Saturday, March 17, 2012

Patching

I have boys, which means I've patched my share of holey knees. Both my boys wear size slim pants, which aren't available everywhere and therefore aren't cheap. For a while there, I was patching knees constantly. This year the rate has been slower...my younger son tripped at the beginning of the school year and ripped a hole in a brand-new pair of pants (argh!!), and my older son's favorite corduroys just required patches on both knees. It took me a night or two to work up to it--patching isn't my favorite thing to do--but he was so anxious to get them back, and then so happy when they were done. It's humble, the patching, but it's satisfying that I can repair with my hands, extend the life of an item of clothing, and make my kid happy, all in one swoop.

I also have a favorite pair of jeans, the ones I embroidered poetry on. My first-ever embroidery, actually, was practicing chain stitch to make a spiral on some batik denim, to turn into a patch when the left knee began to wear out. (The poetry came next.) When the right knee needed patching, I was lazy...I just cut a circle from a torn, rag pair of jeans and blanket stitched around the edges. (The denim frays, but the stitching contains it. It's easier than trying to stitch through a turned-under edge.) Well, earlier this week, I looked down an this is what I saw:


Ack! I decided it was time for another cute patch. I found some more of that batik denim, embroidered around some of the shapes in a bright lime green, then blanket stitched it on with bright orange. Because this fabric is thinner than the circle patch, I tried to cover all the edge. Here's what the jeans look like now.


Hmm. It was cloudy this morning. Here's a close-up of the old spiral patch with the new patch overlapping it.


Isn't that fun? Although it kind of looks like a mushroom house. So, I went around the edges twice. The first time, I was spacing the blanket stitching and aiming to get the thing on. It can be hard to get patches on without them buckling sort of funny, especially in a stretched-out area like the knee. The second time around I filled in the in-between spaces for as solid an edging as I could manage.

I keep the patches on my boys' pants plain and straight-up, but I can have a bit more fun with my own. These jeans make me smile, they're so bright and cheery. And this patch didn't take that long, especially doing a little here and there. I finished it up Saturday morning--I've been working on little tasks here and there all day--patching, sewing buttons, weaving in ends. Lots of stuff to share this week!

6 comments:

Sally said...

All repair jobs are rather ho-hum aren't they? You're creativity is has certainly turned it into something very special. Love your take on patching. Brilliant.

iamrushmore said...

now I totally want a mushroom house and some poetry on my jeans!

Donna Lee said...

I tend to save up the things that need buttons or patches or seams sewn and do a bunch of them at once. Since there are technically no children in the house (I say technically since my husband has his fair share of "clothing malfunctions"), there aren't too many.

I'm thinking of adding some flowers down the side of my favorite pair of jeans. I like the colors brightening up the blue denim and I like the quirkiness.

Michelle said...

I so needed the visual, thanks!!! And that looks so cute! A lot of work . . . intimidating . . . but adorable! But now I'm thinking and planning . . .
:)

Jen said...

My favorite pair of jeans just got a hole in them this weekend. At first I was going chop them up for shorts but I LIKE them as jeans. Then I remembered your post. I'm going to embroider a patch for them!

TJ said...

I live in a house that requires constant patching as well! What a fun post, thanks for sharing!!