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.
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!