Clothing + Fashion Add Knee Patches to Pants

Published on October 1st, 2014 | by Julie Finn


How to Make Patches for Pants as You’re Sewing Them

How to Make Patches Patches for Pants as You're Sewing Them

Sewing pants for a kid? Save yourself some trouble in the long run, and just add knee patches from the get-go. Here’s how to make patches that are built in!

If you’re using a pattern with separate pattern pieces for the front and back of the pants leg, then adding the knee patches as you sew will barely take any time–certainly WAY less time than it would take to mend the knees and add the knee patches later!

The knee patches will reinforce the pants knees, so that they’ll be more resistant to wear and tear in the first place, and depending on your choice of fabric for the patch, they’ll add just another cute detail to what I’m sure is already going to be a pretty darn cute pair of pants.

How to Make Patches That are Built In

1. Cut out the pants pattern pieces as indicated in the pattern. The best part of this method is that you don’t have to do anything fiddly to your pattern!

2. Measure your kid’s inseam to just below her knees, and mark this on the pattern. For my kid, this is just about 13″ down. When in doubt, put the patches low–your kid will grow, and those patches will inch up before you know it.

3. Measure down from this knee mark to the width that you’d like the knee patch to be, and mark it. Add a quarter-inch on both the top and the bottom for a seam allowance, and draw a line straight across your pants pattern at both these measurements.

4. Transfer these marks to a separate pattern piece. Put a piece of scrap paper under the pants pattern at the knee patch markings. Mark the top and bottom points of the knee patch onto this paper, then trace the sides of the pants pattern onto it. Cut it out, and you’ll have a knee patch pattern piece custom-sized for this pants pattern:

Add Knee Patches to Pants

5. Cut and prepare the pattern pieces. When you cut the front pants legs, use chalk to mark the location of the knee patches. When you cut the patches, iron down the top and bottom edges to the inside by a quarter inch. Use the chalk marks on the pants legs to help you position the patches onto the leg pieces, then pin into place:

Add Knee Patches to Pants

Add Knee Patches to Pants6. Sew on the patches. Edge stitch around the perimeter of the patches, then sew something cute across the middle to prevent gapping–I just sew a big x from corner to corner, but something decorative would be even cuter.

7. Complete the pants pattern as instructed. Although… do you double-stitch everything when you sew pants for your kids? I double-stitch every single seam other than the hem and the waistband (this is how I like to sew elastic waistbands), because my kids are sooooo rough on their clothes.

Know what would also look cute with pants like these? Reversible cuffs with extra room to grow! I’ll show you how to make those in a few days.

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

4 Responses to How to Make Patches for Pants as You’re Sewing Them

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