I have two little boys, and fortunately, I got lots of hand-me-downs from a friend. I’ve noticed, however, that pants seem to be somewhat elusive. I always end up with plenty of shirts from other people or from shopping sales, but pants are always in short supply. I’m not sure if it’s because they’re less exciting to buy or if kids just wear them out faster. Either way, I always try to stock up on pants, especially jeans, at yard sales.
I happened to luck into a bunch of ripped jeans at a yard sale last summer. They were priced at 25 or 50 cents each, and I chose a couple of good brands, planning to patch them with monster faces or something cute that I had seen on pinterest. When I went up to pay, the lady told me I could have any of the other ripped pants I wanted for FREE—um, hello—free kids’ pants? YES, please. I grabbed three or four pairs in each size she had (and I left over half of what she had—she has a house full of boys, too). I’ve had them stashed in my mending pile since the summer since my son wasn’t into those sizes yet. Thanks to a growth spurt, I had to tackle some mending this month.
I looked at the cute monster faces and decided it would take too long, so I gathered some cute boy fabrics I had and chose to mend it the faster way. However, I think they turned out just as cute. Here’s how I did it:
First, gather supplies:
- some cute prints—my favorite here are the little wiener dogs, but any cute prints you like will work
- some iron-on mending fabric
- equipment: pins, iron, sewing machine, etc.
I chose to mend these pants in an assembly line fashion, so I first ironed the patches on everything, then ironed the edges of my fabric patches, and then sewed them all on. In the interests of you learning from my mistakes, I first tried to zig zag stitch the rips, but it didn’t work out well, and I really think the iron-on patches make everything so much more stable. The fabric overlay is really just for looks. The iron-on patches do all the heavy lifting of holding the rip together.
Cut a piece of iron-on patch fabric big enough to cover the rip. I try to go past the edges by at least 1/4”.
Next iron the edges of your fabric so there’s a nice clean edge once it’s stitched down. After that, I pinned very well to prevent shifting. Children’s pants are very small, so it’s difficult to maneuver it around the sewing machine. For this project, I had to use my old machine because my new quilting machine doesn’t have a free arm. Space was so tight that I had to sew in reverse on a couple sides of the patch—just do the best you can to get all the way around the patch.
Clip your threads on the back when you’re finished (I noticed a tension problem on my machine AFTER I had sewn the patches—they’re still secure, though, so I’m not going to worry about it). Other than maneuvering such a small pant leg around your machine, this is a pretty straightforward project.
At first I had planned for these to be for play only. However, my son likes them so much that I’ve been letting him wear them wherever he wants. Besides, I honestly think they’re cuter than plain jeans anyway!
These will work for boys or girls, I think, depending on the fabrics chosen. I could even see myself doing some cute flower embroidery on girls’ patches….if I’m blessed enough to have a little girl in my future sometime. I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes peeled at yard sales from now on for cheap jeans!