Monday, October 13, 2014

It's Hard to Find Good Jeans

The last of the four craft projects I started last week is currently drying in the garage. I'll be sharing them with you in pairs later this week. But...since I got delayed on that thanks to my inability to properly use spray paint, I'm going to go ahead and share something I learned this week that has been a complete life saver.

Here comes the back story...

I hate shopping for pants, especially jeans. Finding ones that fit properly is usually a nightmare. (It doesn't help that I hate clothes shopping in general.) So when I find a pair that fits well, I typically buy two or three of them. Safety in numbers, people. 

I was sitting pretty in denim land with three great pairs that fit well and were comfortable until about two months ago. At that point, my jeans decided to let me know that I'm getting a little hefty in the thighs. (So considerate.) They did this by ripping nearly simultaneously in the same area on three different pairs of jeans. I kid you not. All three pairs within a week. Same location. One of those pairs in two mirror image spots. 

I figured, no problem. The newest of those pairs was at least five years old, so I decided it was just time to go buy a couple of new pairs. Not so fast. This particular cut and color is no longer manufactured, meaning that I would have to replace with another style and fit that I like and can afford. Fine. I tried. After four different styles of jeans in two different sizes resulting in nothing that fit me in the legs (height), butt (width) and thigh (width again) departments at the same time, I gave up. 

So, I've been relegated to wearing my "fat jeans" for the last couple of months. I don't like it. They're saggy in the butt and becoming obnoxious to cinch tight enough at the waist. Good news: I'm not chubby enough to need my fat pants. Bad news: I'm not skinny enough to wear my remaining pants. Those three pairs were the only happy mediums I had.

And then, miracle of miracles, I found this post from Create/Enjoy. Granted, this is my first attempt at this technique and my stitches aren't as hidden as hers, but I am STOKED to have functional jeans again. After 45 minutes, I'm back in business with three well-fitting pairs. 

Here's what I started with on the worst pair (I forgot to take a picture before I put on the interfacing, so this looks better than they really were. Figure about a 2" long gap about a quarter width wide when the pants were on.)

Obviously, I don't have a "thigh gap". Darn you friction.
Now a close up of the patched area after sewing...

I could have gone out and bought some better matching thread...but I didn't. Here's what it looks like from a little further away...

And finally, more or less what they'll look like from the front.

This is at about a foot away. I don't think I'll have anyone getting that cozy with my crotch, so I'm calling it good. So much better! They live to fight another day! I can't tell you how happy this trick made me!

Here's the basics of the method:

1. Cut a small piece of thin interfacing. (She says the fabric types are better than the paper ones. I used some grid-on-point that I had leftover.) Turn jeans inside out. Position the tear with edges together, overlap with the interfacing, and iron to the inside of the jeans.

2. Turn jeans right side out and position on the machine.

3. Sew back and forth (using the backstitch function on your machine) across the tear from one end to another. I tried to follow the grain of the denim somewhat -- which would have made this blend better if I had a lighter colored thread.

That's it! I just saved myself at least $60 in new jeans. Seriously...stoked!


  1. Good save!! I am with you in denimland. Except the style/cut of jeans that *used* to fit me is now sized and cut differently despite keeping the same name (seriously, what's up with that?). My three remaining pair are looking S-A-D. Cabin life about wrecked them. So, this winter {gulp} I'm actually going to attempt to sew my own jeans. I've had a pattern and fabric for years and I've just got to bite the bullet. After many, many muslins, I'm sure. I wish my fix were as easy as yours!

    1. Exactly! There is no safety in jeans. This is why I buy multiple pairs. I have no faith in designers. Good luck on the sewing! I am SOO not brave enough for that.

  2. Nice save! I also have a terrible time with jeans, but it's because I'm uber cheap and only shop at our local Goodwill for clothes (jeans $4.99, shirts $3.69 woot!). It's so hit or miss on what I can find that fits me well. Right now I have two pairs of jeans and then my walking/running yoga pants. Plus one pair of dress pants for church (found these there last week and they fit perfectly yay!). I'm still on the hunt for one more pair of jeans!

    1. Nice shopping! I seriously hate buying clothes. If only sizes were more universal for women. I'd like to be one of those people who can just buy their clothes online and know that everything will fit great. I so do not have that luck. I usually end up trying on a gigantic pile of stuff, hating everything, and then leave the store in a huff totally disgusted with myself.


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