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What did I do wrong?
Son's jeans ripped right above freshly-darned hole in knee
Theresse
Theresse
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Date: 1/17/13 7:02 AM

Hello -

I'm new at sewing so have been watching videos. One of the things I wanted to be able to learn how to do was mend holes in the knees of my boys' jeans. From youtube I learned how to darn by buying a free-motion/darning/quilting foot, and buying thread that matches the jeans color.

Skip this paragraph if you already know about this darning method: for those that don't know (as I didn't), it's a method that makes the hole/rip look as if it never happened as opposed to putting on an obvious patch - not that patches aren't also fun. You find a piece of similar fabric, cut it to the right size (a bit bigger than the hole, all around), place it under the hole by sticking it up there underneath (and also trimming any frayed edges, by the way), then pinning the fabric that's underneath to the jeans by placing the two parts together into a position that leaves the hole as closed as possible. Then you sew free-motion style (after pressing the button on your machine that lowers the feed dogs), as if crossing out a word with ink (!), back and forth in straight lines and then up and down along the line (where the tear is) until it's all sewed together. I also saw a video in which a woman just closed the hole shut using a wide zigzag over the rip instead of using free-motion. Anyway from a small distance you'll end up with something that looks like there was never a hole there - pretty cool - and I'm told that over a few more washes it blends in even more.

Ok so here's my problem - well two problems actually:

1) my sons said their jeans felt rough and bulky on the inside, under the mending job. That makes sense cause even after trimming the edges, there is essentially a patch on the inside with a lot of "scribbled" thread holding it in place. I bought the thread from a sewing store and the woman helped me pick out some great matching colors in a variety of blues and greys, however I assumed they were appropriate for this type of work since I told her my intentions. Should I have gotten some special kind of thread that's softer? She might have just picked out a standard thread of the appropriate color. It would have been decent quality cause it was a small boutique Bernina dealership store that only sells nice stuff but still...

2) On my son's second wearing of his repaired jeans, he came home with a new rip above the patch! He said that the knee was so tight that when he was sitting in class criss-cross style on the floor, he could barely do it with the patch there. So I guess his knee pressure ripped the new hole. Is there something I could do next time to prevent this? Or maybe darning holes in jeans is only practical if the jeans are super loose in the knees to begin with? These days kids where jeans that are a bit tighter of course. I don't think his were "skinny jeans" though - no, they just weren't baggy in the knees.

Thank you! Oh and in case youtube video links work here, here's a link to the type of video that taught me how to do this (one of several on youtube):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmsLJ5MB1zQ

Karla Kizer
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Date: 1/17/13 8:33 AM

I used to patch the kids' jeans by tucking a store-bought iron-on patch (the kind that comes in a package of assorted colors, on the notions wall) under the hole, sticky side up, and arranging the raw threads of the jeans over the patch - one that was close in color to the jeans. I pressed it in place, then used a mending or triple zig-zag stitch to attach the patch and fasten the jeans threads over it. I stitched vertically, so the machine moved the fabric lengthwise on the jeans, and the zigzag moved side to side. If I had concerns about bulk, I used charcoal or black fusible tricot interfacing instead of patching material, again using the triple zigzag to "applique" the raw strings of the denim in place. If I used a lighter color fusible interfacing, I wasn't above coloring any noticeable interfacing with a Sharpie. A knit interfacing might be your best bet, since it seems the knee area needs to be able to stretch a little.
-- Edited on 1/17/13 8:35 AM --

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“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” -Robert Heinlein and Ann's father. Thanks for the reminder, Ann.

Where are we going, and what am I doing in this handbasket?

Matthew 25:40 (New International Version)
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lgrande
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In reply to Theresse <<


Date: 1/17/13 8:48 AM

Theresse,
Look into this How to mend rips in clothing.

------
Linda

Bernina 830LE - Brother Dreamweaver VQ3000 - Bernina B530 - Janome 6600P - Pfaff 1209 - Babylock Evolution - Janome 644 - Babylock Sashiko2 - Babylock BLCS-2

sarah in nyc

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Date: 1/17/13 10:04 AM

Often the jeans rip because the fabric itself has just worn out. The weakness isn't just at the location of the hole but the fabric itself is fragile.. i deal with this often with my husband's favorite clothing. All of it is worn and fragile so any fix is temporary at best.

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sarah in nyc
www.sewnewyork.blogspot.com

Kathi R
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Date: 1/17/13 11:42 AM

When my daughters were in high school I was a specialist at rebuilding jeans .... knees and bum were the most likely places for repair. I used denim as a patch under the hole but made the patch significantly larger than the hole to get it attached to solid fabric. It is a tactile decision - if the fabric is really soft and thin you need to keep extending the patch.

My method was to cut a patch way too big and machine baste the edges without turning under. Flip the garment over so you are working on the right side and stitch with a zig zag, triple zig zag or darning stitch making sure that all the loose threads are locked down - and go in different directions. Continue this stitching until you hit solid fabric on all edges and go around the outside edge a couple of time. Last step is to pull the machine basting out and trim the patch to the outer edge of the stitching - with all the thread you just used there is little likelihood of fraying. My go to color was a faded denim in light blue - Coats and Clark colors 4620 and 4660 are good choices.

When repairing the bum the patch would often go across the CB seam and could be attached there for strength.

------
2012 : starting stash 386, net additions 206, used 164, ending stash 428...I'm never going to get in front of this pile of fabric!

PattiAnnJ
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Date: 1/17/13 12:09 PM

Your children must be young as the older ones want the "ratty"look!

Cynthia`s method is easier to do if you open one seam so the area to be mended lies flat.

For a very active wearer, expand the patch beyond the rip. You may also want to use denim as the patch. Iron-on adhesive can be added to the right side of the patch so it better matches the right side of the jeans.

------
"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

tg33

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Date: 1/17/13 12:09 PM

Just a question, was the stitching visible when you were finished?

------
Reading from Europe

Theresse
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Date: 1/17/13 12:40 PM

Thanks everyone!

So am I to understand that - aside from the fact that the denim was older/weakening anyway - if I'd made the patch cover more area, the area above the patch may not have ripped? I guess that makes sense.

Tg33 - yes when I was done you couldn't really tell I'd done it unless you were looking closely. It also helps to go with the grain.

sarah in nyc

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In reply to Theresse <<
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Date: 1/17/13 3:23 PM

In the future..or even now, for a beloved pair of threadbare jeans I would add a layer of iron on tricot interfacing to the inside of the jeans to support the worn out fibers. the tricot is soft and won't change the hand of the worn denim too much and will buy your son more wear out of the jeans.

------
sarah in nyc
www.sewnewyork.blogspot.com

PattiAnnJ
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In reply to sarah in nyc <<
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Date: 1/17/13 3:40 PM

This sounds like a good idea to do after a few washings and before the wear and tear thins the area in question.

I watched both videos and do not understand why the demonstrator makes this so difficult when it would be so much easier to demonstrate and apply if the outer seam were opened for a flat work surface.

------
"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

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