When I mended my jeans with crocheted lace patches


Monday morning on feedly I saw this post:

Mended: black Uniqlo jeans mended with Sashiko stitching

with a link to instagram for other sashiko stitching suggestions.

Which reminded me of a jeans repair strategy from my college days:

My jeans developed holes near the hipbone because I was a chemistry major and had leaned against the lab bench where some acid had spilled.  One or two knees went out from the natural tendency of all jeans.

I went to Houghton College.  It was awesome to study there, but it’s so rural that if I had had a car (and a driver’s license) it would have taken me 10 minutes to drive to a stoplight.  The grocery store in Fillmore did carry some calico, but getting a ride there took more connections than I had my freshman year.

So, with no fabric for patching, I decided to crochet a lace motif out of some knit-cro-sheen I’d stashed in the bottom of my sewing box.  I wasn’t sure if it would hold up, being lacy,  and a bit stretchy, but I made a pinwheel, and hand sewed it in place. The ventilation through my knee was unpleasant in late fall, but the pants didn’t droop or catch on the bottom of my kneecap either, so I declared it a success.  For the finer acid holes in the high hip I used #10 cotton, and some spiderweb pattern.

That’s when I unexpectedly caused a stir.  People I didn’t even know (including guys) asked me for patches.  My elegant NYC suite mate gave me a sketch of what hers should look like.  I was delighted, I think I mended about 10 pairs.  We joked about taking a photo, but no one had a working camera at a opportune time.  I felt like a fashion designer, and I was making friends…with upperclassmen.

By this time my RA suggested taking me to the Galleria in Buffalo to buy some clothes, and when I got home for Thanksgiving, my parents reminded me that they would have been happy to help me to new ones, but they liked the frugality.  The patches actually outlasted the jeans, and I may have sewn them onto another pair.

I haven’t crocheted patches since, but the next jeans of mine to go out, I think I’ll revive the practice – or try Holly’s Sashiko.


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