introducing: #eltondarner. and yeah – it’s magic!

Elton Darner

I am completely thrilled to be up and running on my Singer 47w40 machine – a vintage darner, circa 1969. I’ve wanted one of these machines for years but it’s always a juggle which machine I’ll be saving up for and buying, next!

I went on Facebook a little while back and asked for names – because I christen all my machines. My friend Nathan suggested “Elton” – in reference to the opening lines of the Elton John song “Tiny Dancer” (“blue jean baby/LA lady/seamstress for the band”) –

Well, first of all that’s perfect! But also, what Nathan didn’t know is that my paternal grandfather’s name was Elton, and this is my father’s middle name as well. It seemed fitting. My dad would be proud of where I am today.

I’m not crying, you’re crying! 

Enough chit-chat!

On to repair work.

So after swooping through the house and repairing every pair of jeans owned by my partner and sons, even with the TINIEST tear, I went on the hunt for a real mama-jama repair project!

See video below – this pair of workpants had double-reinforced hems that were entirely split, a torn crotch (rended at two gusset seamlines for about twelve inches in total – and torn through the gusset itself!), shredded front pocket reinforcements, and various and sundry minor holes!

They were a real mess!

So I hopped onboard my machine and picked out stitches and interfaced and rebuilt! Now – check out my Before / After pics!

Extensive Repair of Work Pants

Extensive Repair of Work Pants

Shown above: torn gusset and split at seamline (left); repaired and topstitched (right).

Extensive Repair of Work Pants
Extensive Repair of Work Pants

Taint-eyed view of gusset (hee hee)! At left – torn straight through. At right: repaired and topstitched

Extensive Repair of Work Pants
Extensive Repair of Work Pants

Above: split hems (left); picked apart, interfaced, rebuilt, topstitched (at right).

Extensive Repair of Work Pants
Extensive Repair of Work Pants

Above: shredded front pocket reinforcements (left); at right, removed and repaired, re-applied.

This pair took a very long time to fix – very time intensive and VERY satisfying. Each part of the jean has to be approached carefully and the techniques used will vary – whether the damaged area needs interfaced reinforcement, et cetera.

Obviously, it’s better to repair your jeans early, because then you can reinforce them and the wear and tear won’t get worse or (as in the gusset above) catastrophic.

Below is a video of a much simpler repair, on my friend A.’s custom denim that she snagged!

You can follow my adventures on all my great vintage equipment on my IG page! – or if all you want to see is jean darning, follow my hashtag #eltondarner!

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