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Denim TLC

Around here, pretty much every time we buy a new pair of trousers they need shortening. I get a bit lazy about that, particuarly with jeans - historically I've always just trodden away the backs until they fall off. Takes maybe two or three years, looks really untidy, means you get really soggy trousers on wet days, but hey, it was easier than getting out the sewing machine and turning them up, right?

I guess I must be getting old or something, because that just doesn't make as much sense any more. But my latest pair of jeans (two years old now) were only a little bit too long. Close enough that I thought I could just get away with flicking over the hem, and leave it at that. But I noticed that I've started to tread through the back again, and really, as part of this whole "make it better" thing, I need to fix that to keep the jeans going for longer. The problem with fixing something that is already at the right length (well, has a hole already at the right length) is that you have no material to turn over for a new hem.

I started by cutting the jeans along the fold that was already there. Then I cut a strip of some spare lightweight denim I have hanging around - about an inch deep, slightly longer than the circumference of the jeans - and stitched that to the front side of the jeans. I then flipped that inside out. That encases the raw edges of both the new piece of material and the jeans, and gives an edge that looks like this:


I then stitched the two pieces together a couple of times, to make the join good and strong. (I've also stitched over the raw edge of the extra strip to limit fraying. You could also fold this under and catch it in the rounds of sewing.) Around the back where it had already started wearing away I've tried to stabilise that with a bit of zigzag stitch. 


It isn't perfect. There are a couple of places where I've joined the two pieces of fabric too close to the edge and haven't caught the raw edges properly. But it's an awful lot better than it was. Now my jeans look all neat, and I'm surprising myself with how much I like it. 


No, I didn't knit those socks. Actually, at the moment I'm knitting as fast as my spare time allows on Clarkie's birthday present. Clarkie's birthday (and actually any date, but this one is important) always sneaks up on me. We've worked out this might be at least partially because I never actually know what the current date is, but it's a little embarassing. Her birthday is this coming Friday, and her present currently looks like this:

Knitting in progress

I think I might be in trouble...

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