Just When I Thought They were Safe to Wear...
Sewing has become such a part of my life now, that I have a pile of materials and things to mend on the end of the sofa and I think my family might be fed up of moving my box of threads, sewing tools and current project out of the way when we want to fit extras in for watching a movie. On occasions my pins seem to start getting low and that calls for retrievals from under the sofa, where they've fallen between the cracks.
Poor sofa…although today this 13 year old piece of furniture got it's own repairs where my husband has been fiddling with the top cushion and it was losing some stuffing from the split seams. I'd been putting the job off for a while as I pondered whether I'd have any thread strong enough to hold the heavy fabric together for an area which comes under pressure. Here was where my late grandmother came to the rescue once again as I delved through her old sewing box and found carpet repair thread. Do they even sell things like that any more? We don't tend to repair as much, these days, instead choosing to just replace in this cheap, throw away economy.
But I digress. My current sofa project is yet another pair of jeans, in between repairs of work gloves and whatever else my daughter or husband hand me. I wanted to do a free hand pattern again and was thinking spirals, but couldn't get tight ones consistent. So it ended up in loose ones and they put me in mind of vine tendrils, so this one's going green.
Why the free hand? Because my last project with the more complex pattern went on for ages and just when I thought I'd done my husband happily proclaimed he'd found a hole in the butt when I was wearing them! I was all set for sharing the project, too. I’m going to share it anyway and maybe others can learn from my mistakes.
I originally posted about this project, thinking it was finished, in May 2020. That might give you an idea how time consuming it's been. Having said that, I haven't gotten back to it since the discovery of the hole, instead choosing to continue with the green spirals project I'd excitedly started, thinking that one completed.
My first mistake was trying to do a quick repair job. If my experiences mending jeans have taught me anything, it's that once the first hole appears more will soon follow. Fabric wears and that's a fact, so if the knees are going, the thighs and butt won't be far behind. I'd just done a knee repair and a hole on the pocket, with edging on the worn pocket edges, so no surprises that I only got to wear them a few times before the other knee needed doing. The fabric was thinning all the way up the leg from the knees anyway, so I needed to go big and stitch the lot. I was out of turquoise colours and trying to mix some green with blues I had, then, like an angel, someone in my local buy nothing group gifted me some more turquoise. It was slightly greener than what I'd started with, but that was fine.
The grid is in place on the first leg and the new turquoise thread arrives!
First leg complete, onto the next one.
My second mistake, at least it's a mistake if I’m wanting to speed up the process, was the pattern choice. First the grid needs drawing in, which involves measuring and ruling up. Then the circles need drawing in, all before sewing can commence. I do a lot of my sewing while watching TV with the family and the grid can't really be done on my lap, so extra time needs to be put aside for that. The circles I can do freehand once the grid is in place. The pattern then requires a lot of stitching, because it's so compacted. The benefit of this is that it will catch in all the edges of the patches on the back, even if they are small, the down side is that it's time consuming.
Found some more random turquoise threads in my daughters' old craft things.
My third mistake wasn't discovered until I put the jeans on for what I thought would be the completion shots. They were a tight fit, because I hadn't taken into account that they were stretch jeans and I'd used a none stretchy fabric as support at the back. It was a good job I'd only done the front and not the back as well, otherwise I wouldn't have even gotten them on. I'm going to have to be careful with my choice of fabrics when I start on the back. Even stretch denim might still not have enough give once the stitching is done, so I'm thinking t-shirt material might be the better choice.
After the first wash with some of the pen still showing and now looking smudgy.
The fourth mistake was not taking the stitching to the bottom hem, because it just didn't look right once they were on. Short cuts really don't work and if I'm honest some of the thread doesn't really stand out and makes it look patchy.
In some ways I feel like I should probably give it up as a bad job, but too much of me wants to salvage the hours of work and the thread. So I feel like this is...
...to be continued...