Monday, April 1, 2013

De-stashing my life

Since my last post, I've been really busy with my goats and in preparing my house for sale. My crafty hands don't like that at all!  However, I was able to complete a baby afghan for a young mom in West Texas. I wanted to display it as I was crocheting it, but didn't want her to suspect it would be hers! Granny squares are sooooo soothing.
But the time has come to de-stash my life.

I know, I know, but this time I mean it! We plan to put our house up for sale in early May, so the clock is ticking!

Of course, when I went in the sewing room, I found a stack of jeans that needed repair on top of the sewing cabinet. Rather than jump into the de-stash (stall warning), I decided to repair the jeans first.


Working on the ranch can really mess up your jeans with barbed wire and such. Farm clothes get dirty and torn, kinda like 'play clothes' from when I was a kid. Fix the holes, patch the tears, and, voila!, another pair of jeans rejoins the queue. Like most sewing skills, mending has some tricks that ensure a strong, lasting repair. Ah, denim blue.

Here's a quick tutorial. First, stabilize the tear with stay-stitiching. Just a quick straight stitch around the edges prevents further raveling or stretching out of shape.

Trim excess fraying and raveling. However, on work clothes, I leave the warp or woof threads that are still connected at both ends; I only trim the broken ones.

Determine whether to patch and darn from the back, or place a patch on the outside. If the tear is new and the edges meet up reasonably well, I prefer to patch from the back as it generally is less obvious and a lighter weight backing material can be used. Baste the patch in place. Next, I use a multi-stitch zig zag stitch to 'darn' the tears and secure them to the backing fabric. On this repair, I inserted a line of stitching diagonal to the patch to provide strength along the grain of the fabric.

With a top patch, I use similar fabric to cut a patch, making sure its edges will sew into fabric that is not weak. Be sure to match the grain lengthwise to avoid the patch stretching out of shape. In this case, with a patch near the knee, I did a satin stitch edge to secure the edges of the patch from fraying or coming loose.

Wow. I forgot about these jeans! A piece of metal tore a humongous hole in those jeans (and me, too!).

That's it! Four pairs of jeans returned to service! Well worth a half hour of time. One pair was sent to recycle heaven: those jeans were ripped in the crotch and the fabric was nearly worn through. I would have needed to replace the entire seat.  Ain't nobody got time for that!

Ah. Back to de-stashing. I did a quick sort of random yarns, and pulled out odd skeins and weights and made a pile. I offered it free to friends on facebook and got multiple offers in a few minutes. There's some yarn gone! I also packed up all of my sewing patterns (which is a lot after 40+ years). One box done!