One of the most frequent requests I get from the Gentleman is to fix holes in jeans. He’s the type of guy who picks his favorites and wears them over and over until they are threadbare. In this tutorial I will show you step by step basic instructions for mending holes in denim with a “hidden patch” – this means the patch is on the inside of the garment. The technique I am about to show you is a little more forgiving when done on darker denim, but visually its easier to show you on a lighter denim so you can see whats going on.
Materials You Will Need are:
- Sewing Machine
- Thread that closest matches color of jeans – here I used a thread that has a color variant specifically for denim.
- Scrap denim or other scrap fabric that closely matches jean color
- Fusible Interfacing – Optional
- Iron and Ironing board
1. Cut a patch from your denim scrap big enough to just cover the hole in your jeans. NOTE: When you are measuring for your patch, make sure the hole is not being pulled open, you want the jeans to lay naturally as if there was no hole. If you are using an interfacing (I prefer to, as it adds extra stability), cut a piece of interfacing the same size as your patch.
2. If using an interfacing, Iron interfacing to wrong side of patch.
3. With garment turned inside out, position garment in your sewing machine so your hole/tear is in a workable position – this may take some maneuvering if working with long jeans.
4. Place Patch over the hole, right side of patch facing wrong side of jeans (facing side up). Make sure your garment is laying naturally, not pulling open at the hole, as it was when you measured to cut your patch. If you need to use pins to make this process easier, be my guest!
5. Sew a straight stitch around all edges of the hole, at least 1/4″ from torn edge. This will require some guess work, since you cant actually see the tear from where your sewing. Again, if it helps you to use pins.. do so. I like to just lift the patch every now and then to peek underneath and make sure I’m no the right track. When you are finished the result will look similar to above picture.
6. Trim away any excess patch.
7. Turn garment right side out.
8. Re-position garment into sewing machine.
9. Alternating between a close zig-zag stitch (with a low stitch length – I usually use a 1 or 2) and a straight stitch, “fill in” your hole. I use my backstitch pedal a lot so I dont have to turn my whole garment around multiple times. The goal here is to completely cover the tear and stabilize all of the loose threads and worn fabric surrounding the tear without sewing outside of your original “outline” stitch. The end result will look similar to picture below.
10. Clip threads, and your done!
Truly there is know “pretty” way to accomplish this task. As I said in the beginning, on darker color jeans, this technique is MUCH more forgiving – you can hardly tell the difference. When patching my own lighter jeans I tend to go the funner route and do a mismatched patch on the outside of the jeans.
Below I’ve included a couple other examples, one light and one dark so you can see the difference.
This technique can be used on any sized hole as long as you have some scrap big enough to patch it (Any time I make cut-offs I keep the removed leg fabric solely for this reason). Below is a crotch patch I did on darker denim. You can see the two different types of stitches I used on the left and right. I tend to use the zig zag stitch over the actual hole, and a repeated straight stitch to stabilize the surrounding fabric. You just want to make sure to stay within the lines of the original patch outline stitch. When worn this patch is barely noticeable!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below or contact me directly!