In Which the Frugal Paragon Mends Her Mom Jeans

We all have our crosses to bear. Being someone who is made fun of for being too skinny has never been one of my personal crosses.

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Before–see where the fabric is separating along the inseam.

Being a lady not plagued by “thigh gap,” my jeans always wear out in the same place–along the inseam. Now, I just bought new jeans this season! No more than six months ago. And already, the fabric was pulling apart at the inseam. It offends my frugal sensibilities to buy a second pair of jeans in one season. Besides, I hate to buy new clothes at the end of the season because I always hope that I will miraculously change sizes during the off-season.

So, inspired by the words of my father, who always encouraged me to jump right in to a repair project by pointing out, “You can’t make it worse. You already need a new one,” I decided to try mending them to see if I could get them to limp along until shorts season.

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After–the pulled threads have been tucked inside the new seam.

The approved method would be to patch the area from the inside, but I wasn’t sure how a patch would work right over the seam area. So instead, I decided to try sewing about a quarter inch in from the old seam, creating a new one just for the length of the pull. I was afraid that using my sewing machine would make a mess of it, so I sewed by hand. In retrospect, though, I kind of wish I had tried the machine. It took me a full episode of House of Cards to sew by hand, and hand-sewing denim is hard work.

For now, though, it’s holding. I am no longer in imminent danger of developing a large and embarrassing rip the next time I squat down to wipe a toddler nose. Let’s file that under “success,” shall we? Now if I can just figure out something to do about those tiny little holes that all my knit shirts develop…

What about you, readers? What half-assed (or full-fledged) repairs are you trying lately?

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About frugalparagon

I'm a part-time librarian and mom to two small boys. I blog about striving for the long-term goal of financial independence while running a tight ship at home.

8 responses to “In Which the Frugal Paragon Mends Her Mom Jeans”

  1. Amy K says :

    I’m impressed! I was worried they would be too tight in the thigh after the mend. My husband’s jeans wear out in a similar spot, I guess I should take a stab at mending them.

    • frugalparagon says :

      It’s like my father used to say: “You already need a new one.” So you might as well see what you can do! But my jeans have since worn right through in another part of the inner thigh, so I recommend trying an interior patch. I didn’t have trouble with them being too tight–it’s a pretty small adjustment. I had done the same thing with my yoga pants (but then I inexplicably lost them).

  2. Moonwaves says :

    I haven’t yet reached the point where I fix that kind of thing myself but also being of the not-plagued-by-thigh-gap persuasion, this is exactly where I also have issues. While I’m happy enough sewing up a seam (sometimes, like you, pulling the fabric in a tiny bit and essentially sewing a new seam for a couple of inches), when the material wears through or starts getting really thin, I now bring trousers to a small tailor’s shop around the corner (they seem to be around every corner around here). For about 10 euro, I can extend the life of my trousers by a couple of years, well worth it to me – being overweight as well as quite tall, it’s hard enough to find trousers in the first place. He basically places a piece of material over the entire area and then sews it into place with lots and lots of back and forth lines. I had some done recently where it might actually be possible to take a photo showing how it’s done, must do a post on it soon.

  3. frugalparagon says :

    Thanks so much for sharing! I’ll have to try that next time. Since my current jeans were $6 at Goodwill, I wouldn’t be risking much :-).

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