Mending My Ways

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


2 boys;
7 pairs of pants;
11 holes-in-the-knee and 3 more developing; and
No sewing machine.

You'd think they spend their days crawling, not running.  


Iron-on appliques.
After scouring the net, I couldn't find any that appealed, so I made my own. 

Very, very easy.  Honestly.  

Have I mentioned that my mother had to finish my home-economics project, because I was incapable of sewing a cushion in the shape of the letter "K"?

Actually, it was a hole (sorry) lot of fun, and much cheaper than 7 new pairs of pants. 
  1. Select and pre-wash contrasting fabrics for the applique and patch.
  2. Trace the applique design onto the paper side of the iron-on applique material (eg Bondaweb).
  3. Roughly cut out the applique design, leaving a bit of border. 
  4. Repeat the process, this time tracing the shape you'll need for the background fabric (the actual patch).
  5. Place the design on the wrong-side of your applique fabric and iron on.
  6. Place the patch shape on the wrong-side of your background fabric and iron on.
  7. Cut out the shapes precisely.
  8. Peel away the backing paper from the applique.
  9. Position the applique on the correct side of the patch and iron on using a cool iron.
  10. Iron the patch onto the garment.
  11. Sew both the applique and the patch for reinforcement, or you might find yourself screaming at the child who whiled away a long car ride by peeling them off.  
I've had requests for a patch that looks like Fred.  

With only two pairs down and five to go, I'll have plenty of opportunity to pay tribute.  


  1. Clever Kate. I usually apply pockets taken from old disposable jeans. But your patches are nicer, so cute.

  2. I cannot believe you wrote this post without mentioning the fact that in the early 1990's you sewed bandanas into your holey jeans. So early 90's grunge of you. I remember this because I thought it was soooo cool I begged my mom to do the same thing to mine.

  3. Emily, I nearly did mention the bandanas but it was already way past my bedtime and all I could manage was the instructions. But, be rest assured: when at the fabric shop, I couldn't resist buying a bandana or two, so stay tuned - that look may be making a comeback in Adelaide!

  4. Wowza! Looks great!
    Well, it does sound kind of complicated, but I'm the one who didn't even take home ec because all the boys were industrial arts and that looked like more fun. I knew I could cook and I wasn't interested in the other stuff.

    But maybe I'll give it a try and find it's really as simple as you say. Do you have Bend the Rules with Fabric? I'm wondering if that would be a fun one to have...

  5. Rachel, I swear it IS easy - I just provided a very wordy explanation. I read about how to do applique in Cath Kidston's "Make". Her instructions, unlike mine, were illustrated, thank heaven! I should have taken photos as I went along but that was just one step too many for a first time attempt. As for Bend The Rules, I borrowed "Bend The Rules Sewing" by the Angry Chicken chick - is that the same thing? - from the library (we are big borrowers) and after renewing multiple times, decided I couldn't do without it. Scoured the shops but no luck. Was going to order it, but then had to return my friend's sewing machine (borrowing, again) and lost my momentum. Now, I am all fired up again, and trolling ebay for a machine of my own. If you like sewing, do you ever read Heather Ross's blog or, better still, Katie Did? very inspiring.


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