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Saturday, 9 November 2013

Make Do and Mend ....



.... or rather I can't find a decent pair of black jeans any where that are skinny but not too skinny, black but not too black, not too high rise but not too low either AND don't make my legs look carroty should I choose to wear them full length. Or give me the dreaded camel toe. Not asking for much am I?

Jack Wills Jeans, Maison Scotch Pea Coat, J Crew Sailor Tee, Matalan Leather Ballet Pumps



I noticed last year that come October, November onwards, I unconsciously gravitated towards the black jeans and tended to leave the blue jeans behind. Black Jeans = autumn/winter. Blue Jeans = spring/summer. And I noticed I was repeating the same pattern this year with the exception of the blue boyfriend jeans on those milder days.

It's not that I don't have black jeans, I do but they they all serve a different purpose or provide a different look :

I have my Jack Wills black jeans. Lovely faded black. Not very skinny but still shapely enough. I like these best when I cuff them as I have done in the top pic.

I have my Topshop off black Jamie jeans seen here. Lovely colour and getting better with each wash and tumble dry. Fading beautifully and perfect length for me though ankle grazers for every one else. For once, being a shortie had it's merits but they are very stretchy and very shape revealing .... and they make my belly look huge which means they are only good when wearing long tops and big jumpers. They are good for tucking in to ankle boots however as they taper right in to the ankle. Bad with any other footwear on me as they give me carrot legs or parsnip legs as they call them on Mumsnet ... whichever vegetable floats your boat but  you get the gist.

I have some old black New Look jeggings seen here with the tightest waistband ever. I can forget eating in those - a cup of Earl Grey and a biscuit is about as much as I can stomach and then it starts to hurt. But they have their uses some times and they tuck well in to boots too. They fall in to the vegetable jean category too. Both the Jamie and the New Look jeans also have that annoying habit of slowly working their way down so the crotch ends up mid thigh. There's a lot of inelegant hoicking going on with these two pairs. 

And then I have my H&M distressed jeans which I picked up for £12. They are the perfect faded grey but with a touch too much distressing. The frayed knee wasn't too bad till I kept kneeling in them and the fraying eventually tore in to a bigger and bigger rip. The rip is now a pothole and quite cold.

Peekaboo!


There is also another hole near the left hand pocket at the front which the lining keeps poking through.

Little peekaboo


Very very annoying. In fact these would be my perfect jeans because of the fit except for the holes. I can even wear them with shoes and not feel too carrotty. These are so close to perfect - I could cry :o(

So I went on a mad search recently and tried on black jeans after black jeans after black jeans. But alas no luck. And so I decided to do something about my holey H&M jeans. I decided to patch them up. With iron on patches. My inspiration gleaned from the the patchwork jeans currently making their rounds on various blogs.

Pocket Patch

 Knee Patch


I did actually do a really big patch to cover the whole of the knee area but found that this didn't work as the patch doesn't bend as much as the existing fabric due to it's stiffness. Instead I cut it down a fraction so it only covered the area it needed to so the rest of the knee area could bend comfortably. 


Sorry (didn't realise how grainy some of these mirror photos were going to be today)

A little more discreet.


This is not a perfect solution (especially the knee patch) but it has extended the life of these jeans by at least a month during which time my search will continue and if you don't look too closely, the patch blends in not too badly. I have to say though, I'm rather fond of the little pocket patch. Strange how these things grab us.

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Last note : 

  • Before anyone says anything, I've looked in H&M, Zara, M&S, Topshop, New Look and also had the Mint Velvet zip biker jeans and the M&S version too. The Mint Velvet and the M&S version were ruled out as the rise was a little too high and I sometimes like to wear a belt and have that showing. Oh go on I admit it, I sometimes like to do a fashion tuck. So any other recommendations anyone? Which won't break the bank?
  • Helpful hint. If anybody fancies doing their own patchwork jeans for fun or any other reason using iron on patches - remember to round off the corners as this helps prevent the corner catching and working loose. I learnt that from all the iron on name labels I did on George's school uniform :o)


Round your corners off!









