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How To Patch Jeans

Updated: May 13, 2020

Although I do enjoy a good pair of holey jeans, some holes just need a patch. A cute patch. The hole in the knee of my very favorite pair of jeans got so big that my whole knee stuck out, so I decided to patch them with cute paisley fabric and Sashiko stitching.


I bought this pair of #jeans with this big hole in the knee, but it originally had threads covering the hole. Eventually, the threads broke and slowly my knee made its appearance. It wasn't so bad if I was walking around, but when I sat down my pasty knee would come shining through and I just couldn't stand it. This is a quick #DIY tutorial on #HowToPatchJeans.





I love the frayed bottoms of these jeans and the fact that they're 100% cotton. No stretch. I predict they'll last forever.








You'll need:

  • jeans- a favorite pair that you love to wear!

  • fabric for the patch

  • embroidery thread or heavy cotton Sashiko thread

  • embroidery needle

  • sewing pins

  • scissors

  • sewing machine


Here's a link to sewing supplies on Amazon, if you need some stuff.

I'll receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you order through my site.


Choose a piece of snazzy, 100% cotton fabric to use for the patch. Or, you can use a piece of fabric that blends with the jeans.

Choose some fabric and cut a piece that's about an inch bigger, all around, than the hole that you're patching.

I decided to use this navy and white paisley print, The navy blends in with the jeans, so the patch isn't that obvious.








Pin the patch in place.

This part involves some sewing. I used a sewing machine for this step. You could jump straight to the Sashiko stitching at this point, but I patched these jeans long before I decided to add Sashiko stitches.

I don't have pictures of every step of this #SewingProject, so I'll put in some pictures from other projects that I've done. This picture shows how to pin a #patch in place. (See my Denim Shorts post here.)




Stitch around the patch.


I like to use some stay stitching around the outside of the patch, about an inch all around from the hole. This catches the edges of the patch on the underside and keeps the corners from rolling underneath.



Then stitch close to the hole with a zig-zag stitch. Follow the outline of the hole. It's okay to leave the frayed edges of the hole and some extra strings. I like the way it looks.



Don't sew over the pins. Pull them out as you go.












The patching portion of the project is finished at this point. You can stop here and have a super-cute pair of patched jeans. Or you can add some Sashiko stitches.


The finished patch.

The patch was holding up well and the edges of the hole just kept getting fuzzier. I liked them just fine like this, but I wanted to try Sashiko stitching and this was the perfect pair of jeans to try it on. You can use any color of #embroidery thread, or even special Sashiko, heavy cotton thread, for the stitches. I tried the heavy cotton thread on this pair and I have to say it was a struggle getting those stitches in place. I was completely worn out by the time I finished. The thread was really thick and heavy, and my embroidery needle was big and wasn't extremely sharp. I think I'll use regular embroidery thread next time and see if that's any easier.

I was digging around in my sewing stuff and found this embroidery thread. It was in a sewing basket that belonged to my husband's grandmother, Mamaw Doris. Do you see the 12 cent price tag? I started thinking about how old this thread had to be.

I've had the sewing basket at least 20 years and she hadn't sewn anything for years before I got the basket. I'll have to do some more research. There's a lot of neat stuff in her sewing basket, so I'll pull some of it out and share it with you in another post.


Sashiko is a form of decorative reinforcement stitching from Japan. Sashiko means "little stabs".

You can add Sashiko stitching across the patch.



This is my version of #Sashiko. It's just a running stitch of thread across the patch area. You can see where I started, across the top, making neat little stitches. About half-way down my stitches got a little sloppy. Then a lot sloppy,

But, like I said, this is my version of Sashiko! It doesn't have to be perfect. Make it your's.













I'm happy with the way they turned out. But, I'm going to use a bright print for the patch on my next pair of jeans and some coordinating colored embroidery thread for the Sashiko.





















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