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May 18, 2011

The Blue Jean Baby Project: Hexagon Knee Patch

Most everyone has several pairs of jeans that are either too big or too small (or too long or short) (or too frayed at the bottom or holey at the knees) (or woefully out of style). I'm willing to bet that your denim is also probably one of the most durable items in your closet and that there are pairs in there that you've had for 10 years. Don't toss them yet; there are plenty of things you can do to revive old denim.

I've picked out five pairs of jeans -- well four pairs of jeans and one pair of jean shorts -- to restyle in completely different ways. I've had each of these pairs for at least five years so this here is a pile of memories:

I'm going to be using dye, bleach, fabric, zippers, embroidery, and ribbon to transform my old jeans into new denim that I actually want to wear. No project should cost more than $10 to complete and I'll post a step-by-step tutorial for each pair.

Each Wednesday I'll debut a new pair here on the blog.

First up...

The jeans: Abercrombie + Fitch jeans - probably the most sentimental pair I own, as I bought them in 2002 specifically to wear on my first date with Nekos. I know, I'm fancy like that. These jeans have also been a barometer of my weight losses and gains over the years. If I can fit into these, I'm feeling pretty good. If they're loose, I'm feeling great. If they're tight, I need to waddle to Weight Watchers fast as I can. I have worn these suckers to threads (obviously). Both the knees were destroyed long ago and now the crotch is starting to show wear, too. But I hope to always, always have these in my closet.

*Actually I found a photo of me wearing these same jeans in 2002 :)

The inspiration: This was a total copycat project, taking inspiration from a Sew Mama tutorial about how to make hexagons using English paper piecing. I've posted before about wanting to try knee patches but that was before I came across this and fell in love with the idea of a hexagon flower knee patch. It just speaks to my '70s-loving soul.

Source: Sew Mama Sew
The cost: $0, assuming you have fabric scraps, computer paper, scissors, needle, and thread. The only thing that most people don't have lying around -- but that you might want to pick up -- is fusible interfacing, which will give your knee patch extra stability and durability. Fusible interfacing is normally $2.50 a yard at most every fabric store. You don't need a sewing machine for this project. It's a great one to knock out during a night or two of TV-watching.

The time: 3 - 4 hours

Resources I used and loved:
  1. Sew Mama Sew
  2. Craftstylish
  3. The Sometimes Crafter
The process:

1) Download and print a sheet of paper covered with hexagons. With this great free download you can specify the size of your hexagon. (I think I chose 1.25 inches for mine.) Next, cut out your hexagons. You'll need seven of them to form a hexagon flower.

2) Select your fabrics. I followed the Sew Mama Sew example and selected four different fabrics to create my flower.

3) Use a glue stick to glue a paper hexagon to the wrong side of your fabric. Then cut out each shape, leaving about a quarter of an inch seam allowance.

4) Hand fold the overlapping fabric over the hexagon and use a wide basting stitch to temporarily secure it into place.

5) Once you've basted all of your hexagons, you'll start sewing them wrong side together using a whip stitch. Try not to catch any of the paper with your thread, just sewing the fabric together. 

6) This is the optional part: Trace your hexagon flower on a piece of iron-on interfacing. Then cut out the piece of interfacing and put it to the side. 

7) Once you have your hexagons all sewn together and have cut our your interfacing if you're going to use it, very carefully pull out the pieces of paper and then carefully remove the basting stitches. 

8) If you're going to add interfacing to your flower, now's the time. Use your iron to attach the interfacing to the flower. 

9) You will now be ready to attach your hexagon flower to your jeans or any other surface. Use a blind stitch to sew it onto your blue jeans. I actually sewed up the gap in my jeans by hand first and then sewed the patch on but I don't think that's necessary. 

10) Please let me know if you tackle this yourself! I found it really easy to do and I love the finished product. 

See you next Wednesday for the next pair of restyled jeans?


  1. CindyMay 18, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    I loved them with the 2 ripped knees, but these new jeans, are EVEN BETTER! Love em!

  2. Lil Muse LilyMay 19, 2011 at 6:32 AM

    that came out great. what a happy flower. but, what are you going to do about the crotch?

  3. Ellen Mallernee BarnesMay 20, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    haha do you think it would be vulgar to put hexagons on the crotch too? ;)

  4. JillMay 30, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    Great restyle of those jeans!

    I would love if you came and linked this project to my clothes upcycling project page. It has a long term linky, so your project would stay there for more than just the week of a usual linky. We have over 90 projects linked up now – some fantastic ideas.
    Do come and take a look!

  5. black chinosAugust 11, 2012 at 6:32 AM

    wowwww amazing found! ;) These are amazing!

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