37 comments:

  1. Another genius idea Sue! Fab way of getting maximum mileage out of a trusty pair of jeans and so bang on trend with the patches.....may have to try this out too x

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    1. I was just thinking I've seen lots of the blue patchwork jeans around but none of the black ones and this would be a fun project. The knee patch is not great and I'm waiting for George to grow out of one his old pairs of black faded jeans and I might cut those up and sew a patch on instead as this will eliminate the stiffness which you get on with iron on patches. If it's higher up on the thigh, it's not a problem as you're not bending there but not so good on the knee - definitely need something softer.

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  2. Hi my dear!! Guess what I was googling last night? Patchwork jeans to buy and now I've seen yours it really should be a DIY style job I think! You've done a fab job here and great tip on rounding the corners off too! Take a peek at River Island they are my go to for all skinny jeans for the last year, I have about 5 pairs bought and thrifted and they are so perfect- they come in regular and short, stretch nicely, wash and wear well and are so reasonably priced! Have a great weekend xxx

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    1. I've not tried River Island - I never seem to get on well with their jeans as they have a little too much detailing on them. I often come across the perfect finish and then they add a blingy bit on which kind of kills it a little for me. And as for the patchwork jeans - I definitely think you should give this a go - you must have enough denim around to make your own patches :o)

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  3. I can totally relate to that type of problematic regarding pants, especially when you are a bit wide hipped, and have a bit short legs. Sometimes when I try on pants I can feel it isn't made for my legs shape at all! My two best hunting grounds for jeans are Gap and Uniqlo. Have you looked into these yet?

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    1. That's me to a tee - hippy with short legs. So I need to get the perfect fit once it goes down from the knees to balance out the look. I often try Gap but not seen any black ones recently in a finish that I like (too black) and I've never tried Uniqlo yet - I can't work out their sizing at all and it seems an awful lot of trouble and expense as there are no free returns to cushion the expense of returning the ones which don't fit. Shame as I would probably have had a few pairs from there by now. The other thing is, the only Uniqlo's I've been in are in London or Hong Kong so they are definitely a shop few and far between.

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  4. I'm also on the hunt for black jeans! ASOS had some slim black jeans that looked promising.

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    1. Let me know if they work out for you. I'm still on the case but the only ones I like in the finishes I like are extortionate. Diesel had some nice ones but at £150+, I'm just not going there.

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    2. I think my jeans problem is solved - I had some as a teenager and got my mum to dig them out of my old wardrobe last night! Ultimate recycling.

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  5. ahh that is a good idea! I had the PERFECT pair of black jeans from Asos but the denim was really thin and they ended up with a threadbare patch on the seam of the inside leg. Was absolutely gutted but there was just no way of repairing them!!

    Hannah xx

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    1. I was a little worried about my favourite blue jeans earlier this year once they ripped at the knee. They'd been going strong for 3 years and I could definitely tell the denim was wearing thin but the one nice thing - the denim had loosened and softened so nicely. I still wear them though as I just thought it would be a shame not to and better to get the most out of them rather than fret about it. But damage on the inside seam - that's a tough one.

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  6. You are a genius - fact! Now, I'm off to find some patches for hubby's Diesel's that he's gutted have ripped...he will be pleased and think I am a domestic goddess...I may have to eventually fess up that it was you who inspired me! :) xx

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    1. Just google iron on patches on Ebay and there are loads on there at different prices. Just get something which are similar in colour - I don't think your hubby is going to be impressed with lovely contrast patches - as fashionable as they are :o)

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  7. Sterling job Sue! I think they look great! I actually do not own a pair of black jeans for the same reason, cannot find any, at all, anywhere. The H&M Girls pair I'm very partial to is in fact a normal cotton with stretch. I have enough black trousers and other jeans though, so can't complain. I need to use the patches on my son's jeans before he rips them. Good luck with the search!

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    1. Well I love black jeans but I do not get on with black trousers infact I'm hard pushed to say I've got some. I have one pair of black linen ones but that's it. For some reason I had a mental block on black trousers after I left work as I felt too worklike in them. And I know I'm missing a trick as there are some lovely shapes and styles out there and the other thing is fluff factor. I would spend all day trying to lint roll my trousers.

