Thigh rips in jeans are the nemesis of anyone who has thighs.
That’s always the weak spot of my jeans, at least. Never mind that I spend half the day grubbing around on my knees or butt–on my jeans, it’s always the thighs that go first.
It’s tempting to just toss your jeans when they rip in the thigh. After all, you can’t exactly make them into cut-offs there, and a patch, while it may look cute on your knees or even your butt, doesn’t exactly look… cute… on your inner thigh.
Fortunately, there’s a simple, fairly inconspicuous way to mend a rip in the thigh of your jeans. All you need is matching thread, a sewing machine with a jeans or extra-sharp needle, and some scraps of stretch denim.
1. Trim the rip. Although it seems counter-intuitive to make the rip wider, your finished mend will look neater without frayed thread caught in it.
2. Cut the stretch denim to size. Think of this stretch denim as a patch INSIDE your jeans. Cut it wider than the rip on all sides, knowing that you can trim it down a bit later.
3. Glue the denim patch to the inside of the rip. Using an iron if necessary, flatten out the jeans leg and arrange it neatly, so that the rip is as closed and tidy as it’s going to get without buckling the fabric around it.
Rub a glue stick liberally around the top of your patch (this is my secret trick for all applique!), then carefully arrange it inside the pants leg, underneath the rip. Flatten it down well, and make sure that the rip is still closed and tidy and that the patch is still covering the entire rip.
Pin the edges of the patch, well away from the rip, to the jeans. You want to leave plenty of wiggle room for that patch, as well as plenty of room for all the back-and-forth stitching that you’re about to do.
4. Sew the rip closed. Set your sewing machine to the longest and widest zig-zag stitch, then sew back and forth along the rip. Ideally, this widest zig-zag will span the rip, and the stretch denim will allow the thread tension to close it, while providing extra support.
5. Keep sewing! As the rip closes, you can begin to shorten your stitch length to better seal the rip, then begin to stitch around the rip to reinforce it.
Finish by sewing around the patch that you placed inside your jeans, so that it can continue to reinforce the entire area around the rip.
To prevent rips in the thighs of your jeans, you can also sew this patch in before a problem occurs. Three of the four pairs of jeans that I own have this mend in at least one thigh, and when I mend the rip in one thigh, I sew a reinforcing patch to the inside of the other thigh, so that I won’t have to mend that side anytime soon!