How-to: Mend Ripped Jeans

Stabilize the interior of the rip.
Stabilize the interior of the rip with interfacing or extra fabric, then sew the rip closed.

 2. Stabilize the rip. Baste the rip closed if you need to, then stabilize it on the inside of the jeans. For this particular project, I chose some stash iron-on interfacing; for a more eco-friendly interfacing option, however, choose a scrap of stash fabric to turn into DIY sew-in interfacing by basting it to the back of the rip. Depending on the weave of my interfacing fabric, I often have good luck also using a glue stick to firmly adhere the interfacing fabric to the area around the rip.

sew back and forth along the rip
Sew back and forth along the rip to close it.

3. Sew the rip closed. Set up your sewing machine with a denim or leather needle and the widest zig-zag stitch, then sew back and forth along the rip several times until it’s completely closed.

When the tear is completely mended, switch to a straight stitch to re-sew any pockets or seams that you opened, then use your sewing scissors to trim away any excess interfacing.

And just like that, I have my woodworking/painting/gardening jeans back! I mend my nice pair of jeans exactly this way, as well, but I take more care to match the thread color on those jeans–the thread on these jeans is going to be grunge-colored soon enough, so why bother?

P.S. Have more than just a rip? Check out this tutorial for patching jeans!

P.P.S. Have jeans that can’t be saved? Re-gift them!

Written by Julie Finn

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.


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