the left leg looked like it had gotten caught in some machinery and had copious amounts of thick, black grease around a hole that had been torn through the leg. most of the leg had spots of grease on it. we searched and searched for another identical pair, sans grease. no luck. plus, we were going to be late for the ferry to ellis island.
in a last ditch effort, i took the prized jeans to the cashier and showed her the damage, asking if there was anything they could do about the price. 'why would you want these?' she asked, incredulously in the fashion capital of the u.s. (you see, she wasn't there for the countless pairs of jeans i had already tried on. most of which refused to budge past my thighs - even though they were 'my size'.) so i told her the truth, 'because they are sooo comfortable.' so she checked with her manager after muttering a string of horrific words that sounded like, 'he may want to damage them out.' i watched nervously as she spoke to a man. when she returned, she said the best words i had heard so far. 'he said 75% off. [beep, click, click, clack] four dollars and 98 cents.' (these words were better by far than the words, 'oh, this sweater is cashmere, so it's $60, not $40.')
back at tink's apartment, on the sage advise of my mom, we made a paste with baking soda and trader joe's lavender and tea tree oil dish washing liquid. i used my travel toothbrush to scrub and scrub at the grease. i then rolled them up and tied them tightly in a shopping bag.
at my mom's in n.c., we scrubbed some more, then soaked the pair in borax. finally washing them. the result was very pleasing. most of the grease was gone. there was just the holes to deal with.
at a craft store, again on the sage advise..., i purchased some material with the intent to put myself through what became an intricate, painful and laborious process of:
1. cutting out the portions i wanted
2. ironing on an interfacing
3. using embroidery floss to hand stitch over the outline and elements of the design, using multiple colors
4. ironing on a bonding agent
5. trimming design more intricately
6. applying a fray check around edges
7. belaboring where i will now place the fabric on my new favorite jeans
8. finally placing them and ironing them on
9. realizing that too much ironing actually kills the bonding
10. sewing around the design with strong quilting thread and shredding my fingertips in the process
11. noticing that my precious (not gollum voice) lucky brand tag was deteriorating from several washings
12. masochist that i am, deciding to hand embroider the 'l' and 'b' on the tag as it continues to disappear
13. weaving a patch through the holes and then deciding not to cover them after all
here are the pics:
super comfy, cute lucky jeans
increasingly deteriorated lucky tag
holes with grease after intense cleaning
embroidered 'l' and 'b'
flower design on fabric
flower embroidered by moi
dragon design on fabric
countless hours later, dragon complete
flower and dragon with bonding agent and fray check
yes, i bought these jeans worth over $100 for $5 - 'new'. then i invested hours and hours into the cleaning and embellishing. i hope i never lose these.
if you don't like the dragon or think i wasted my time, don't waste yours in commenting. i certainly did not share all this with you to be told that my hard work looks stupid.
don't forget, i live in podunkville where people appreciate craftiness.