A long-awaited repair


In need of repair

I am slowly trying to persuade myself that sewing repairs can be fun. I’ve finally reconciled myself to darning – but only items that I made myself – and now I’m making progress with other repairs. And so it was with inspiration, but not a huge amount of enthusiasm, that I tackled this morning’s job… Mr Snail’s gardening jeans. He’s been stoically wearing these for gardening whilst simultaneously getting cold knees for ages. They are so well-used that, no matter how much they are washed, they still look grubby, but apart from that and the rips they are still functional.


Preliminary patching with mending tape reinforcement behind

I finally decided that he deserves to have his knees both warm and dry in the garden. The latter turned out to be possible because I remembered the chewed waterproof jacket that I had put one one side after it proved just too tempting for Sam. So, out came my mending box and I set to work, using iron-on mending tape and some cotton fabric salvaged from some old pyjamas. Trouser legs are a pain to sew with a sewing machine, so everything had to be pinned then hand-stitched before I could make sure it was all extra-robust with some machine sewing. Once the mending tape was ironed into place and the cotton patches secured, I cut some large pieces of Gortex fabric and covered the whole knee area with these – sewing by hand and then by machine. The end product means Mr Snail will be able to kneel down on damp ground and still be snug and dry.


Waterproof knees

Next job – darning a pair of bed socks – what a glamorous life I do lead!!

Leave a comment


  1. Ann

     /  April 2, 2016

    We’ve some old jeans, destined for the bin. Would you like them for a denim supply for future repairs??

    • I hope not!! I’ve got some spare denim, but thank you anyway. The Salvation army will recycle rags as well as good clothes if you put them in a bag labelled ‘rags’ and put them in one of their clothes bins.

      • Ann

         /  April 4, 2016

        Thanks for that info, I’ll give them a try. I tried in vein to re-home some the other week – no one wanted them. Found some more now…

  2. Excellent solution! Knees are especially tricky and that’s what usually goes. 🙂 I used to have a lot of fun back in the sixties finding bits of brightly colored fabric to mend jeans. Sometimes adding patches even if they weren’t needed. 🙂

    • I don’t wear jeans at all myself, and I never used to repair them for Mr Snail, but I am trying to mend my ways (pun intended) and approach this chore with a smile.

  3. Waterproof knees for gardening jeans is an excellent plan. I have a large box of pieces of denim salvaged from the Husband’s old work jeans, which are used for all sorts of repairs. One of these days I’ll probably make us a picnic quilt for the car using denim pieces and a waterproof backing… I agree mending can be a pain, but I find the seat of the pants is harder than the knees!

    • yes, I’m pleased with the idea of adding Gortex patches. I have not progressed further than knees yet – I’m not sure I could manage anything that had too much shaping!

  4. You did a good job with these. I used to patch my last husbands overalls often. He was always wearing out the knees. They are hard to sew on the machine but he was a big man, big jeans, easier to sew. 🙂 Never thought about waterproof material though.

  5. Waterproof patches – genius! Mr Snail will be unstoppable in the garden now 😀

    • Yes it suddenly dawned on me that I had all the necessary bits and pieces. In fact I am toying with the idea of doing this with some of my trousers that don’t need mending, but that I wear for gardening. Then I have to work out how to make a waterproof bum too!!

      • Hahaha! Those could become essential kit for picnics too – the ground here never really dries out enough for you to just sit on the grass 😃

  6. Yay! My knees have been getting old for quite a while… oh, COLD, yes well they have been doing that too.


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