Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Making it Count: Patching Jeans

This month we have decided to really tighten our belts, simply buy less, do more with what we have, and start saving.  We need to save enough for 6 tickets to South Africa, and we have not really been making work of it, since many other things involving green cards, doctor's fees and lawyer's fees made us feel as if we are not in control.  But we are, to an extent, at least if it comes to spending.  (Not completely, I know.)  That, and we have a responsibility to show some self control.  Buying good books, used, is not a good thing anymore if it ruins the budget.  New yarn, on sale, on the other hand... No.  Not even on sale.  I have enough.

I have been reading the "Like Mother Like Daughter" blog for almost 3 years now.  "Auntie Leila" has helped me tremendously - she has wisdom, she is very funny, and she knows how to do things.  So my house is moderately clean, thanks to her, my kids help me carry things when we go anywhere, thanks to her, and I now I also know how to patch a pair of jeans, thanks to her tutorial.

It was a bit more tricky than worn knees.  (One of our children tends to walk into things and tear her clothes, or scratch her face, or break things more often than most.  We love her anyway.) I do not know a good word in English, but it was a real "winkelhaak", as we would say.

But of course, it was not too difficult.  You just open up the seam at the only point where it is not double stitched:  the side seam.  I had to open a good 10 inches, as the tear was so high up.

 Then you simply iron a folded seam around the edge of the piece of fabric you want to use as a patch.

I first machine basted, and then used a fancier stitch, just because I have one and I fear I am not using my machine's full potential.

And the easiest part is simply closing the side seam again.

Good as new.  Actually, when she wears it with her new peasant top that I made out of this fabric, it is even better.  Granted, I only saved about $10, since the jean was not expensive to begin with, but it helps to keep me on the right track.

In her post Leila also mentioned that she never bought shorts  for her boys, that she always just cut the worn trousers and seamed them.  My boys are tall and skinny, so if a store bought pair of pants fit, the legs are already on the shorter side when they are new, and by the end of the season they look very odd wearing them.  So I went into the room, fetched three pairs, and made them into shorts. (I did not take pictures, sorry.)  Another $30, easily.  I know it might sound obvious, but she often says:  "if I can do it so can you", and that somehow helps to get me going.  Don't know why, it just does.

I felt very happy after completing these simple tasks that previous generations probably thought of as part of the daily routine.

I am linking to Sarah's  "Making it Count Tuesday" today. The idea is to make the time you spend online "count", to "take it from the screen, give it life and let it bless your world".  I feel blessed by the people that I visit, often just lurking, since I seldom comment, but many of them have given me so many ideas and have really changed the way I live.


  1. You are so clever! I can stitch up a little hole but after that I am not gifted in the creative fixing part.

  2. Wow! What a great idea. We have tons of worn out jeans. I was thinking about making a quilt out of them, but maybe they should be a patched.

    1. Well, I would love to make a quilt of them too, eventually they will be so worn that patching won't help anymore :) Or too small, of course.

  3. 1. I love Auntie Leila too.
    2. The jeans are adorable.
    3. I have SUCH a hard time with the book-buying thing, too, especially when we're on a budget crunch. Why is it that so many books look so tempting when we're on a budget crunch?

    Thanks for linking up. :)

  4. Those turned out very cute and I bet they look adorable with the matching top!

  5. Cute patch, which is all applique really is {a way to fix a hole}. Let me know if you need fabric for patches...I have tons!

  6. Really cute patch. I like the idea of wearing them with the matching shirt.