Last month, I decided to give myself a personal challenge to tackle the pile of things that had built up at the back of my wardrobe, that I’d promised myself I’d alter or mend. Instead of letting it get any bigger, I dedicated each week of November to a certain task and told myself that I’d get it all done! Here’s what I decided to get done:
For week one, mending , my main focus was a pair of denim jeans from Topshop that I’d been wearing for years. When I first bought them, they had ripped knees (the height of fashion at the time), but over time those rips got wider and wider, and ended up threatening to turn the jeans into shorts! There was also a little hole up by a pocket that I kept fiddling with so was growing too, so I decided to nip that in the bud before my pants were on show.
Here’s a really low quality picture of what they looked like before:
I knew that I definitely wanted to give Sashiko mending a go on these bad boys – a form of visible mending (if you want to find out more about it, click that link) that actually draws attention to the fact that you’ve fixed something up, rather than trying to disguise it. Because the holes were all so big and my embroidery skills so non-existent, I decided that adding patches would be the way to go.
I used a scrap of darker denim for one knee, which I decorated with the easiest of Sashiko stitches, straight lines of running stitch. I used a bright mustard embroidery thread to get some funky colour into the jeans and to attach the patch to the leg. I also used some bondaweb
to get the patch firmly stuck down as the fabric was pretty thick, and threw a safety pin in for good measure to get a particularly flighty part of the denim to stay attached.
On the other knee, I used a scrap of fabric that I’d really been loving, but put it behind the jeans so that the rip could be seen from the front. The scrap isn’t quite as wide as the rip, but it goes really far above and below it so that it’s nice and secure. It was proving really awkward to sew this patch on, so I just bondawebbed this one too!
For the final hole, which is really small compared to the patch, I used a bit of embroidered denim that had been taken off of a jacket. The colour is actually pretty close to that of the jeans, so the focus is really pulled to the embroidery! I sewed this one on using a simple running stitch as it was a lot bigger than the hole, so there’s no danger of the hole getting so big that it’ll affect the patch.
I’m really pleased with how they’ve turned out, and love them more than ever! Loads of people have asked me where they’re from and I think that they jazz up any outfit.
For week four, I dyed some other jeans – I won’t go into loads of detail on those because it was a pretty simple job; just using a packet of dye in the sink! The original colour was a little bit too light for me, and I’d tried sprucing them up by using fabric paint and adding stars, but this turned out to be a really time-consuming job so in the end I chose to just dye them darker. I’m really pleased with the result! Here they are before and after they dye: