Throwback Saturday: How to Mend Your Jeans

One of my earlier posts from exactly 5 years ago today… I still remember crackin’ myself up while writing this…

Mend Your Jeans Tutorial

Today I feel like Bill Murray’s character, Bob, in the movie, “What About Bob”, one of my all time favorites. It is a hilarious laugh fest throughout every scene. In the movie, Bill Murray portrays a man riddled with anxiety who has every phobia in the book. He “accidentally” ends up  on vacation with his psychiatrist, played by Richard Dreyfuss, and ends up driving his doctor completely out of his mind. My favorite scene in the movie is when he is covered in life jackets and tied to the mast of the sailboat joyously and triumphantly proclaiming,



What does this have to do with today’s post you ask? Well, today I’ve forced myself to do something I don’t like to do so I’m feeling a bit like Bill Murray and I want to triumphantly proclaim:


You see, as strange as this might sound, I hate to mend.

WHAT??!!?!!? Screeeeeetch…. Back the truck up! I can almost hear you shout.

The Renegade Seamstress hates to mend?

Yep, it’s true. I’ve never been much of a mender. In the past, I’d rather stick a needle in my eye. But today, I’m actually mending and much like Bill Murray’s character, Bob, I want to tie myself to my sewing machine and joyously shout out my amazing accomplishment to the world.


It all started because I’m too cheap to go out and buy new jeans for Cooper. His jeans are wearing out quickly, but with summer fast approaching and school just about over, I’d rather not buy any new jeans now, since he’ll most likely grow out of them by fall. So here I am, actually mending a pair and finding it’s really not as bad I as thought. Not only did I mend Coop’s jeans, but I also made a tutorial for you just in case you also have a bad case of “Mendaphobia”.

It’s really not that horrific, you’ll see…..we’ll do this in baby steps.

First turn your jeans inside out.

Mend Your Jeans

See, that didn’t hurt. Now gather some scraps of thick fusible interfacing. I happen to have loads of scraps from all of the tote bags I make.

Mend Your Jeans

Next, place the jeans over the end of the ironing board and straighten the rip as much as possible so it lies flat. So far, so good.

Mend Your Jeans

Now iron on a piece of fusible interfacing directly over the rip. Baby steps… Baby steps…

Mend Your Jeans

Using a zig zag stitch, sew back and forth and all around the interfacing until you’ve covered the entire area. Just keep changing directions. No need to panic.

Mend Your Jeans

When you’ve finished sewing, this is what the patch will look like on the inside. If you find  thin areas, don’t fret, just add more interfacing and continue sewing with a zig zag stitch over the next piece of interfacing. Continue until all of the thin ripped areas are covered.

Mend Your Jeans

Breathe deeply, count to ten and trim the excess interfacing.

There now. You successfully faced your Mendaphobia! See, it wasn’t so bad, was it!

mend your jeans

Happy Sewing (and Mending)!


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How to Make a Lace-Up Sweatshirt

If you’ve been thinking about adding a little athleisure wear to your wardrobe but don’t want to spend lots of money, here’s a quick change you can make to your beloved sweatshirt so you can be stylish and comfy at the same time.

Click here for the full tutorial.

Thank you, once again, Rylee for being such a cute and willing model. 🙂

Can you tell I’m not a big fan of the restricting crew neck? If crew neck shirts give you claustrophobia too, you can click here to find out another way to open up a neckline.

Happy Refashioning!

For more refashion and sewing inspiration click here.

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DIY: Seatbelt Pillow for Your Epic Summer Road Trips: New One Minute Video

Road Trip!

Some of my earliest memories include legendary family road trips to the Black Hills, Missouri, and the Boundary Waters. From four kids sleeping side by side in the back of the station wagon to the red metal Coleman cooler and the canoe tied to the top to peeing in a three pound coffee can. My memory synapsis do a happy dance anytime my brain recalls this time in my life.

Then there’s the epic road trip to Oregon in the Pinto with Judy and Karleen when we were 17. The trip that brought me face to face with my future ruggedly handsome husband in Cody, Wyoming. 🙂

Times have definitely changed in the road trip safety department since then, thank goodness. Now, we’re safely strapped in tight on our Oregon Coast trips, drives to Boise and our treks back to Minnesota.

