How to fix holes in jeans

Written by freddie silver
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How to fix holes in jeans
Sometimes we want to fix the holes in our jeans. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Although it is considered fashionable to wear distressed jeans with holes, sometimes the holes appear in places on the jeans where holes are not wanted. A brand new pair of jeans might catch on a sharp object and rip. An old, favourite pair of jeans that still fit perfectly and feel great will eventually wear down in the knee or seat area over time. Fortunately, it is quite easy to restore the jeans. Small holes can be fixed by sewing the holes closed with a small seam. Larger holes can be fixed by covering with a patch.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread matching jeans
  • Iron-on patch or fabric scraps
  • Iron (for iron-on patches)

Show MoreHide


    Seam Method for Small Holes

  1. 1

    Lay the jeans on a flat working surface. Using scissors, trim off loose threads around the edges of the hole. Cut both ends of threads still attached to the fabric on both sides of the hole. Cut the threads as close to the fabric as possible without cutting into the fabric and enlarging the hole.

  2. 2

    Turn the jeans so the wrong side faces out. Fold the fabric along the longer edge of the hole, aligning the two rough edges. Pin in place. Place pins perpendicular to this edge, no more than 1/2 inch apart.

  3. 3

    Thread your sewing machine with matching thread. Using a simple straight stitch, sew a very narrow seam as close to the edge as possible. Extend the seam about 1/8 inch beyond the hole on each end. Taper the seam on the ends in order to minimise fabric puckering.

  4. 4

    Remove the pins. Set the machine for a narrow zigzag stitch to span the width of the seam from the stitch line to the edges. Over sew the seam to finish off the rough edges and prevent edges from unravelling. Turn the trousers right side out and press over the seam. Use a steam iron or a damp cloth to flatten the puckered ends as much as possible.

    How to fix holes in jeans
    A steam iron can reduce unsightly fabric puckering at seam edges. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

    Patch Method for Large Holes

  1. 1

    Repeat Step 1 in Section 1.

  2. 2

    Measure the length and width of the hole with a tape measure. Add 1/2 to 3/4 inch to each side of the measurement and cut a square piece of scrap fabric to this size.

  3. 3

    Thread the sewing machine with a colour matching the patch. Finish the rough edges of the patch either by over sewing with a zigzag stitch or by turning under 1/4 inch and stitching around all sides of the folded edges with a straight stitch.

  4. 4

    Center the patch over the hole and pin in place. Keep the pins perpendicular to each side. Turn trousers inside out to check that the patch has been centred correctly. Adjust the patch until all rough edges of the hole are evenly covered by the patch. Turn trousers back to the right side.

  5. 5

    Sew along all four sides of the patch. Use a straight stitch with the right side of the fabric facing up. Keep the bottom layer of the fabric free of the pressure foot to sew the patch to only one layer of the fabric.

    Keep the stitching parallel to the edges of the patch, staying at least 1/4 inch away from the edge. Sew a second line of stitching between the edge of the patch and the first line of stitching.

  6. 6

    Use an iron-on patch. Skip Steps 3 and 5 and follow the manufacturer's directions to affix the patch. Use the fabric patch from Step 2 as a backing behind the iron-on patch to prevent it from sticking to the bottom layer of the garment.

Tips and warnings

  • If you find that the slight fabric puckering of the seam method is unsightly, use patches on small holes. The seam method works best on rips and tears and very narrow holes.
  • Affix a patch in a colourful patterned fabric. Add stylish flair to your jeans by sewing a few extra patches where there are no holes.
  • If you shorten your own trousers, keep the excess fabric stored away to be used later as patches.
  • Use a machine needle specially made for denim and other heavyweight fabrics as a regular needle might snap in half. Dispose of both broken pieces of the needle immediately, as serious injury could occur if small children or anyone picks up a broken needle.

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