Jeans, More Jeans, and a Beach Cover-Up: More Sewing Projects

After I finally, at very long last, finished my skirt project, I was kind of on a roll and tackled a few other jobs.

First I patched a pair of jeans. See, sometimes you want old jeans, right? But my jeans wear out at the inside thigh, which makes them go instantly from “presentable” to “might expose flesh” overnight. So if I want to have serviceable old jeans, I have to patch this area.

I have iron-on patches, but they’re kind of stiff. Instead, I like to cut up an even older pair of jeans and use that. Big Brother had these wide-legged 4T jeans that passed the point of repairability, so I used those. I cut a piece using pinking shears and sewed it down, using a zigzag stitch over the most vulnerable area. Before I owned pinking shears, I used a zigzag stitch to attach the patches, which is serviceable but makes a more noticeable repair (as the stitches can more easily be seen from the outside than a straight stitch.) You can really only see it from the outside at all because I accidentally caught a tiny bit of fabric as I was sewing.

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Over time, the double hem creates a line on the outside of the jeans. Blech.

Next, I had a pair to hem. Now, I know cuffing jeans is in fashion this year, but I’m so short that I would have way too bulky a cuff unless I hem (being as I could not find Short in my size). I consider the ideal leg width for skinny jeans to be “exactly as wide as my sewing machine in free-arm mode.”

I tried a new method. In the past, I have simply cut some off and double-hemmed using dark blue thread, but this is a pain and I don’t like the way it look as it wears.

So instead I used this tutorial for preserving the original hem. I hear that the flap of fabric created on the inside can be annoying, so I chose to stitch it down across the front and not just at the sides. These stitches are¬†technically visible from the outside, but you can’t really see them.

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Inside view. I did the zigzag BEFORE cutting off the excess. My machine does not like to sew too close to the edge of the fabric.

I like the way it looks… but I accidentally left them too long, so I still have to cuff them. Oops!

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Real quick, I mended the side of an old bath towel. It is otherwise perfectly serviceable, and you can’t have too many bath towels. I cut off the frayed strings. Part of the edge was still in place, so I zigzagged stitched it back down. This being an old bath towel, I didn’t worry about buying special matching thread!

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For my piece de resistance, I had an impulse to turn an old jersey sheet into a bathing suit cover-up. This is more a cutting project than a sewing one. I used this tutorial, which claims to be twenty-minute project. It took me a couple of hours. I kept having to cut and cut and cut more. Then of course I probably cut too much. The only sewing was attaching the braided straps. I was afraid that they would not fit under my presser foot, but it worked just fine. I made a little box to hold each strap in place.

After I sewed these on, I cut down the surrounding fabric.

I think it kind of looks like I made it from a sheet. But it will serve for getting the kids to and from the pool at our apartment complex, at least!

Now I have put away my sewing machine for a while with firm intentions to work on my scrapbook, although I did promise Big Brother a new apron soon.

What are you making lately? How’s it coming out?

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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.

2 responses to “Jeans, More Jeans, and a Beach Cover-Up: More Sewing Projects”

  1. annie says :

    You did very well with your jeans, the patch is barely noticeable even if you know it’s there. I can’t sew but when I see something worn out or with a little hole I immediately put it in the “homewear” drawer. Or when my little one came home with a big hole in her leggings I send it to grandmas home to keep as backup. And honestly I admire your energy! Working mother with two young boys and you still have make time for your diy projects!!!!

    • frugalparagon says :

      Love that you find a way to extend their usable life!

      You can patch without a sewing machine if the spirit moves you. Iron-on patches tend to peel, but you could hand-stitch then down. You could really use any fabric as a patch with fusible webbing, but you would probably need pinking shears to keep the patch from fraying.

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