To make sure everyone is comfortable on your next road trip, make a few of these soft seatbelt pillows ahead of time. Everyone can have their own personalized pillow to cuddle with when resting up between stops.

You can see the Facebook version here:

If you’re not on Facebook, you can watch the video here:

Click here to see the full tutorial.

For more sewing and refashioning inspiration and tutorials click here.

Just a friendly reminder that this is the last week to get your copy of The Refashion Handbook for $10. Click here to order before they go back to the regular price next Saturday.

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Still Time to Get in on the $10 Refashion Handbook Mother’s Day Sale

My most humble apologies!

I just realized that when you clicked on the sale for The Refashion Handbook, it was saying sold out.

There are plenty of books and plenty of time to order before Mother’s Day if you’d like.

Click here to order your copy today.

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15 Handmade Gift Ideas For Mother’s Day That She Will Love

The delight of creating and choosing joy no matter what.

My mom in a nutshell.

It is in her honor that I bring these projects ideas to you today, hoping that her legacy will live on through me and through you.

Cheers to projects that bring you and the others around you joy.

Casserole Carrier

Made from an on-trend fabric and a few sewing steps, including a feature that attaches serving spoons to the top, this carrier will turn heads as soon as your mom walks through the door.

Fabric Bowl Covers

Your mom’s salad bowls deserve so much more than plastic wrap. They deserve a cheerful, washable fabric bowl cover to keep those bugs out of her salads.

Zippered Pillow Covers

Decorative throw pillows are a great way to bring beautiful fabrics off the shelves and into your mom’s home.

An easy way to sew a zippered pillow cover

Chunky Hand Knit Blanket

Your mom will will love snuggling up with this cozy blanket, a good book and a steaming cup of cocoa.

Towel Robe

A handmade towel robe would make a luxe gift to go along with a spa treatment for Mother’s Day.

Embroidered Jeans

If your mom loves the look of embroidered jeans, but you don’t have the time to embroider them yourself, try out this trick…

Mosquito Repellent Bracelet

Summer means backyard BBQs, fun in the sun, and beach parties, but your mom doesn’t want to slap pesky insects when she ventures into the great outdoors. She can wave bye-bye to bugs and look great doing it when you make her some of these fun insect repellent bracelets.

Apron Made From a Man’s Shirt

Make a new, bright and cheerful spring apron for your mom or maybe even yourself. So many colors to choose from…

Hand Sewn Journals

You can put these colorful books all around your mom’s house so she can record her thoughts, generate unique artwork, make lists or even document her travels. She never knows when a bright idea is going to hit her and she needs to make a note of it.

 Insulated Lunch Bag

Your mom will look forward to her lunch break with a colorful, insulated lunch bag that you made for her. She’ll get to relax, visit with friends and recharge with great food: it’s exactly what she needs in the middle of the day.

Soup Bowl Hot Pads

I love the idea of this Soup Bowl Hot Pad. Use it for hot bowls of soup, or even cold bowls of ice cream. My friend Barb suggested using them to put between dishes in the camper to keep everything safe while traveling. BRILLIANT!

Ombre Rope Bag

If you’re looking for a great gift to make for your mom or if you want to make one for yourself, you can make this in a few hours and in any color combination you’d like. All you need is some cotton clothesline and thread.

Fabric Boxes

Combine your love of sewing and your mom’s need to be organized by creating these fun fabric bins. Make one for her silverware, surprise her with a fabric gift box, or organize her drawers.

Garden Kneeling Pad

Your mom can say goodbye to mud stained knees and say hello to a bright, comfortable kneeling pad that you made for her this Mother’s Day.

Citrus Pin Cushions

Your mom could just store her pins in the plain plastic container they come in, but why not give one of her hardest working sewing tools the presentation they deserve with a bright, handmade pin cushion?

If you’d like to order My book The Refashion Handbook will be on sale for $10.00 until next week. Click here if you’d like to order one for you or for your mom. (If you tried to order one earlier and it said it was sold out, I’ve added more for this sale so you can try again.)


