Thursday, July 25, 2013

RWAR! Monster Jeans!

[Note: This post was originally published on The Mrs on November 5th 2011. And pinned over 2k times on Pinterest... I can't even... wow... and imagine all those dead links when The Mrs finally fades...

Also? I have a pair of MY jeans with a monster patch... yes, my children will one day realize what I'm wearing to pick them up at school and be suitably mortified. Heh.]

Yep. You guessed it. Another tutorial. I got crafty this week, and I’m sharing.

As a mom, one of my big pet peeves is holes in kids’ pants. And as a mom of boys, you can see I’m fighting a losing battle.

Being frugal, I can’t get rid of them — they’re banished to the play clothes pile, where knobby knees poking out still plague me on a daily basis, but at least I know they’re dressed decently when we actually get out of the house... oy.

And don’t get me started on the many reasons why jorts are just wrong (for starters, this isn’t the 1970s...).

So imagine my glee when I heard about this:

No, I didn’t come up with this idea myself. I found it here (I can hear you rolling your eyes — yes, it’s another Pinterest link). The reason I wrote this tutorial? I followed that little Pinterest link to the source website to discover it’s in Dutch. Or German. Or some other language my ignorant-self can’t recognize.

And the first three pairs turned out pretty cool, so I thought I’d take some photos as I finished the last.

And it only took scraps! Red flannel for the patch itself, and a little black and white felt for the eyes and teeth. And a sewing machine, of course (though it looks like the original poster did theirs by hand — I’m dubious as to the durability without machine stitching).

First thing’s first. Cut a patch more than wide enough to cover the ripped knee. It’s difficult to see, because I used red thread, but I zig-zag stitched the edges of the patch to keep it from unravelling (how I wish I owned a serger!).

Then cut some teeth out of felt and sew them to the red patch — remember to make the teeth long enough that the stitches are hidden once the patch is in place.

Put the patch inside the jeans and make sure the fabric is laying nice and flat. Looks cool already, doesn’t it?

Pin the edges of the patch in place — this is important because it’s tricky to get inside the pant leg with the sewing machine, so you’re basically sewing blind. If you’ve got the edges nicely pinned, you can sew inside your pinned border and know it’s catching properly.

Now zig zag that patch in place! My sewing machine had an entire section that came off to make getting into that pant leg mercifully easier! Though I did some swearing anyway...

I added an extra line of stitching to keep the jean edge from rolling up over the teeth.

Then I added eyes — just black felt and red stitching. The nice part about felt is that it doesn’t need to be edged, and the nice part about this project is that it’s supposed to look imperfect and homemade, so go for goofy and uneven — it’ll look great!

Like I said, I did a bunch, and it took me about an hour and a half to two hours to get them done. What’d I learn? The black and red eyes look snazzier than the orange, and I’d stick with mismatched circular eyes.

(Artsy secret: the more you make it obvious you’re deliberately not going for symmetry, the cooler it is.)

And now those play clothes are extra fun! I won’t cringe when they’re outgrown and put into the hand-me-down bag for the next kid in line! They’re not perfect, but they’re much better than passing on jeans with a hole in the knee!

And of course the boys love them — had to show everyone their monsters!

Hm. I should probably tell them not to go around telling people there’s a monster in their pants, shouldn’t I?


  1. "When The Mrs finally fades," she says. Hmph.

  2. My kids LOVE it when I monsterize a pair of pants. My little girl is excited about the possibility of wearing her older brother's monster pants when she's big enough (though she loves secondhand clothes from her older brother regardless). It's a big thing around here when I turn a pair of pants into monster pants.

  3. In my defense when I scheduled this post (months ago) it was a much higher likelihood...

  4. Yay! Here, too.

    We've now taken to cutting up old blown out monster jeans into strips to use as roads for dinky cars, too. The boys LOVE it. :)

  5. Love this!

    If you used a serger (I have one... aaaand a coverstitch) I don't think it would look as neat (but I hate serged seams on the outside of clothes - whoever invented that look was just plain LAZY!)

    Also, how in the heck did you do the swirly eyes with a regular machine? I think it would have taken me many more than a few swears and it still would have gone awry =/

  6. Yeah, yeah. We all know I'm a big fat quitter...see how much progress there's been on the "Where's Lannis?" sidebar?

  7. Thanks, Loretta! :)

    I am jealous of your serger and your coverstitch! I do everything with a regular old sewing machine... boo.

    And re: swirly eyes. Um... VERY carefully on a regular machine. A couple of stitches at a time and with much bunching of denim--possibly why I decided the kitschy-not-so-perfect-look was preferable to perfection. ;)

  8. "Big fat quitter" = great euphemism for "Super-busy-professional-supermom"... ;)