Published on January 13th, 2014 | by Julie Finn5
Clothing + Fashion: How to Patch Your Pants
Why is there a hole in the butt of my jeans?
Why did I sew a dinosaur patch over that hole in the butt of my jeans?
These are questions that you probably shouldn’t ask, and that you definitely do NOT want the answer to.
What you DO need to know is how I did it, and that’s what I’m going to tell you! You’ll be pleased to know that sewing a patch over a hole in your clothing is actually super easy, and it’s really not that hard to make better decisions about what that patch should look like than I apparently did (May I suggest a Doctor Who-themed patch? That was going to be my second choice, after dinosaurs).
1. Mend the original hole. Not mending the hole before patching it is the biggest mistake that well-intentioned newbies make. Yes, I know you’re going to patch the hole, but you still have to mend it, first. Here’s how to mend a rip, and as you can see from that tute, it’s actually perfectly okay to wear your pants again after that, even without a patch.
However, patches are cool, soooo…
2. Make a patch. You *can* use a store-bought patch if you’ve got one (I, for instance, have an extra American flag patch from when I was putting together my kids’ Girl Scout uniforms, and I briefly considered saving a step and just slapping that baby on my jeans, but then I figured that an American flag sewn to my butt would probably attract unwanted attention), but there’s so much more scope for the imagination (Book reference, anyone?) in a handmade patch. Good choices for a sturdy fabric for the patch include the following:
- denim, khaki, or other trashed pants
- upholstery scraps or samples
- beater quilts (my patch came from a doll quilt I made the kids years ago)
- stiffly felted wool sweaters
For a shape, you can use the tried-and-tested square or circle, sure, but you can also use simple stencils to make AWESOME patches! I once sewed a volcano onto my pants, and it was excellent.
3. Place the patch. Place the patch so that it completely covers the mended hole, but also keep in mind the layout of seams and hems on your pants. It’s way harder to sew over seams, and your sewing machine won’t like it–mine will stop sewing and beep at me in irritation until I hand-crank it past the inconvenience. My patch is over one seam that I just couldn’t avoid, but after looking at it pinned to my jeans, I repositioned it to avoid an even thicker second seam.
Pin the patch well so that it won’t shift while you sew, and then you won’t have to use any interfacing!
4. Satin stitch around the patch. If you’re a grown-up, you should be able to fit the leg of your jeans over your sewing machine, but for kid jeans or those hipster skinny jeans, know that you may have to open up and then re-sew a side seam to get at the patch.
Fortunately, with a patch on the butt, there’s plenty of room to sew!
Trim your threads, and you can wear your repaired pants immediately. I’m wearing my dinosaur-butt pants out tonight!