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DIY: How to Sew a Garden Kneeling Pad

Who doesn’t look forward to spring? The air is warm, the sun is shining and the flowers are starting to bloom–it’s exactly what we all need after a long, cold winter. However, sometimes kneeling on the hard ground can put a damper on our bloom planting bliss. Say goodbye to mud stained knees and say hello to a bright, comfortable kneeling pad that you made yourself. Just grab some fabric, rice and a bit of elastic to get to that gardening in style.

Happy Sewing and Gardening!


For more sewing and refashioning inspiration click here.

To order The Refashion Handbook for more than 50% off just in time for Mother’s Day click here. (The sale ends May 12)

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Make a Zesty Citrus Pin Cushion For Your Main Squeeze

You could just store your pins in the plain plastic container they come in, but why not give one of your hardest working sewing tools the presentation they deserve with a bright, handmade pin cushion?

My good friend Jakki inspired this project. She creates the most beautiful felt ornaments and pins. Then, being one of the most thoughtful people I know,  she’ll wrap them up in a pretty package, deliver them to her friends, and brighten up the lucky recipient’s day.

Using just a few sheets of felt and some embroidery thread, you can create a zesty cushion for yourself or maybe even make one for your main squeeze. You will definitely brighten up their day. 🙂

Click here for the full tutorial.

Happy Sewing!


PS. Thank you to everyone who has ordered The Refashion Handbook during this last $10 Mother’s Day sale. The sale lasts until May 12 when they go back to the regular price of $24.95. Click here to order your $10 copy today.

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DIY: How to Make Fabric Boxes

How to make fabric boxes

Combine your love of sewing and your need to be organized by creating these fun fabric bins. Make one for silverware, surprise your friends and family with a fabric gift box, or organize your drawers. Once you start to whip up these cute fabric boxes you’ll want to put them everywhere–your kitchen, the bathroom, bedroom drawers, your desk at the office or school. With just a little practice, you’ll be dreaming up all kinds of ways to use them.

Click here to find out how to make these fabric boxes.

For more sewing and refashioning inspiration and tutorials, click here.

Happy Sewing!


P.S. Just a friendly reminder that if you’re looking for a good Mother’s Day gift, my book, The Refashion Handbook, is on sale for $10 until May 12, 2018. Click here to order your copy today.


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A Great Gift For Mother’s Day: The Refashion Handbook $10 Sale

One of the best ways to learn to sew, is transforming thrift store clothes into something more modern. Not only is it much more cost friendly than buying new fabric, but you can do your part to help keep so many textiles from ending up in the landfills around the world.

If you’re looking for something earth-friendly to give to a seamstress (or wannabe seamstress) in your life this Mother’s Day, then The Refashion Handbook just might be the gift for you. And it’s only $10 right now (that’s more that 50% off.)  🙂

My book, The Refashion Handbook, is filled with ideas and step-by-step instructions on how to refashion ill-fitting, outdated clothes into more modern pieces. I had so much fun creating this book for you and then C&T Publishing flew me down to California for the final photo shoot at a ranch right next to George Lucas’s ranch. Had to pinch myself!

It was a beautiful day for photos and I loved working with such creative people.

Here are a few of my favorite AFTER shots from the book:

The photographer called the next two pictures my “Martha Stewart” photos. And….I’m totally fine with that. 🙂

I REALLY love how this next dress was transformed.

In The Refashion Handbook, you will also find out how these dresses morphed into something more wearable along with 16 more refashioning projects, and sewing instructions:


Thank you in advance for supporting The Renegade Seamstress by purchasing

The Refashion Handbook.

Click here or on any of the photos or links on this page to buy a book.

Sale ends on Saturday, May 12, 2018.

Happy Sewing!


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How to Make a Washable Fabric Bowl Cover and A New One Minute Video

I know my Minnesota friends won’t believe this, but summer really is almost here and you know what THAT means.


And what goes great with those outdoor get togethers? Bright, colorful and happy bowls! These Fiesta Ware salad bowls deserve so much more than plastic wrap. They deserve a cheerful, washable fabric bowl cover to keep those bugs out of your salads.

You can see the Youtube version here:

You can watch the Facebook version here:

Click here to read the entire step-by-step directions.

For more sewing and refashion tutorials click here.

Happy Sewing!


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