Reuse that old clothing! Part 3: DIY

The renewal of my favorite old pair of jeans is finally finished.  I chose to use only materials that I could find within my own home, in order to maximize the potential for both saving money and having less of an environmental impact.  This meant having to work with what I have, rather than running off to find the perfect materials for the project. This meant I had to be more creative.

I started with a five year old pair of jeans with gigantic knee-holes.  It's very easy to see that I haven't been gentle with them.
jeans with knee holes

I then grabbed scissors, ribbon, and a needle.
supplies for jeans reuse

The biggest needle I could find was an embroidery needle, which actually ended up working perfectly.  The reason an embroidery needle was beneficial was that when I looked at the available ribbons, I discovered that the only one that wouldn’t look too garish was 3mm wide, which was just small enough to fit inside the eye without me having to do any creative folding.  Success!

Here is a good time to remind you that I don’t have any sewing skills.  This is important, because it helps illustrate just how much a person can do if they truly want to.  It doesn’t matter if you can’t sew.  If I can do it, so can you. 

And if you can sew?  Well, you’re going to be able to come up with some truly inspiring results that far surpass my own!

So what are the steps involved with this simple DIY project?

1.    Find some old jeans that are in desperate need of repair.
2.    Gather scissors, a big needle, and a spool of ribbon that is thin enough to guide through the needle’s eye.  (Embroidery thread might look pretty good, as well)
3.    Cut the “fluff” and strands from around the edges of the hole.
4.   Start sewing.  I actually ended up doing this in a manner that resembles cross-stitch.  I brought the ribbon through and across the hole in lines, then, once I got to the end I brought it back across to create x’s.
rough repair diagram

5.    I allowed about three inches of ribbon to stand out at the beginning, as well as at the end, so that I could tie bows when the stitches were complete.
ribbon closed holes

So, this still wasn’t good enough for me.  Functionally speaking, this worked quite well.  Aesthetically speaking, though, it made me want to hurl.  There was nothing about it that actually looked good.  If all I wanted was to mend a hole, I wouldn’t have needed something like ribbon.

So I continued the design.  I sewed a few more lines of x’s into the denim in order to create a design of sorts, and ended up with this.
added design on ends of repaired holes

I can’t help but wonder if it’ll draw stares in public, due to the unusual design.  I suppose I’ll find out soon enough.  I’m actually looking forward to that.

I’m typing this out while wearing the jeans, and I plan to wear them all day long.  This is because I’m testing the integrity.  Will it come apart?  Will new holes suddenly form? 

Stay tuned for another DIY project update!

Previous Posts on this subject:
Reuse that Old Clothing!  Part 2

**be sure to read the next post: Reuse that old clothing!  Part 4 if you choose to do this.  It provides insight that could be quite valuable to a person that doesn't sew.  Even if you do sew, I'd recommend reading it, if for nothing else than to have a good laugh!