Brotherhood of the Ripped Pants


I don’t generally enjoy lists about what it is like to raise boys because they typically reduce boys to penis grabbing, death defying, fart obsessed slobs. That’s a really low bar to set.

Boys are so much more than that, and girls do a lot of those “boy” things too.  However, there is one item I recently saw on a “boys” list that has been apropo as of late.

Boys going through endless pairs of jeans. 

My son got his first real pairs of jeans when he was three. Up until that point we preferred to dress him in comfortable cotton and fleece pants. When he was three he also discovered that he could simultaneously crawl and jump around on his knees at rapid speed, thus wearing through several pairs of jeans in short time.

At first I got cute with it. I bought a bunch of fun patches from a fabric store to sew over the holes. He looked so cute with a tractor covering one knee hole, a robot on another, a firetruck, a dumptruck, etc. Did I mention that I’m an amateur seamstress? I hadn’t done any sewing since home ec class in 7th grade, so sadly, it wasn’t long before new holes appeared around the cute patches. I gave up on the jeans but couldn’t bring myself to throw them away. The patches were adorable, cost a pretty penny, and I spent a long time sewing each one on. So I hid the failed pants in a corner and forgot about them.

Now my son is 4 and his new jeans started having holes in every pair on one or both knees. What to do?

It was my son who stumbled upon his old jeans with the cute patches. It occurred to me that I could use the denim from the back leg of the old jeans to create double-reinforced panels on the knees of his current jeans. Then I could still reattach the cute patches. Win-Win.


While the sewing job isn’t quite perfect, and the patch denim wasn’t quite the exact color on one of the pairs, the jeans are once again fully functional. And I don’t have to go buy new ones! They only have to last the winter and he will have outgrown them anyway. It was fun to have a project to work on during the cold, and snowy holiday weekend (my mother-in-law did the other pair). I don’t know if I will have the stamina or desire to do it for every ripped pair of jeans. It’s nice to recycle the old jeans to save the new jeans too. Plus, I’m now ready for if/when my daughter starts ripping holes in all her jeans too. She turns three in spring.

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Sandra O'Flaherty
I am stay at home mom to two wonderful kids. I grew up in Vermont, but it wasn't until I left this great state for a few years that I truly appreciated what a wonderful place it is. My husband is also a Vermonter, so we are happy to be able to raise our kids here surrounded by a large extended family. In fact, we like it so much that we bought the house next door to his parents, and my mom lives in an apartment on our property. We enjoy playing outdoors and poking around our little "gentleman's farm" that we started in 2010. We have chickens, goats, a work-in-progress vegetable garden, fruit trees, and we tap our own maple trees for syrup. I have a BA in environmental studies and an MA in urban planning. I try to keep a toe in the professional world that I left when my oldest was born by serving on our local Planning Commission. You can learn more about me and my passion for this planet we call home on my blog: Mama of Ma'at


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