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  8. You are so creative Sue & I love how you have such a great give it a go attitude! They look fabulous! Ax

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    1. I'm a frustrated crafter I think. I do like little projects and like little challenges especially around clothes. But I can't actually sew for toffee, can't lay a pattern on fabric to make anything but I can make it look like I can. It's all an illusion with me.

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  9. You just make me smile when I read your posts, fab idea, need some black jeans myself, I had some old black J brand cords that I have hit the bin because I stretched them too much when I was pregnant, I have some Zara skinnys that have faded at the knees that I could dye black???

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    1. That is an option - the dying thing. I refuse to do any more dye projects, everyone that I have tried has gone belly up. The jeans might turn out fab or extremely black with brightish orange thread which would look a little false. It's the luck of the draw. But if you do try it - be sure to tell. I'm always googling projects that people have undertaken themselves.

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  10. Genius Sue, I think I have these same jeans and they are a perfect fit so I know why you're reluctant to let them go. I don't wear mine a lot though as I always feel too dressed up in black jeans during the day, but ill cry when my holes rip right through. But great to have this option with the super trendy patches!!x

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    1. I thought you had the same pair - I kept inspecting your photos to see if they were when you posted them. But it's a good idea if you want to keep them to add a couple of patches or you could patch from underneath but not with iron on patches and that might make them last a little longer ... and stop you putting your toe through :o) And you look great in your blue patched ones - funkiest mama I've seen for a while.

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  11. Funny how we are all different, I love your jeans on you but when I buy black, they have to be black, black for when I'm going out, but not out out!

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    1. And I can't do true black. It is strange, you all have an idea of a look you're going for or are happy with. You're smarter than me. I'm just a scruff.

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  12. Very cute! So funny that you posted this today. I'm looking to patch my favs and ran across this. http://rachaelandtim.blogspot.com/2012/10/pinterest-y-patched-jeans.html

    and this:
    http://www.ironpatches.co/buy-jean-patches.html

    I think the latter ships to your side of the pond:)

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    1. Oh how cool - I loved reading your post and you were certainly more inspired and clever about it than me. I'm not sure how many more patches I'll be doing on this pair but I don't think I'm quite done with them yet. This little moment of creativity may have unleashed a patchwork monster.

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  13. Genius! I live the pocket patch too - so cute! Lynne x

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    1. Me too - it makes me smile when I see it :o)

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  15. Have you tried Whistles? I was working with a client Friday who got some via John Lewis as they were having one of their price match days, they looked amazing on her. Worth a go x

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    1. I haven't actually. For some reason, I don't think of Whistles as a jean place and not a jean place with jeans which have any chance of fitting me. I tend to shop in places with have the option of leg lengths so I might actually stand a chance of buying a pair which doesn't need any alterations. Having said that, slightly too long jeans are not a problem - now that I know how to hem my own jeans "nicely".

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    2. I wouldn't have thought it either, but they really were good jeans, I was very impressed x

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  16. What a fab idea Sue, I shall definitely be trying this when my favourite pair becomes too worn. In fact some of my shop brought distressed jeans have patches on but behind the holes on the inside of the leg so uou've got the distressing but the warmth too! xx
    www.mymidlifefashion.com

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    1. I did see those ones in Zara earlier in the year but because these patches were iron on, I couldn't put them on from underneath. This is only round 1 in keeping these jeans going. I had another go at them today ....

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  17. Not a bad idea. I wish I could sew for occasions like this - more often than not my poor grandmother receives the grunt of my alterations!

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    1. If I had a grandmother who could sew, I would be throwing my alterations her way too. But as it is, I have to make it up as I go. I have so many alterations - it's such a bonus when I buy something and I don't have to do anything with it.

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  18. Ha the same thing happened to my zara distressed jeans, I knelt and the knees ripped about a foot long, they are now shorts as I couldn't find a way to patch them up properly while still keeping the distressing (it was really more like a sinkhole than a pothole)

    Wait, why not patch it on the inside so you still have a bit of distressing? x

    steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

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    1. I couldn't turn these in to shorts - I'd look like I had cycling shorts on or something - they are too tight. But I have had another go at them today with the patching on the inside and I have to say I'm liking them a lot more :o)

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