Monday, May 18, 2009

Patched Jeans Tutorial

Earlier in my pregnancy, when I was outgrowing everything in my closet, there was one pair of jeans that still fit. Unfortunately, they seemed to rip in a new spot every time I bent my knees. So, out of desperation and an appalling lack of decent, local, maternity jeans options, I patched them. Not sure where that put me style-wise, but they got me by in a pinch. I did have fun figuring out the patching process and will definitely use it on kids' clothes in the future.

I'll tell you how I did it. This was the problem:

First, I trimmed away the flap:

Then I started the patch. I wanted it to be strong enough to hold up to stress and washing with the denim, so I fused two large fabric scraps together using Heat'n'Bond fusible interfacing. I'll get to the hem tape in a sec.

This is an older Amy Butler print from my stash for the front side and just any old scrap for the back (the black gingham). I fused the two scraps together (following package instructions), then trimmed the fused piece into an appropriately sized patch. Make sure when you try this that you leave at least a 1/2 inch overlap around the edges of your hole to give yourself plenty of stitching room.

Okay, patch done. Now, with the jeans inside out, I lined the edges of the hole with fusible hem tape. Following the package directions to fuse the patch over the hole, make sure that you cover it entirely with plenty of room for stitching. Not that I pictured it this way above, but you'll need to lay the patch so that your main fabric is showing through the hole when your jeans are turned right side out. You knew that.
And, here you go, right side out. I still pinned around the hole before stitching, just because I didn't really trust the strength of the bond made by the hem tape to hold up to hand sewing through heavy denim.

Use any stitch you like to finish the edges, starting (and finishing) your stitching inside. Not sure what you'd call this stitch I used. I just knew I wanted it to be a little rough and organic looking. And fast. If you choose to use a straight stitch, or something that doesn't actually grab the edges of the denim, you may need a little extra space between your stitching and the edge to allow for fraying.

If you're not into colorful patches, use denim scraps for a simpler, distressed look. This is a good way to make your favorite pair of jeans last a little longer when they start to wear out. Crafty, economic and earth-friendly to boot. The grandmothers would be proud.


Larissa Holland said...

gotta say this is an improvement on the technique I used for Lydia's fave jeans. I like the patch! Can you still wear the jeans? still love that AB print. From your Alaska bag, right?

Robyn said...

L - Don't know if I can still wear the jeans. There's a new hole I need to patch, so I haven't tried. I'd guess probably not at this point...which may be a good thing as far as my style goes!

Yep, the print is the same as my Alaska bag. Still works.

Anne said...

Frugality rocks!! I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:

alecia said...

That is so cute! besides being a money saver. Love the fabric and stitches. I would have more fun mending his pants if only my husband liked cute fabric for his patches.

Robyn said...

Hey, thanks, Alicia and Anne! I'll be checking out Craft Gossip for some inspiration of my own now... said...

That is so pretty, I love the stitching on the border. I'd love to link to this if you didn't mind.

Robyn said...

Thanks, Rachel. And please do!

Celia said...

Thank you for this awesome tutorial! I blogged about it =D

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