Patching up a pair of DIY trousers

Today I’ll show you how I patch up a pair of jeans that will only be used for dirty jobs, such as painting and gardening. It’s not pretty, but it’s fast and sturdy and can give some extra life to a pair that would otherwise be thrown away.

My boyfriend’s old pair of DIY trousers has become a bit too threadbare to continue wearing. In the past I’ve patched both knees and the backside. On one leg the trousers are now ripped above where it was patched and I don’t think it’s really desirable to put another patch on top of that.

old pair of diy trousers

Old pair of DIY trousers that has been used for many years.

In my quite large collection of old jeans that are waiting to be cut up and repurposed I still had one of his old pairs that only had a tear just below one of the back pockets but was otherwise in pretty good shape. To mend these kinds of tears in a pair of DIY trousers I simply take a piece of denim cut from another old pair (preferably in somewhat the same colour, let’s not make things too crazy) and pin it to the jeans so it overlaps the part that needs mending. I generally let it overlap quite a bit. The area around such a tear has usually become thin as well and the patch will reinforce the whole area.

attaching a patch

The jeans are then wrapped around the free arm of the sewing machine and the patch is sewn in place with lines of stitching. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of each line. When the entire patch is attached cut off the thread ends on both sides and you are done. I think attaching this patch took me less than 10 minutes including stopping for some pictures but my boyfriend will probably be able to use this pair for a couple of years of dirty jobs around the house.

patch

Outside and inside view of patch. I didn’t take particular care to sew straight, this isn’t couture…

Did he have a particular reason to ask for a new pair of diy jeans now? Oh yes. Remember how last year I splurged on some new sewing equipment? This year we’re definitely topping that because we’ve just bought a new sewing room house! We’re currently in the process of decorating so this new pair of DIY trousers is certain to get a lot of use in the coming weeks.

English Paper Piecing: Let’s go 3D!

141213_Christmas ornamentsEver since first trying English paper piecing I’ve been having new ideas of what to use this technique for besides quilts. One of those was 3D shapes. Small 3D shapes can be challenging to sew with a sewing machine because they often contain Y-seams. Sewing these seams the English paper piecing way, however, isn’t tricky at all (just time-consuming because it’s all done by hand).

141213_ornaments
I’m probably not the first person to have this idea but instead of researching it I simply made some templates using Adobe Illustrator and started sewing. It worked quite well. I started with 6 equilateral triangles and three shades of green fabric. The sides of the triangles are just 3 cm which made sewing a bit tricky, larger shapes are probably easier.

Next, I made a cube using six 5×5 cm squares of a black and gold print. This was the easiest of the three and I even remembered to take some blurry progress pictures.

141213_paperpiecedcube

For the final shape, I used three ellipses that I made pointy on the shorter sides (the picture shows the shape better than I can describe it in words…). I probably should have clipped the seams better than I did because they ripple a bit. I really like the final shape though. The shapes are stuffed with some soft toy filling. Since it’s almost Christmas I left a tiny hole in one of the corners and pulled some cotton yarn through and turned these into Christmas ornaments. Even though we never have a Christmas tree so I’m not really sure where to hang them…

It was fun to make these. Have you ever tried the English paper piecing method to sew anything other than a quilt top?