Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tutorial for lengthening and mending ripped jeans

There she is, riding away on the back of her "pony" (aka Miss B).

When Miss F came to me she was a 29 pound 6 year old. Think about that for a second... She wasn't just skinny but she was about the height of a four year old. Her belly was bloated (along with the other two) from three different worm species. I was SO excited to watch this girl grow! Her big pregnant-looking belly shrunk down and Miss F got a teensy bit taller. And then a little heavier and now she's a 44 pound seven year old. This constantly moving, chattering, and HIGHLY energetic little girl is always going to be thin. And when it comes to clothing, she is very much like me. When we like something we DON'T want to let go of it... ever. It's hard to find the "perfect" pair of jeans and Miss F knows this lesson already.

The evidence:
This pair of size 5 slim jeans were purchased last fall and she still tries to wear them every morning. Some days I'm too lazy to make her go change (for the 5 millionth time!) but this morning I had a better idea. Let's fix those suckers!
I started but appliquéing some home-made patches on. I drew them out onto paper, cut out the shapes, pinned the shapes to a pre-lined square-o-fabric, and then cut the shapes out of the fabric. Sewing these on was a roller coaster that I do not recommend. It was EXTREMELY irritating. At one point the sewing machine and I got into a fight and I punched it... Whatever! You try doing it!
For the additional length/colorful cuffs:
1. I started by cutting two 4 1/2" slabs of matching fabric.
2. Then I folded and ironed down about 1/8" along the length of the fabric. I folded that bad boy over on top of itself and ironed some more.

2. Then sew the fold into place
3. Now line up the rough edge of your slab with the very end of the jeans and pin ALMOST all of the way around.
4. Why ALMOST? Because I want for when you sew, to leave about an inch near the inside seam open. See? Also, go ahead and just sew on the prior hem line.
5. This is a little difficult to explain but just read this 5 bazillion times and then you'll get what I'm talking about. Push one side of the loose fabric all of the way up to the other side so that, once sewn, the hem will be fluid.
6. Pin this down - both to the jeans as well as together. Your fabric should be T'd.

7. I didn't take a picture for this ~ lame. Imagine with me. In the photo below, sew along the red line. Make sure that you don't catch the jeans but do make sure to sew both sides of the fabric together.
8. Now pin down the excess fabric, making sure that there isn't a hole at the top of your T... Sew it down by starting from where you left off (for that 1" gap) and joining the two hems

9. Fold her over and iron.
10. Now turn the pant leg inside out and fold the new cuff in half, wrong sides together. Match up the hems and pin.
11. Sew and then iron the cuff fold flat. 12. DUH NUH! Miss F is still at school but I'll get a photo of her in 'em later. Also, I put some funky embroidery on the bottom portion of the cuffs for extra cuteness ;)
Please, don't look closely at this photo as the appliqué is... less than perfect.


Tracey in CT said...

This is so clever. I wish you had posted this last week...I just donated a boatload of my DDs jeans because they were too short, and she cried over it. Had I only known...
My DD is a little one, too. She will be 11 in a few weeks, and her size 7s fit in the waist, but not lengthwise. Today she measured 54" tall and 62lbs. I hope she stays that way instead of ending up fluffy like me.

Tab said...

OH MY GOSH!!!!! How totally cute. So cute that it makes me want to get that scary sewing machine and make ME so CUTIE jeans! But fighting with a machine, Rach?

Anonymous said...

If the jeans have a single seam in the inside leg (versus that thick, doubled over seam on the outside), you can unsew it as far as you need to and then patching or embroiderying or whatever is a lot easier. You probably know how I learned this!

southerngirlmusings said...

This is so cute and aren't you something with all the rocking tutorials as of late. :) Okay, love the ironing board cover, is it from Target as I have the same one.

Bananas said...

Ok I totally am in awe of your skills. You are a sewing genius! Seriously!!

Raquel said...

Tracey, I'm SORRY! I was too lazy last week... I like that you said fluffy. That's cute... is it PC to call others fluffy?

T, The machine started it!

Gigi, I should have called you and gotten the advise BEFORE I hit the machine. But Miss B is now asking for a pair that fits her...

Southy, Walmart. But Target is cooler and I wish it was from there. Does that count?

Bananas, You silly. It's easier than it looks, I promise.

Rebekah said...

What a nifty idea. Very stylish jeans. I miss getting to stay home and be more creative.

tAnYeTTa said...

you are sooooooooo smart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
her SMILE says it all. tooooooo cute.

i have a pair of jeans that i cannot get let go off. the problem is they're a size16 and I'm a size 10 now. *sigh*

Dancer said...

What's so ghetto about all of this? You'll have to change your name to the Not So Ghetto Quilter. That's a wonderful tutorial. Looks like you do great work, too. I'll have to remember this because my little girl only grows up and not out and has weighed 38 pounds since she was 4 (she's almost 6). We've found that GAP 5slim fit her the best, but the one pair she has was bought by my mother. I just can't bring myself to spend $25 dollars on a pair of jeans for a little girl.

Alisa said...

You did a great job on these jeans! Isn't it fun 'renovating' clothing to make it last longer? I just did a pair of pants too, but I really like your tutorial.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this - I made a serious error in the length on some internet-ordered custom made jeans, and yours is the first result for lengthen jeans in google that doesn't say "get them wet and pull on them"

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the idea and the how-to!

Anonymous said...

I've been looking for just this too. I am actually going to put a small leather band at the bottom of my jeans as there is already black embeleshments on them and they are just too short to strech! :) PERFECT!

Anonymous said...

that is brilliant, I can never find jeans long enough and this will fix the offenders in my wardrobe for very little cost...fwded the link to my SIL for her girls as well...

juzbetty said...

wow...fantastic. This is really cool. Will try one day.