Thursday, September 16, 2010

*Guest Post Thursday* Worn Out Blue Jean Blues

Welcome to another Guest Post Thursday!  Before I introduce my guest, I wanted to thank everyone who entered in the Fall Bag Giveaway!  I will announce the winner tomorrow morning.
Today, my dear friend Shannon (who is one of the craftiest people I know) is here to share with us a very cute way to extend the life of some blue jeans.
Take it away Shannon!

Hi there! I am Jessica's friend, Shannon, and I have the blues when it comes to my daughter's jeans. 
Look at them. They are your standard little girl's jeans but they have holes in the knees and she has grown taller in the three months we have had them, so now they are too short. I can't buy new jeans every three months for her, I have two other little girls to clothe. Whats a momma to do?

Fortunately, Boutique style is in and my daughter LOVES when I make her something new. I thought that I could extend the length of her jean's legs (and therefore the longevity of wear) by adding some cute little cuffs of fabric to the hem. So I scrounged around in my piles of fabric for a cute print. This was a fairly easy project that took me about an hour to complete, start to finish. I didn't do a lot of measuring as it is a pretty forgiving sewing project, but I tried to provide some numbers to give the general idea of where I was headed in this venture.

This is the fabric I chose. A simple cotton print that was 23 1/2 inches long and about 9 1/ 2 inches wide. I cut the fabric straight down the middle and created 2 lengths that were about 4 and 3/4 wide. These two pieces would be the cuffs of my daughter's jeans. Perhaps they will last another 3 months?

I ironed my fabric and then folded a bit of one cut side under, pressed the fold, and then folded it again and pressed. This made my first hem.

I stitched this hem with a straight stitch and repeated the same thing on the other side.

Look, there is a measurement, AHA! The two hems reduced my cuff to three inches wide. I wasn't too persnickety about how big either hem was, as only one will actually show when you are through.
**So now that both sides are hemmed, don't forget to repeat this same process for the other piece of fabric. Two pant legs, two cuffs. **
Next,  I ran a basting stitch down one side of each cuff so that I could create gathers and my cuff took form. **Make sure to tie off one end of your basting stitch so you don't lose your gathers and also so you can adjust them as you see fit. **

Isn't it cute? Now, the gathers of the cuff is what makes this such a forgiving project. I started at the inside seam of the jeans leg hem and pinned the cuff along the edge of the hem all the way around to get a proper fit of the cuff to the hem of the jeans. **This is where the forgiveness comes in. If the cuff isn't long enough, let out some gathers. If the cuff is too long, gather more or cut off your excess. You choose. **

So the cuff is properly fit to the hem of the jeans. The two raw edges of the cuff were together at the inside seam of the jeans. I brought them together and pinned them where I would seam them together. **Make sure you line them up where you want them now. You will be removing the cuff to stitch that seam in place before you stitch the cuff to the jeans. This may seam like a bit of work, but you get a better fit and finished look to the jeans if you fit and pin BEFORE you stitch (measure twice and cut once as my grandfather always used to say). DON"T FORGET to do this to both jean legs.**

Look at that cute little cuff. Just like a little petticoat for my daughter's doll.
Hmmmm. . . . Another day perhaps.
Now, again, I pinned the cuff to the jean hem,
making sure I lined up my seam with the inside seam of the jean leg.
**Do this for both legs, remember.**

I lined up my cuff with the worn line just above the hem. It provided a great guide that was straight and I just stitched the cuff into place. I used a straight stitch, but you could use a zig zag or blanket stitch if you and your machine are so inclined. I also thought of this, after the fact, that you could embellish the seam by top stitching ric rack or ribbon on top of the cuff to hide the seam, but I left the cuff as it was. 

As for the holes in the knees, I patched them underneath with some denim patches I had left over from a repair years and years ago. Nice to save little things like that, if you can. But I didn't stop there. I took some colorful bits of fabric and ironed Wonder Under to them (I LOVE that stuff) to make decorative "patches".
I then ironed the "patches" on top of the holes and embellished those "patches" with a little embroidery floss. Just plain stitches, nothing fancy.
**Hind sight being 20/20 though, I reccomend that if you are going to add decorative patches and a utilitarian patch underneath, stitch your decorative patches on first and then iron on the denim patch after the fact. It is much easier stitching through the jeans alone, rather than through the patch and the jeans.**
I also added a few "patches" to one back pocket to keep the theme of the jeans uniform in look.

 So there you have it. No more Blue Jean Blues. An hour of your time, a bit of fabric and some flair for the creative (and frugal), and you have jeans that will keep your kiddo in style and you in budget.

Thanks Shannon!  If you would like to be a guest on Sew Homegrown, please send me an email at the address in the contacts section.  Everybody have a happy Thursday!

1 comment:

Thanks so much for commenting! If you have a question, make sure your email is in your profile or leave it in a comment so I can answer you. Otherwise email me at jessica(at)sewhomegrown(dot)com - Have a lovely day!

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