Thursday, 28 October 2010

The quest for ‘everlasting’ gardening trousers continues

(I pulled this post because its not ‘on topic’ but I’ve decided to reinstate it because I love these trousers and I love gardening)


Well before I take a day off and stick the car in cruise control and head up the M40 to take copious notes and make little sketches of exhibits at ‘Wrought With a Needle’ exhibition that I informed you about last week (can’t wait).  I decided I was just too embarrassed at the current state of my ‘ventilated’ gardening trousers and I really should take matters in hand. 

I decided to do more that just patch them this time.  As we all know, continually reaching for the (dear) kneeling pad during an arduous stint of being on all fours down among the weeds can get a bit boring.  So I decided to sew the kneeling pad to the knees, as it were !!!  

So off I went and bought these very sturdy strap-on kneeling pads with velcro fastenings.  They’re good and strong BUT, the straps cut into the back of my legs and they ride down, so I thought I would make them more integral, if you know what I mean.

I bought a strong (revolting) skirt from the thrift shop, that happens to have a slightly fluffy texture and used it to cut out 4 patches for the outside and inside of the knees, as I find its much nicer to kneel on soft fabric than hardwearing denim and that way I don’t have to cut any trouser fabric away OR darn them. 

I used the knee pad as a template, leaving a little border all the way round. 

CIMG4058 CIMG4059

As you can see, I’ve patched these dear things a whole heap of times.  They’re just plain old favourites and I love them so.  PLUS they have the added value that when I put them on I instantly feel like gardening.  Believe me when I say, they are imbued with the positive energy that comes from being in contact the sun, soil and slugs…


‘Heat & Bond’ is really great for so many things.  I love it because its so ‘clean’ and even if you do get a bit on your iron, its not a problem…

As its basically double-sided fabric adhesive you place it on the back on the material first, iron for 2 seconds - for light fabric.  Let it cool and flip your fabric over and do the other side, according to where you want to stick it….(remember to protect your ironing board cover and I also use a piece of muslin to protect my iron’s plate). 


Here’s the first patch – nice and flat – no bubbles!


This is what it looks like as you pull the backing paper away, as you can see, it comes off really cleanly. 


And here are all 4 patches ready for the next stage. 


I would add that when I came to iron them on the fabric side, I did need to do it for a lot longer than they specify on the instructions, as it was very thick material. 

In fact, I probably used the wrong grade of product for the job as it was really only meant for ‘light weight’ jobs.  Pleased to say though that I managed to ‘save the day’ by just persevering until the thing did finally stick down as it should.  They feel ultra starched now but that will disappear when they are washed.   

It was too late to finish the job on this occasion.  Next I need to run the borders off on my machine. 

When I come to do that part, I shall first have to fit the pads around bent knees to gauge how much ‘give’ to factor in.  This part is crucial and I’ll probably do it a couple of times to get it right. 

Meanwhile, I’ll give a little thought to the best way of fastening the pads to the knees? 

  • If I machine round the edge that will make them very durable but they will be too tight when I kneel – I’m aiming for a textile outer knee-cap idea….-
  • either I go for small lengths Velcro or I stitch elastic to the four corners and machine them to the trousers??? 
  • Also, if the basting is permanent, then I need to be sure they are machine washable.  I think they are? there’s no label but they look pretty well INDESTRUCTIBLE (*prays they are*)..

Looking a lot better now wouldn’t you say :)


cya !

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