I wrote this post here about my belief that if we buy cheap clothes we have to learn to mend them. Well now it looks like I have to eat my words as the £5 jeans I bought for my 9 year old from Primark have massive tears (hangs head: buying cheap clothing means low quality and low wages).
So, determined not to throw them away, or turn them into embellished cut offs (as shown here) I set to work fixing them.
I am no stranger to mending jeans as I patched my own pair a few times (see here), but I knew my daughter would need a) slightly less visible mending and b) harder wearing.
I found this tutorial on wonderful Youtube.
As a result I paid a visit to the local haberdashers and bought lightweight fusible interfacing. I know it sounds silly but I’ve never used this material before – but now I am completely hooked on it as it’s so easy to use! Cut to size, iron on and hey presto it sticks!
While the tutorial only uses the interfacing to mend the tears I also cut off some denim from an old pair of jeans to act as a harder wearing patch underneath. (The denim came from my old much patched jeans that had been mended using fabric from an older pair of my daughter’s jeans – which were turned into the cutoffs mentioned above – so now the fabric was being used to mend another pair of jeans. I also have plans for the remnants of these old pair of jeans: post to follow).
Phwew, so now that the never-ending cycle of old jeans had produced denim material patches all I needed to buy was fusible interfacing and special denim needles for the sewing machine: a grand total of £4.66.
So the process of mending the tears on the jeans went something like this:
- Iron jeans (I also cut off some of the hanging threads from the tear). Turn inside out and cut a large piece of interfacing and denim to generously cover the tear.
2) Iron on interfacing so that it sticks. (I also stuffed the denim patch up the leg so that the interfacing wouldn’t stick to the other side of the leg)
3) Pin the denim patch over it (making sure not to pin all the way through the leg as you need to turn the leg back to the right side in a minute).
4) Select a wider zig zag stitch on your machine.
5) With the jeans now the right side, slide the leg onto the sewing machine. Sew over the tear a couple of times using the zig zag stitch. This will secure the patch underneath in place and (hopefully) prevent any more fraying. You can then turn the jeans inside out once again and cut the denim patch to a smaller size. I used pinking shears for a zig zag edge, which should prevent it from fraying.
With hindsight I should have chosen a thread that better matched the colour of the lighter jeans. The stitching is more visible than I would have liked. However, for playing outside these jeans will be far more hard wearing for my daughter.
But the lesson learnt is Don’t Buy Cheap Clothes! Something I tell myself time and again but when you’re on a budget and the charity shops don’t have the right size it’s a very easy thing to do.
At least I now have my Denim Mending Kit in my sewing box for the next repair. It may have cost only 34p less than the £5 jeans but I now have plenty of needles and interfacing to patch time and time again – plus the satisfaction of knowing I will NOT be going to Primark again to buy cheap jeans.