Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How to patch a ripped inseam

Nothing makes a woman feel fatter than splitting a seam in her pants. I know this because I do it over and over again.

Yep, it's kind of embarrassing to admit this. But the thing I try to remember is, when you split your inseam, it's not about being large. It's about friction. I know this is true because I've been every size from a 2 to a 12, and it's happened at all of them.

Like a lot of women, I carry most of my weight on my thighs. On top of that, since I don't have very wide hips, my thighs touch. Always, even at my smallest. Thanks to the friction this contact causes, the inseam of my jeans is bound to take a beating.

I can't tell you how many jeans I've had to throw out that were in excellent shape everywhere else. Whether they were less than $20 or a ridiculous splurge over $100, this has happened in equal share to more than a few of my pants.

But no more.

I've figured out how to patch these inseam rips and salvage my favorite jeans for just a few dollars and in just a few minutes. Here's how:

First, it's a good idea to tackle this problem when the rip is minor, like this.

Because even though it may not look like much from the outside, the inside of the pants tells a different story:

Here's what you need for this quick fix:
  • A glue gun
  • An iron
  • Iron-on denim patches, like these:

Why a glue gun, you ask? When an inseam rips it usually happens underneath the serged seam, which folds down to cover the rip. This not only makes it difficult to reach but nearly impossible to sew together again without taking in the entire pant leg. By lightly gluing the ripped seam together and more thoroughly gluing the serged seam down on top of it, you're essentially "plugging the hole" and preventing the rip from growing. Also, you need the serged seam flat for the next step.

So, turn your pants inside out and get to work.

Next, it's time to use the patches. They are used to fortify the fabric, so to speak, to keep it strong, to bolster the glued seam, and to lessen the chance of further ripping.

The patches are quite large for this project, but you can cut them to fit. I cut one in half (and rounded the edges, as per the product instructions). Keeping the pants inside-out, I laid the patch across the serged seam, long enough to go a few inches past either side of the rip.

Then I busted out the ol' iron, heated on the 'Cotton' setting. I pressed for about 30-45 seconds, then checked the edges to be sure all was secure.

And there you have it: a $2, 5-minute solution to an aggravating problem.

Mind you, the final result isn't picture perfect; after all, your jeans have experienced quite a bit of wear and tear, you know. But remember, this fix is all about containment: The rip will be stopped in its tracks and the denim given extra reinforcements to keep your favorite jeans in your wardrobe and out of the trash.

Good luck!


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