June 19, 2018

Do You Know How to Patch Jeans or Mend a Couch?

Neither do I...but I did it anyway.

**This isn't really a tutorial...just a blog post with some lessons learned from a non-sewer mom trying to save money and other resources by fixing her 15-year-old couch and salvaging a few pairs of jeans.

Even though it was Father's Day weekend*, it was also a "we can't spend any money this weekend" kind of weekend.  No trips to Big-boxes, no Amazonian perusals and no walk to the neighborhood bar to watch World Cup.  

A byproduct of this forced seclusion:  renewed focus on home projects--aka, good ideas that occupy part of your brain for months on end!

Bursting at the seam.

Day 1

First I tackled the couch.  This beaut was the first piece of furniture I purchased when I started getting my first (and last, as it turned out) living wage.  It is where you go when you need to boob-feed a kid, decompress with a Nats game or get some shut-eye when everyone else in the family seems to be sleeping while you fixate on problems you have absolutely no control over.  Love this thing.

I took some thread I got with a Banana Republic sweater YEARS ago that absolutely did NOT match the color of the couch.  

Green is green, right?

But I wasn't pursuing perfection here, I was pursing completion.  Done.

Then I started patching--wait, no------INSERT Seven-hour break to search for a missing bank document----

Day 2

My first attempt to patch one of two holes in my eldest daughter's jeans (they no longer fit her if that's any clue how long this project has been lingering) resulted in some bloody fingertips.

I couldn't figure out how to get the scrap of fabric to stay in place without pricking myself with the pins every time I sewed from the inside of the leg.  Additionally, the stitches were pretty rough (or dropping the passive voice here, I'll say, "I got lazy with my stitches.")

I figured it out with the second patch though.  I used four pins on the INSIDE of leg as a rough guide so that I could outline the patch with pins on the OUTSIDE.  Then I removed the pins on the inside so that when I worked on the patch I didn't prick myself each time I moved my hand back into the leg.  Make sense?  No, not at all?  

By pinning the patch in place on the inside, using that as a guide to pin on the outside and removing the
original pins on the inside, you can save yourself from having to explain the hypocrisy of
why Mommy is allowed to shout curse words but the littles are not.
Trimming excess material

So the second patch was better.  We also trimmed the patch so that when my daughter goes to put on her pants she isn't catching her foot on an excess of fabric.

I also patched a pair of my own jeans because a) they fit well and I'd rather, well, hand sew a patch than go shopping for new jeans and b) if I DID go jeans shopping I might be tempted to buy Mom jeans that actually cover my coconut-pecan cookie lovin' backside.  And nobody, kids or spouse included, wants that.

So even though I may have spent my weekend hunched over denim, fixing a garment for my youngest, that was once worn by my oldest, I consider it a posture that figuratively stands tall, giving the bird to the fashion industry, one blown knee at a time.

*As I've said before, you don't need to give into the Consumption Creature that lives inside us to have a good Father's Day.


  1. OMG! I love sewing. Seriously. When people at work complain about holes in their socks, I tell them to bring them in and I'll darn them. This is one skill my mom taught me that I'm so glad of. Two of my kids love walking in socks on all surfaces, thus get holes, and I darn all their socks. Ask me and I'll teach!

    1. That's a pretty cool hobby that will save you money AND resources in the long run. I wish I knew enough to teach my girls but I don't mind sending them to the local craft store to learn (while I Youtube stuff like this!). Thanks for the comment!