Welcome fellow jeans enthusiasts to Expedition Jeans! Expedition Jeans will be a continuing series all about the ins and outs of jeans; mending, modifying, and making; you'll find it all here. So strap on your leather helmet and aviator goggles because we are diving right in to jean country.
Today we are going to explore jean mending. as I've mentioned in previous jeans posts, jeans are a quintessential garment for many people around the world, so consequentially they get worn out, often in pressure points like the knees, crotch, butt, or pockets. Rather than just throwing out your jeans let's do a little Make, Do, and Mend magic!
I first learned about this mending technique from Heather Lou over at Closet Case Patterns. (A great resource for lots of jean questions) It's called invisible mending and if you have access to a basic sewing machine you can do it too. I decided to give it a go!
Here's how it works: First grab a pair of jeans that need a little restoration. These were a favorite pair until two pretty large holes got worn into the thigh.
Next, I used some scrap fusible interfacing on the inside of the jeans to add a little stability while I did the invisible stitching. (Because the jeans are stretchy this ripped out later, but it was still helpful at this stage. )
With the interfacing fused, it was time to get going with invisible mending! Invisible mending uses a run of the mill straight stitch on your sewing machine. Basically your new stitches are replacing the denim fabric that got worn away over time. While it might look like denim is one color, most denims actually have several colors going on. You will want to select a range of thread colors to best match the different shades in your jeans. I didn't have a lot on hand when I did this project so I just went with a mid-blue and a pale grey.
I guided the fabric with my hands, stitched a big zig-zag pattern over the hole. I did this a couple of times, off-setting the pattern to cover as much of the hole as possible.
I alternated thread colors and did it again. After a few passes it got harder and harder to see that there was a hole there at all!
Once I felt satisfied that I'd gone back and forth enough times to fill the hole, I turned the jeans inside out and ripped off the addition interfacing that wasn't sewn down.
There it is! An (almost) invisible mend! I was pretty happy with my first time results. This was a super easy save of a favorite piece of clothing; good for morale and wallets alike! With a little practice and some playing around with different thread colors I think it could be even more invisible. There are some real artists in this field of denim restoration. If you want some incredible inspiration check out Indigo Proof who specializes in bringing worn denim back to life.
I hope this inspires you to save a favorite piece of clothing from being tossed!