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Monday, July 2, 2012

Making my blue jeans last

I bought these when my son was in high school.
He graduated from the University two years ago.
The jeans have been overdyed, once, are frayed
at the hem, and are wide-legged (ugh, can't believe
 I wore them!). I finally replaced them with a new
dark pair this spring. Now it's time to remake
this pair into summer capris.
by Lili Mounce

I have a jeans cycling plan that I've used for the last 30 years.  I begin with a pair of dark denim jeans. These are my dress jeans (with a white shirt and blazer, I can go to about 80% of the places I need to be).

I take very good care of these jeans. Before I wash them, I turn them inside out, zip and button them. After drying, I turn them right side out again and keep them on a hanger.  The kind of hanger for slacks, with a clip at the hem, is best.  (Hanging them this way allows moisture, from wearing them, to escape. Moisture is one of two enemies of fabric, dirt being the other.)

When my dark denims begin to look not so dark anymore, I overdye them with Rit dark denim dye. This'll give me about another year of life as "best" jeans.

When these jeans are no longer "dress" worthy, they become my babysitting, work around the house and in the garden jeans.  And when even this purpose doesn't suit them, I cut off and hem and they become summer shorts.

I scavenge good bits of fabric for craft and sewing projects. I had several long enough pieces to sew together to make a denim ruffle for my daughter's favorite dress, a while back.

And after I have gotten all the use out of them that I can, the tail end of my jeans get cut into rag-size pieces and used for paint clean-up, auto maintenance, and cleaning outdoor furniture, and then finally tossed.

This week I am turning my older pair of jeans into summer capris. I'll give you an update and how-tos in a day or two.


  1. Totally agree ref 80% of places with a pair of jeans. I'm self-employed, and started wearing Jeans to client appointments also!

    1. Hi Jo,
      It's really great that we can wear jeans to most places these days. they're so much more comfortable, and easy care, plus very durable, and if I have an appointment, I can just throw a blazer on over my shirt and I'm totally ready to roll!
      Thanks for visiting!

  2. I wish I could fix up an old pair of khakis I have... Only had them for 8 years or so and they were SO comfy and fit perfectly and were the best color! But now they have giant holes near the crotch/zipper/butt etc. I actually tried patching an old favorite pair of jeans with the same problem a few years back and it was a huge mess--just didn't work out! Major bummer.

    1. My favorite sweatpants have gone that way, as well. I've not had success patching the crotch of any pants. But they are my painting/project pants (just hope no one comes to the door when I'm in them!). And will someday be used for rags.
      Thanks for commenting!


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