Don't throw out those pants with holes or rips! This tutorial will show how to fix ripped jeans and pants that are otherwise wearable using a sewing machine.
The patched clothing can be worn for working in the yard, on the car, or any time that nice pants aren't necessary. Save the pants and jeans that are in good shape for other occasions.
If you are looking for a tutorial to patch smaller holes near pockets, check out our How to Patch Small Holes in Pants tutorial.
Can you sew a hole in your pants by hand?
It is possible to hand sew a hole in pants if the hole is small.
The excess frayed threads need to be trimmed away in order to reduce the visibility of the seam that will be made. It is important not to cut into the good fabric.
With a needle threaded with thread in a color that matches the fabric of the pants as closely as possible, insert the needle from the back about a half inch from the side of the hole so that the good and strong fabric is being sewn.
A ladder stitch is the best stitch to use for a small hole in pants. For a refresher, take a look at our tutorial on the ladder stitch.
The repair should end past the rip.
Although it is also possible to repair pants with a store-bought iron-on patch alone, this is just a temporary fix as the adhesive doesn't stick long.
This tutorial shows how to patch jeans or other pants using a sewing machine. A sewing machine makes a strong jeans repair, especially if the hole is large.
Watch the video to learn several techniques to repair jeans and other pants OR scroll down for thorough written step-by-step instructions complete with pictures.
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two techniques to fix ripped jeans and pants
Supplies needed to patch a hole in jeans or pants using the darning technique
- Sewing machine
- Thread to match damaged pants
- Denim sewing machine needle
- Store-bought iron-on patch
instructions for using the darning technique to repair a hole in Jeans or pants
This darning technique to fix holes in jeans or other pants works well for small holes. It is a very strong repair and can last for years.
step 1: trim excess threads
It is important to carefully remove the frayed area in and around the hole or rip in the pants. A clean and clear area is needed for the patch to adhere nicely.
Using the scissors, cut away any loose threads around the hole until the edge is clean.
step 2: adhere iron-on patch under hole in jeans
Trim the iron-on patch larger than the hole in the jeans. It is important to have a large margin so the patch can adhere to the pants.
Place the patch inside the jeans, directly under the hole with the adhesive side up.
Take the pants and patch to the iron. Be sure to place a piece of scrap fabric over the hole so the patch does not stick to the iron. Activate the adhesive on the patch by using an iron set at the temperature given in the directions for the store-bought patch.
step 3: stitch over the hole and the patch
Using the denim sewing machine needle, sew a darning stitch.
Stitch lines back and forth across the hole with the sewing machine in one direction, being sure to go past the hole into the strong fabric.
This will insure that the patch will be caught in the stitching.
The stitching will be visible, so you may choose to use a color of thread that matches the fabric that is being repaired. However, the goal is to make the pants wearable and not like new.
Machine sewn patch technique for larger hole
supplies needed to sew a patch to the front of the jeans:
- Sewing machine
- Thread to match pants
- Denim sewing machine needle
- Old jeans or strong and durable fabric
- Heat 'n Bond
instructions for repairing jeans or pants with a sewn-on patch made from old fabric
step 1: trim excess threads
It is important to carefully remove the frayed area in and around the hole or rip in the pants. A clear area is needed in order for the Heat 'n Bond to adhere properly and make the repair strong.
Using the scissors, cut away any threads around the hole until the edge is clean.
step 2: cut a patch and Heat 'n Bond to fit
In this tutorial, a patch is cut from a strong portion of an old pair of jeans. Any strong fabric will work.
From the old pants or heavy broadcloth, cut a patch a good size larger than the hole to be repaired in the jeans.
Once the patch is cut from the old jeans or other durable fabric, use the patch as a pattern to cut a piece of Heat 'n Bond the same shape and size.
Use an iron to adhere the Heat 'n Bond to the back side of the patch. Once the fabric is cool, use a pin to score the protective layer of the Heat 'n Bond.
Remove the protective backing layer that was just scored by the pin.
step 3: fuse the patch to the front of the jeans
Take a piece of scrap denim fabric and place it into the pant leg to prevent the Heat 'n Bond from fusing to the back of the pant leg. Smooth the damaged pant leg and the fabric underneath before ironing on the patch.
Place the patch with the Heat 'n Bond side down over the hole in the ripped jeans with the grain of the patch laying in the same direction as the grain of the fabric of the pants.
Using the directions on the Heat 'n Bond, fuse the patch with the iron to the top of the damaged pant leg. This is usually 10-15 seconds, but it may be necessary to iron a little bit longer since the material is thick.
Remove the scrap of denim from the inside of the jeans before moving on to step four.
step 4: stitch the patch to the jeans
To stitch the patch, it is recommended to use a denim needle in the sewing machine. This needle has a very sharp point and a shaft that is less prone to break.
For more information on different sewing machine needles, go to our notions and supplies page.
If a denim needle is not available, it is important to use a larger size universal sewing machine needle.
Place the leg through the arm hole area of the sewing machine, pushing the extra leg fabric towards the machine until the patch is under the needle.
A zig zag stitch is used to sew the patch on since it is a larger area. The darning stitch is not used as it was on the last patch which was much smaller.
Set the zig zag stitch shorter so the stitches are closer together. Begin sewing the patch so that half of the zig zag stitch goes over the patch and the other half goes over the pant leg.
Sew around one side of the circular shape of the patch. Next, move the pant leg in order to sew the other side of the patch in the opposite direction.
The patch is now sewn on and should last through many, many wears.
This same technique can be used on other types of pants with holes, such as canvas or docker material.
For the patch, use a sturdy piece of fabric that closely matches the color and material of the damaged pants.
Follow the directions above for a machine sewn patch.
These are two ways to darn jeans or pants with holes. We hope you enjoyed this tutorial and found a way to make your clothes last longer! Please share, pin or like!
For more tips and tricks, take a look at our page devoted to mending and darning.
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