The following is a post from Jackie of Blessings Overflowing.
When I go shopping for clothes it always amazes me how expensive blue jeans are that have holes in them. If I want holes in my blue jeans all I need to do is let my boys wear them for a few days. They are always getting holes in their jeans, especially in the knee area.
One way to deal with holes in jeans is to just cut them off above the knee and turn them into shorts. However, a boy can only have so many pairs of jean shorts. With it still being winter, shorts aren’t practical right now. So, what’s a mom to do?
Mend the jeans!
Today I am going to share 3 ways that you can mend a pair of blue jeans that have holes in them. Even if you are thinking, “I don’t know how to sew,” I would encourage you to scroll down and check out these ideas because not all of them require the use of a sewing machine.
1. Iron-On Patches
You can easily purchase iron-on patches for blue jeans which can be cut to size. However, you can also make your own.
a. Measure the size of your hole. Cut a piece of blue jean fabric that is at least 1/2 inch larger than the hole. (Old blue jeans that are beyond repair are an excellent source of patch fabric.) For example, this hole was less than 1 inch square so I made the patch 1 1/2 inches square.
b. Cut a piece of Heat n Bond that is just slightly larger than the patch. Use Heat n Bond Ultrahold (Available at Amazon or craft stores.) for this project as it is heavy duty and requires no sewing.
c. Iron the Heat n Bond to the patch for 2 seconds. Once cool, pull away the paper backing and trim any excess Heat n Bond.
Please note that if you use an iron-on patch you may find that the corners may peel with repeated use or washing. Therefore, I recommend this method on small holes only. Optionally, you can hand sew the patch on before ironing it to the jeans. Just pin the patch over the hole, then use a needle and thread to stitch it down, and then follow the next step.
Place the patch over the hole, right side up, and iron for 4-6 seconds. Allow to cool and then test to be sure the patch adhered to the jeans.
2. Hand Sewing
Hand sewing a hole or rip in a pair of jeans is something I recommend only if the tear isn’t very wide. The use of a blind stitch makes the hole disappear and the stitches “invisible”.
a. Begin by cutting away some of the threads around the hole. Don’t cut the actual fabric, just the frayed parts.
b. The stitch needed to sew an invisible seam is a vertical blind stitch. Start 1/2 inch from the right edge of the hole and insert your needle from the inside of the jeans up through the top.
c. You will make stitches that are vertical and that go across the hole from top to bottom. Make several small stitches and gradually make them bigger until they are the height of the hole. After a few stitches pull the thread taught and your stitches will become invisible.
Once you pass the hole go past it to the left 1/2 inch, gradually making your stitches smaller. Remember to pull the thread in order to make your stitches invisible. Tie off your thread and cut close to the jeans.
3. Sewing Patches (2 Methods)
This method of sewing on a patch requires the fabric to be folded under and stitched on using a straight stitch on a sewing machine.
a. Cut a piece of blue jean fabric (or fabric of your choice) larger than the hole. Iron the edges to the wrong side 1/4 inch all around.
b. Using a seam ripper, open the INNER seam of the jeans approximately 4 inches above and below the hole. This will be much easier than trying to sew the patch on with the jeans as is. Pin the patch in place.
c. Using a straight stitch, sew the patch to the jeans using a 1/8 inch seam allowance. Take care to keep the jeans out of the way underneath where you are stitching. Backstitch at the end. Stitch the side of the jeans back together (Turn the jeans inside out first.).
This method of sewing on a patch uses a satin stitch on a sewing machine.
a. Cut a piece of blue jean fabric (or fabric of your choice) larger than the hole (The patches pictured above were 3 inches by 3 3/4 inches). Round off the corners with a pair of scissors.
b. Using a seam ripper, open the INNER seam of the jeans approximately 4 inches above and below the hole. This will be much easier than trying to sew the patch on with the jeans as is. Pin the patch over the hole, centered on the jeans. (I covered both knees so that they would be matching.)
c. Using a tight satin stitch (Zig-zag stitch set to a wide width and a narrow length), sew around the entire patch. Backstitch at the end. Stitch the side of the jeans back together (Turn the jeans inside out first.).
Side note: If using a fabric other than blue jean material to make patches, I recommend a sturdy fabric such as corduroy or twill. If you use a decorative cotton fabric just be aware that children who make a hole in a pair of blue jeans are likely to make a hole in your decorative patch, too.
Bonus Idea: Get Creative
I saw an idea similar to this next one on this site, but I made some changes so a sewing machine isn’t necessary.
a. Cut any stray threads away from the hole and use Fray Check (Available on Amazon or at your local craft store.) to seal the edges. Cut a piece of red felt or fleece that is slightly larger than the hole (mouth). Cut a piece of white felt or fleece that is as wide as the hole and longer (teeth). Also cut 2 white circles (eyes).
Here are my measurements.
Hole-2 inches wide by 3/4 of an inch high
Circles-2 at 3/4 of an inch
Red Square- 2 1/2 inches
White for Teeth-1 1/2 inches high by 2 inches wide
b. Cut the white piece of felt or fleece to look like teeth and use Fabri-Tac (Available at Amazon or your local craft store) to adhere it to the red square (Do not use Fabri-Tac on the actual pointy parts of the teeth.). Use Fabri-Tac to adhere the white circles above the hole and to adhere the “mouth” to the inside of the hole. Allow the Fabri-Tac to dry.
c. Using a needle and embroidery floss, stitch the mouth and eyes in place. This will provide extra durability.
Mending jeans has proven to be a great way to save money for our family. Have you ever mended a pair of blue jeans? What method did you use?