. Can you elaborate on this? (keep in mind I am new to using a sewing machine). Which one works best? Also, do you just go back and forth in lines with the machine to reinforce the hole?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phil, hello! I use only straight stitching for these repairs. No zig zag or other specialty stitches. I go forwards and backwards following the "grain" of the denim. By different stitch patterns I mean do some stitching crosswise to the first layer of stitching to reinforce them. Then go back and do the stitching diagonally to match the denim fabric. When you are sewing you will see the denim "grain" I am talking about. Good luck and happy sewing!!

      Delete
    2. Phil, hello! I use only straight stitching for these repairs. No zig zag or other specialty stitches. I go forwards and backwards following the "grain" of the denim. By different stitch patterns I mean do some stitching crosswise to the first layer of stitching to reinforce them. Then go back and do the stitching diagonally to match the denim fabric. When you are sewing you will see the denim "grain" I am talking about. Good luck and happy sewing!!

      Delete

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