I finally got around to darning my jeans yesterday, after four months of putting down on each daily 'to-do list' I wrote. Procrastination, anyone?
I shouldn't have dawdled, considering how easy it is to do. Before yesterday, I'd only darned by hand (a pain). With my machine, this quick denim rejuvenation was painless and satisfying! I feel like I have three new pairs to wear!
Here's how to do it:
Before you start, round up your hole-y jeans, your sewing machine, some matching thread (or go nuts with some funky colors! Your choice!), some pins, and a thin, somewhat stretchy, soft material for reinforcing. I used some scraps from a pair of my sister's jeans which we'd just turned to shorts. I would also recommend shirting, thin corduroy, or even polar fleece–which I hear works very well. On to the process.
First, locate your holes and worn areas. (Mine always seem to fall apart at the inner leg on the left side. Consistent problem...odd.)
Second, turn your jeans inside out and cut a patch of your reinforcement material to fit the worn area. Make sure you encompass the area right around any holes you have–the area is likely very weak. (Look for buckling, fraying and super-softness.) Pin on your patch.
Third, put a denim needle in your machine and set it for a darning stitch, inserting the proper foot. (In case you don't have a computer of a machine like I do, a darning stitch should look something like 21 or 32, shown below. Darning is basically weaving–your stitch should feature many small stitches running into each other, close together. I used 21, figuring the 'zig zag' would favor my slightly-spandex jeans a bit better.)
Fourth, darn that business! Run the stitch over the fabric to cover the weakened area. When you're done, tie your knots, cut off any lagging patch corners, and turn your jeans right side out! VOILA!
Alright... your turn! Go make new clothes out of the old! A recession-era pastime...and a lot of fun.