This How-To is presented to show how easy it is to mend a pair of jeans or other pants with a patch of denim and some ingenuity. My mother-in-law taught me this and it's not a pretty treatment, but it's very effective. She used it primarily for knee patching. The pants I repaired here are worn with a long shirt that doesn't allow the back to show, so beauty was not our first concern; tough and lasting patching was the objective. Follow along and give this a try some time. Any questions? Feel free to email us and ask
"Mom! There's a hole in the back of my favorite pants again!" That's the distress cry of many a teen to a mom who sews. Here's the offending hole. The fabric is wearing out. These cords are not long for the world, but they're my son't favorite, so I'm going to do what I can for him.
I first wound a bobbin and threaded the machine with complementary thread. I wanted the thread to be as invisible as possible on the cord fabric. I really wasn't all that concerned with the bobbin; that bit wasn't going to show. In the interest of consistency, though, use the same thread on top and bottom. Makes life a lot easier all the way around.
Next, I did a rough measurement of the length and width of the hole. This rip is a big one, measuring about 3" long. You do not have to use a ruler like mine; you can eyeball it or use a piece of paper as your guide. I like this ruler because I can see through it.
I chose to use a denim pocket as my fabric for the patch. Normally, I would not mark the patch with a black marker, but I wanted it to show up for pictures. Mark the patch and cut with pinking shears if you have them. If not, plain shears will do.
Round off the corners of the patch. This will help strengthen it and keep it from unraveling.
Turn the pants inside out. We're going to work on the wrong side of the fabric first.
Pin the patch in place. It doesn't matter whether the patch is right side up or wrong side up. It's not going to generally show except on the skin side of the pants. When you're patching a knee, you may end up covering the patch with something decorative, so keep that in mind.
Do a single row of stitching around the whole patch.
Stitch around the patch again with your zig-zag function of your machine. This helps to stabilize the patch and keep it from fraying as well.
Turn the pants right side out. Note that the hole is still not patched, but you can see the stitching line where the patch has been applied from the inside.
Again using your zig-zag stitch, make several rows of stitching vertically and horizontally until all of the hole is encompassed in stitching. Make sure the patch is beneath the stitched lines as the fabric of the pants is too fragile to be responsible for the integrity of the sitching.
Turn the pants wrong side out and check the stitching on the patch itself. In this case, I wanted to make certain I hadn't sewn the pocket partially shut.
Again, turn the pants right side out and you can see the tidy patch job. Sometimes, it's fun to use contrasting colors, but you need to plan ahead with that.
Mending is not the most fun thing we do as people who sew, but it's necessary. We have favorite clothing items or towels or other things we hold dear. When they tear, wear out, or have seen better days, we have to use our imaginations and come up with a way to make them either functional or rags. Some people take garments apart and recycle the fabric, buttons, zippers; other folks simply keep patching till there's no patching left to do. Try to have a good time with it. Make mending interesting. For little children, put the patches on the outside and zig-zag a teddy bear on a torn knee. One idea can turn to many when you give it a try. Email with questions ;-)