Mend in March: Jeans

By shear coincidence I found some sewing inspirations on instagram when I came upon the hashtag “Mend March”, invented by Kate Sekules of Visible Mend. Her mending project seams to have been going for a few years, and it reminded me of reviewing the splendid book Mending matters, written by Katarina Rodabaugh. I loved that book, and the many wonderful ideas in it. I also love the idea of having a special month where we concentrate a bit extra on our pile of clothes and items that needs mending, patching up or simply some TLC. So I joined in and posted a photo of my jeans. And I wrote:

“March is mending month, did you know? I just found out, so I decided to share my visible mended jeans (that I mended last month) today. I wear jeans through winter, and only own two pairs, so I need these to not fall apart on me just yet. Now I hope to wear them a few years still, decorated with jeans patches and pink embroidery stitches.”

But because I wanted to write a bit more, here’s what I did to my jeans in a bit more detail today.

The first mending my pair of jeans needed I actually did last Christmas weekend, so about a year ago. These blue jeans were machine worn to look like they’d been well loved already when I got them new from the store. It’s not really a great way to treat clothes in the first place, haha, but yeah, it’s fashion and who can understand it. It was what was fitting my body and budget at the time, so I got them.

But where the biggest machine made tear was on my thigh was of course where the first hole popped up. And I did not like the feel and look of the split, so I decided to do some visible mending.

Mending jeans with patches and visible stitching is SO fun. Photo copyright Hanna Andersson

I got a jeans patch from mom’s fabric stash (of discarded older jeans) and cut it a lot bigger than the tear. I wanted to cover the weaker fabric that was surrounding the hole, to make it last longer. Then I did some boro stitching on top of the patch, using pink pearl cotton thread. I think this is my favorite mended look, so far. But since it was my first try I wanted to experiment further of course.

So in February I brought out the next pair of jeans that needed mending, and tried the reverse turned applique technique, creating a circle in pink thread.

Mending jeans with patches and visible stitching is SO fun. Photo copyright Hanna Andersson
Mending using reverse turned applique on a pair of jeans.

For the next tear, which was on the back pocket, I did something similar but with a totally different look. I added a patch of jeans fabric to the inside, but instead of following the hole all around, I simply did running stitches straight over the tear and left the thread bare areas exposed and the fray intact for all to see. I think it looks a bit messier (grungier?) and maybe it won’t be as durable in the long run?

Mending jeans with patches and visible stitching is SO fun. Photo copyright Hanna Andersson

But still fun to try and this kind of messy mending style fits with the way I think of myself as an artist.

Also see: my very very grungy dress.

Lastly, two bigger patches of outside mending in the crotch, where I used blue thread to not make it too eye catching.

Mended jeans by Hanna Andersson aka Studio iHanna

In a world of fast fashion and overbuying this is my small step toward a more sustainable life. I think it’s important.

How about you? Did you join mending March or would you in the future?

Visit Kate Sekules at @visiblemend on instagram, and then click over to her hashtag #mendmarch for a lot of lovely inspiration to mend something yourself.

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