My instructions for working this jeans knee patch technique have just gone up on the Sewing Directory site over here.
It’s a ‘tidy’ repair and so might not be to everybody’s taste. But here’s my elevator pitch. Mending, in general, offers bite-sized opportunities to test out a variety of needlework techniques. This repair is a great way to practise how to control a smoothly curved edge which is well worth mastering. Curve control is a type of fabric manipulation that’s used a lot in dressmaking (creating armholes, necklines etc) and in all kinds of other sewing projects (toy-making, soft furnishings etc), so it’ll stand you in good stead.
In technical sewing jargon, this is also an example of ‘reverse appliqué‘ – because the patch goes beneath the damaged area rather than on top of it. So, you neaten the worn area and turn it into a kind of window, behind which your patch sits. This repair is worked by hand, because it tends to be tricky to get a sewing machine into the restricted area of a jeans leg and (to my thinking, anyway) isn’t really worth the fuss of getting your machine out. But it doesn’t take very long to work, so please have a go. You should find that the resulting patch is smooth against the skin and comfortable to wear, while also feeling robust and secure. And if you try it and like it, then please come back and let me know!
It was delightful that so many people turned up to May’s meeting of the Big Mend, especially considering that the weather was so sultry. This month’s session is Wednesday June 27th at the Museum of Bath at Work and (rain or shine) we’ll be making the most of the long midsummer evening light, kicking off at the slightly later time of 7.30 and wrapping up at 9.30pm. All welcome! Just drop in any time with your mending bag.
There will definitely be jeans patching this time (there’s a wonderful example of this over on Tom of Holland’s blog which I’d highly recommend perusing), and I’ve been experimenting with woven yarn patches (see below) as an applied alternative to darning knitted garments. I’ll bring those along for a bit of show-and-tell. But feel free to bring anything at all textile-related that you want to repair (popped seams, burst buttons, droopy hems) and we’ll help you to fix it. Some basic tools and materials are on hand but try to bring what you know you’ll need (patch fabric or toning thread, for example).
woven patch looking for an elbow
More details about the Big Mend over here. There’s now a Flickr group you can join and post images of your mending triumphs or disasters and find images to inspire. Do take a look.
Serious menders will probably already be aware that the UK’s first mending research symposium convenes towards the end of the month in the Lake District; Mend*rs kicks off with a call to arms, a first National Mending Day on Friday 29th June. Count me in! Alas, it looks like I won’t be able to make it to the physical conference but will certainly be mending with the assembled gathering in spirit next Friday. A big thank you to Tom for telling me about the event.