Yes, clothing repairs are not exactly fun & sexy, but they are a way to earn major wife lady points with the hubby! I’m going to list this as a tip rather than a tutorial, because I ought to have taken photos as I was doing these repairs, not after they were all done.
Here is my advice for repairing jeans:
- Like they say, a stitch in time saves nine. Is it a fresh, clean rip, or a wide, gaping hole that has been laundered and worn numerous times? Try to do the repair before washing or wearing the item again.
- Use polyester thread. It is stronger.
- I make patches from denim. I don’t turn under raw edges, to reduce bulk. I cut out the patch with pinking shears. This reduces fraying.
- When sewing small patches on rips, I zigzag back and forth over the rip, catching the raw edges of the patch on the wrong side.
- When sewing on large patches, I put the patch on the right side. I use two lines of stitching: the outer one stabilizes the raw edges, the inner one holds it secure. More on that later.
Here is how I repair a straight, relatively clean rip:
1. If possible, leave the fraying threads in place. They will become incorporated into your repair.
2. Use pinking shears to cut out the patch. Fraying will be minimal.
3. When you cut patches, round off the shapes. Corners tend to lift.
4. Use glue to baste the denim patch in place before you even start to sew. I use Aleene’s Fabric Fusion. I wait 24 hours before I sew. You can use the glue to hold the fraying threads down, too.
5. Drop your feed dogs and practice your free-motion quilting. As you can see in the photo, I zigzagged over the rip, capturing the raw edges of the patch in the stitching. I did the sewing with the garment right side out, so I guessed where the patch was. Actually, you can feel it through the top layer of fabric as you sew.
OK, so that’s a fresh rip. How about holes that you should have repaired a lot sooner? How about large areas that have been abraded by hard work? (See photo at top again.)
These are hubby’s tractor jeans. He does not care a lick what they look like. He wears these for doing yard work, car repairs, painting, etc. I keep the tractor jeans in somewhat good repair so that he won’t wear his nice jeans and get them yucky.
When repairing holes, keep in mind:
1. You might have to make your patches quite large. The entire front of the jeans might be worn out.
2. Before doing any glue basting, take a good look at the problem. Then lay the garment down and smooth it out carefully in a spot where it can stay for 24 hours while it dries.
3. Trim away the ragged edges of the holes.
4. Use fabric glue to baste patches to the right side of the garment (using pinking shears, making rounded patches.) I draw a thin bead of glue around the hole(s) and at the edge of the patch. Then I press down on the patch to be sure that it will adhere well to the garment.
5. Wait 24 hours for the glue to dry.
6. Pin pockets out of the way with safety pins.
7. Drop your feed dogs. Attach the patch. A lot of stitching is going to cause the fabric to shrink up. That will make it tighter for the wearer. In order to minimize shrinkage, I use two lines of stitching. The outer line keeps the pinked edge from fraying, the inner line is what actually attaches the patch to the jeans.
8. Your sewing machine must have a free arm to reach the knees of jeans. It is not going to be easy, especially if the legs of the jeans are skinny. Be patient. You’ll have to smash the garment into the corner of the sewing arm. Put the waist of the jeans toward the right. Make two big circles around each patch. Take a break now and then. As soon as you have made two complete passes all the way around the patch, you are done. I hope you think it was worth all the trouble.