Sunday, December 19, 2010

Superpowers 101: Making Old Things New Again.

I have been very disappointed in the quality of my kids jeans lately, particularly the girls' jeans. It seems that they are crafted for style and flashiness, not durability. Maybe my girls are a little rough but I still think kids clothes should be made to last a while.

Now, I know that holey, tattered jeans are kind of "in" right now but I don't really care for it. So, as the number of jeans with built-in air conditioning increased, I decided to do something about it. Here are the pictures and step-by-step instructions of how I mended half a dozen pairs of jeans for my girls.


Here I have matched a solid fabric with a pattern.

I have also matched embroidery floss to use for embellishing the patches.

 For the patches, I made a pattern out of an empty box. (cereal boxes are great!)

I chose shapes that are simple and coordinate with the fabric I am using for patches.

I traced the pattern over the hole with a ball point pen. (This takes a while to come out in the wash but it is easy to use and shows well. If you care careful, you can cover the pen marks with embroidery floss and it won't be noticeable.) Make sure the entire hole fits into the pattern. You might have to adjust the size or angle to make it fit.

Pin a piece of fabric to the inside of the jeans so that the front of the patch shows through the hole.

Sew by hand around the shape you drew on the jeans. For some
I used regular thread first, then used embroidery floss. For others, I only used the embroidery floss.

I used a back stitch for the embellishment.

I used three different colors to create a layered outline effect. I also added a leaf using the same back stitch and matching floss. Then I snipped off the excess denim near the stitching. This will leave a slightly frayed look after it has been washed.

The other knee of this pair was thin but not yet holey so I made a more decorative image here.

I just eye-balled the cut-outs within the pattern I had made before.

I used a scrap of silk from an old shirt to give it a dressier look. As you can see, I only cut out the petals.
I stitched the center with all three colors to reinforce the remaining denim.

I tried using fusible interfacing as a backing for the patches but it kept peeling off. I finally bought some fabric glue from a craft store. I glued on a rectangular piece of denim (from old jeans) and  trimmed the edges. I also used my sewing machine to sew the sides of the denim to the seam of the jeans as extra reinforcement.  It made them a little stiff at first but the girls didn't mind. They said it was more comfortable than the raw patch or the interfacing. The denim backing makes the whole area much stronger, too.  (Note: be careful that your glue doesn't bleed through or you will glue it to itself!)
 Here is the finished product.

I tried to add variety so the girls had some choices. Here are the others.

This is my favorite! It doesn't show well in this picture but I added a little spiral to the bottom wing.

I made the heart and flower by hand but for the butterflies, I printed coloring pages from the Internet. I didn't plane to do any for the boys because I didn't think they would like it. This week, John got a whole in his jeans and asked for an Iron man patch. (doesn't ask for much, does he?!) If that happens, I will post pictures.


Amy said...

WOW!! I always knew you were crafty, but I had no idea!! Those are awesome! It would look great even if there was no hole to patch!!

Heidi said...

wow, what a great idea! Thanks for sharing that.

Rachel said...

so cute. What a great idea!