Getting around to some more repairs on my tcb 40s, this time on the front pockets (and soon the left knee, then the back left pocket, for the third time…)
I did this repair before going back and reading @julian-wolf’s excellent tutorial on this exact job, using a sewing machine and some clever fabric adhesive. It’s in the middle of page 43 in case anybody wants to go take a look. This is going to be more or less the same process, but by hand and about three months too late, lol.
Three months too late in that I’ve basically torn the whole top of the pocket open and have to constantly make a deliberate effort to not drop my keys, lighters, etc down my pant leg and into the top of my boots. Don’t get to this point before doing this repair if you can avoid it!
So, a smart thing to do, which Julian properly got around to in his repair, is to start with a curved patch, made by tracing and folding the patch fabric along the contour of the pocket itself. I didn’t do this, I just used a scrap of selvedge fabric from my lovely donor mis-sized Tenders, which are now about 30% reconstituted as patches for other pairs of jeans. The result of using a straight cut of fabric, rather than following the contour of the pocket, will become apparent by the end.
I’m using the end of this gold thread which is moderately thick, I’d reckon about the same gauge as what’s used on a lot of our jeans here. The benefit of using a thick thread, besides it being stronger, is you don’t need to double it up - you can just pass the needle through the center of the thread, pull it tight against the base of the needle, and not have to worry about it coming out while working.
Starting here with a chainstitch at one end of the patch, just holding the folded edge against the seam here and pushing through the holes made by the existing stitches. Even though I’m technically sewing through 6 layers of denim here, if you get your needle right in the hole made by the existing stitches you shouldn’t have to fight it at all, and it’ll slip straight into the patch fabric on the other side. I’m not sure i’d be up for this repair if it meant wearing my fingers out yanking the needle through all 6 layers every stitch, so working slowly and with precision is really worth it here.
Worked my way across now and am going to tuck the end of the thread behind the patch, knot it and start with a new length of thread, once I figure out where to start. The process of patching the bag itself is going to be a lot messier and less precise, mainly because of the options I have for holding the fabric together.
I figured since the hole is easier to get at on this side, I’d better start with the jeans right side out and the pocket pulled out, with the seam of the pocket turned over as well. Here’s what that looks like with the patch folded back over:
I went at it for a little bit this way, with my left hand working inside the pocket bag to keep it flush against the patch, and my right pushing the needle through in a straight-ish line, zig zagging back and forth through both layers like how you’d do a basting stitch. Saves a lot of time in these sort of situations when you just want to get fabric stuck together and aren’t worried about how it looks.
Once I had one row of stitches in, I realized it would be much easier to turn the jeans inside out and keep the pocket right side in - that way I could see the hole in the pocket bag and concentrate my stitching where it would actually matter. If you can’t tell, I’m not much one for day-long denim repairs anymore, especially when this is the first of five patches I’m gonna need to get to. This was about an hour of work and felt about as thorough as I cared to be - given these jeans might not last a whole lot longer anyhow. But who knows.
And here’s the finished product seen from the outside. I know, not much to look at, lol, but there’s one important thing to note. Because I didn’t curve my patch panel, the pocket bag and patch pucker inwards inside the pocket. Or, held another way, the pocket itself sits a bit open, rather than flush against the coin pocket as it was originally sewn. Again, I don’t mind this really as these are getting pretty beat up anyway, but I’m going to employ julian’s patch making method for the other pocket and would probably recommend you do too. Thanks for reading!