Patches? Yeah, You Need Some Stinkin’ Patches!

Grace did a meme-thingy a while back where she was supposed to say “something random” about me. She said, “Nobody else is as good at patching jeans!”

So today when I set about to start patching a pair for her, I thought, maybe I should do a tutorial on my apparently superior method for patching jeans. I’ll let you be the judge of whether it’s anything truly special.

What you’ll need:

Jeans with a hole in them.
Sewing machine, preferably with a zigzag stitch.
Heavy needle (14 or 16).
Jeans that you’ve gotten tired of patching, so you can cut them up to make more patches, or other source of jean-weight denim.

Do not trim away the loose threads from the hole.

a big hole in a pair of jeans

Look at your hole/tear, and cut a patch that will cover it. I try to make sure the direction of the weave in the patch matches that on the jeans. Do your best to make sure you aren’t stretching the hole so that it’s distorted. This is easier said than done. Make the patch you cut out bigger than you need, because it’s always easier to cut it down to size than to force something too small to fit.

I put the patch material over the hole so I can see where I think I need to cut. Then I take it away and cut it (well, ideally, but really I’m usually just careful to make sure I don’t cut the jeans I’m supposed to be fixing). Put it over the hole again and see how it compares to what I actually need, then cut out some more. When you’ve got the patch cut out, you can trim it down to a more manageable size. Try to make the patch at least half an inch bigger on each side than the hole.

more weave matching detail

Make sure you have a heavy needle in your machine. You will be sewing through at least two layers of denim. A light needle could break. Finish the edge of the patch with zigzag stitch. I do a short but wide stitch for mine.

the patch itself

On the inside of the jeans, line up the patch with the hole and pin into place.

patch pinned to inside of jeans

Again, you want to do your best to make sure the hole isn’t distorted, and it’s still easier said than done. The closer you get it, the better your patch will be.

detail of outside of hole pinned to patch, little distortion

Sew the patch into place with a medium length straight stitch (like you’d use for a regular seam). Be sure to keep the pockets out of the way, so you don’t accidentally sew them to the patch!

Turn the jeans over so the outside of the hole is facing you. Still using a medium length straight stitch, go back and forth over the hole and onto the jeans, catching any loose threads.

stitching back and forth over the hole

Once you’ve covered the hole once, turn the jeans 90 degrees and go back and forth over the hole in that direction.

stitching back and forth the other way

Cut your ends, and you’re done!

You're all done!


2 Comments to “Patches? Yeah, You Need Some Stinkin’ Patches!”

  1. BEST ADVICE EVER. I totally used it today. 😀

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