How to mend jeans

visiblemending.jpg2020 can you believe it? In 2019 (and the better part of 2018), my goals and hobbies kind of went off the rails. New baby/busy kids/survival mode you know. My baby is now one, and he slept through the night last night for maybe the third time ever so I’m feeling all kinds of goal-oriented today.  Yep. These will definitely last all year without a glitch. 

I decided my 2020 crafty goal is to make/design one new project a month and mend one project a month. Because, real life, my mend/reuse pile is MASSIVE and ever-growing.

Today I’m checking off my hypothetical mend checkbox for January because I tackled the project that’s been staring me in the face for months – my daughter’s jean pile. That pile had reached at least seven pairs. So I cut up the ones she had outgrown (yep its been sitting that long) and used them for patches.

I’ve been searching for the “perfect” way to mend jeans for months on end and I think I finally found it in Katrina Rodabaugh and all her visible mending enthusiasm and wisdom. She even has a beautiful book about mending and teaches classes. I haven’t yet, but I will buy her book because it’s absolutely gorgeous and I need it on my shelf along with all her knowledge. Go check her out! Her web page and IG feed are lovely.

But today I decided to wing it for my first try and see how it went.

I used:

  • a size 20 embroidery needle and a small regular sewing needle for a stubborn fabric that didn’t like the big one. 
  • two strands of DMC embroidery thread
  • jean patches from denim scrap fabric and extra pairs of jeans
  • Update: Use a thin iron on interfacing on the wrong side of the pants. The thread will rip new holes without reinforcement. 

Step one was to cut squares and rectangles from my scrap denim that would cover the holes by about 1.5 inches on all sides. 

For the outward patches, I then ironed in a half-inch on all sides of my jean scraps. With my jeans laying out flat, I carefully pinned the patches to the top layer. Then proceeded to stitch them on. 

For the inward patches, I placed them inside cut any loose threads away from the hole and whip stitched around connecting the patch to the hole. Where there was weak threading under the hole’s location on the denim, I added some running stitches to fortify. 

I used a running or whip stitch of all of these patches. I love the creativity in this! Just make it pretty. I love how they turned out and I see visible mending in my future. Maybe with some fun colored denim or DMC thread and of course endless options for stitch patterns. 


What do you think? Have you tried visible mending?


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