on the mend

This morning as I was getting dressed I noticed that the knee of my favorite (read only) pair of jeans that fits right now had a little hole worn in the knee which promised to grow to much larger proportions the first time I kneeled  on the floor to play blocks or read stories.  So, I promptly headed down stairs to my sewing machine and got to work.


I just cut a scrap of denim from an unrecoverable pair of kid jeans and pinned it inside, then zig-zagged the bejeebers out of it.  I used a grayish blue thread on top to try to camouflage it a bit.

trimming the patch

Then I trimmed the patch inside with pinking shears.

I find myself needing to do this a lot.  You see, I am not a shopper.  Spending money gives me stress.  I don’t like to buy things I don’t absolutely love, but often when I find something I do love it’s too expensive, so I won’t buy it anyway.  I guess that’s why I only have one pair of jeans.  These Eddie Bauer classics are the only kind I’ve found that fit just right and look cute, but I have a hard time spending the money to get a pair or two more.  I shop for my kids the same way– hardly ever.  This is posing a problem now that the weather is cooler because my kids need pants.  I thought I had just bought them all some, but as I caught up on laundry and put away all the summer clothes this week I realized that “just” that was in my mind was a year ago or more.  Every pair I found had holes in the knees or patches or holes in the patches.

The problem is, my boys especially wear holes in the knees of their clothes within a couple of weeks of getting new ones.  I’ve realized I can’t buy cute jeans from the Gap or Old Navy because they just won’t last– it’s all the rigorous Lego playing that they do. I usually end up with a stock of these Land’s End double kneed pants because it takes a while to wear through both layers.  They just aren’t the most fashionable thing.

Anyway, I’m gearing up for the shopping I need to do.  I’m thinking I probably need to work up to 5 pairs of pants for each kid.  2 pairs of everyday pants or jeans, 2 pairs of sweats (because that’s what my kids will wear everyday if they could) and a pair of nice pants for church and such.  Does that sound about right?  My friends out there with lots of little kids– how do you keep up with kids’ clothes without breaking the bank?  What number of shirts, pants, etc. would your ideal kid’s wardrobe consist of?  Are you a mender?

As for me, I’ll probably be sticking to this one pair of jeans for quite a while longer.

it hardly shows!

I noticed as I was reading this morning that you can hardly even tell they’re patched up.  That’s got to make ’em good for another year at least.  Right?

12 thoughts on “on the mend

  1. We have started buying jeans at Goodwill. We have gotten them in excellent condition, and they are only about $2 a pair. Also, for my 2yo, I buy jeans/pants from Target. They have elastic waistband ones that still look nice for $4 a pair.

  2. Hi, Jessica! I’d agree with the comment above–I love Goodwill and thrift stores. I sometimes find things there that still have tags on them from the store they were bought at originally! You can find some quality stuff for cheap and with kids growing so fast, it’s great! Also–there’s a new thrift store I’ve checked out–Unique. It’s down on Buckley and Iliff. Good luck!

  3. I’m not a shopper either, it sometimes feels like a waste of time when you cannot find anything.
    When Jon and Patrick were younger and wore out the knees before they grew out of pants (those were the days) I would put patches inside the pants when they were brand new. This gave triple protection.
    Spread the word that you love hand me downs and you’ll be surprised how much clothing will be on your doorstep.
    I also shop the target sales racks. I love finding 3 dollar jeans with a 1 dollar shirt. Meg found some 60 dollar boots for 10 dollars on the sales rack last year.

  4. I wish I was more like you. Unfortunately, I do like to shop. But I don’t love spending tons of money either…I have had great luck with the Castle Rock outlets, the clearance racks of course. I’ve even scored some great bargains on Eddie Bauer Jeans for me! Good luck!

  5. I also hate to spend money…on kids clothes especially…but with all my boys I have seen the wisdom in buying quality pants since they’ll be going through several children over the years. Sears has a really great brand called TKS. They guarantee that your kids will grow out of the clothes before they wear them out. If they wear out first, then they’ll replace it or pay you back. I’ve yet to take them up on the offer as all my TKS brand clothes are still looking great 8 years and several kids later. You may not always be able to find the pants you want however, so I’ve recently started doing gym bucks. Gymboree’s quality is usually impressive and when you use the gym bucks on already clearanced items it’s comparable in price to what you’d pay at Target or Walmart, but with the lasting quality.
    I do a lot of mending, but it’s usually because someone has gotten creative with scissors! 😉 Good luck!

  6. I have 7 children-4 boys and 3 girls, and I hate shopping as well.
    I have a clothing checklist, that I use twice a year to make sure that each person has the essentials covered when the weather changes. When it’s time to switch out clothes for the next season, I see what we already have that will work, and keep track of what I still need to buy using the checklist.
    It’s basically 4 to 5 ‘everyday’ outfits, (we homeschool, so these don’t need to be super nice), 1-2 going out outfits (eating out, field trips, etc.) 1-2 church outfits. (Or for my boys, it’s usually one pair of dress slacks, with 2 dress shirts to alternate.) I also put on the checklist the essential underclothes, and clothes for the season (ie, bathing suits, or coats, etc. that they might need for the season.)
    I used to buy so many clothes, but later realized that many of them barely got worn. I finally pared it down to these essentials.
    I hate mending. I used to just give or throw away clothes that needed mending, but my 14 yo girl loves it, so now she mends for us.
    I generally buy the kids clothes at Target or Academy. For some reason, we don’t ruin knees in jeans like we used to. I don’t know why.

  7. I can *never* find jeans for me at Goodwill. Never. Nobody donates longs or talls.

    I’m so glad to hear your kids go through the knees of their pants quickly. My sisters in law all just blinked at me with one of their “Jessica is such a nut job” silences when I asked them if their children wore through their pants at the speed of light. Nope, just mine. I’m going to chalk that up to all the on the floor creative playing they do instead of sitting at desks to make myself feel better.

  8. You know, the things that have lasted through all 4 boys are from Gymboree. I need to make it a priority to stop in there once or twice a month and check the sales racks and do the gymbucks thing. I never have luck with thrift stores. I hate to shop too much that going through the racks and racks is just discouraging.
    I’ll check for TKS at sears too. I have good luck with the Land’s End things there.

  9. Yeah, the crawling on the floor playing legos really takes its toll on knees! I get the “Jessica is a nut job” look too. I guess if it’s the price we pay for having lots of free creative play, then so be it. I just need to suck it up and go shopping.

  10. Shopping online is way easier than shopping in a store for me. If you sign up for Gymboree emails, they’ll let you know when they are doing specials and clearances, and the selection (sizes) is better online than in stores, at least around here. I mostly buy from the Children’s Place though, between their coupons, sales, and rewards club kick-backs, I can get what I want for pretty cheap, and they are good quality too. I’ve also heard that Kmart has a policy similar to the Sears one mentioned above.

  11. Hi! actually I found out when you absolutely HAVE to spend $$ on kids pants. if you go to Sears they have a guarentee which they will replace any pair of pant of kids unlessits the next size up. just bring in the ripped pant and presto you got a new pair! with the reciept of course!

  12. Looks like you did a great job on those jeans. I’m going to have to aquire that skill. Chandler runs holes in his new jeans in less than 2 weeks usually. Rough, rough play. That’s the way it is when they play hard, right?! Anyhoo, there’s a great sale on boys jeans at Target on Black Friday. Six dollars a pair and they’re pretty nice. I found that deal last year and planned to stock up when Black Friday came around again. Oh, and I always buy up a size in clothes and shoes. Kids grow way too fast!

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