How to patch your jeans

Okay, so my body has a tendency to make holes in jeans. You may have the same problem. Places where we create friction are places where denim wears thin faster. It happens. It’s natural. It’s okay. Today, I’m here to show you that it’s pretty easy to patch your jeans by hand. All you need is thread, a needle, some old denim and a pair of scissors.

The denim I’ll be using is from a pair of old Sugar Canes that I’ve had for a long time. One summer, I decided I needed to repair some jeans, and I thought it would be good to have some shorts, too. I figured, why not cut the legs off and use the fabric for patching, then have a great pair of jean shorts for riding my bike around town. It worked well, and I’ve been able to extend the life of several pairs of jeans as a result.

Some of you might be laughing, but there’s a whole bunch of reasons why I like patching my jeans. To throw out a pair of jeans because of a hole is a waste of a great pair of jeans, and it’s a waste to our environment. Cotton takes a lot of resources to grow, so by extending your jeans’ life, you can reduce your environmental footprint. I also like thinking about the first people to wear jeans. Gold-miners in the old west didn’t have the luxury of throwing out clothing; I imagine them sitting by a fire in their camps or cabins, drinking whiskey and repairing their clothing. This simple repair activity harkens back to the origins of the jean itself by creating self-sufficiency.

So, let’d get into it; here is how you repair a hole in your jeans. First, identify the hole to be patched. In this case, the hole is fairly complicated because it’s two holes in the crotch region. 

Next, cut out a patch that’s big enough to cover the region. I cut a rectangle, but trimmed it down to a peanut-shaped patch. 
Stitch around the outside of the patch to secure it to the inside of the jean. You can use safety pins to keep the fabric in place if you find it’s shifting around too much. The trick here is to make sure that the patch and the jean are flat against one another.
Lastly, stitch around the holes themselves to secure the edges of the holes to the patch. You need to anchor the patch to the jean, and the holes to the patch. After this, you can sew some quilting stitches in the places where the jean and the patch overlap. This will make the patch more secure.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ping me. You can get more life out of your denim, and learning to patch it is a step on that path.
For more on Denim, check out our Raw Denim Archive

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