Just as I mentioned mending knits with weaving, today I’m mending a pair of jeans! This technique of patching holes in clothing is known as darning and has been used for clothing mending for a very long time. You set up a grid using the running stitch and the area over the hole gets woven, creating a patch and giving your fabric some more strength.
I decided to try this out on a pair of jeans that I had ripped a hole in the knee. I like to think of this woven patch jeans as similar to jeans that painters wear and get paint spots all over. It’s kind of like a creative badge. Now if only it were as easy…oops I spilled some stitches on my jeans. But it’s well worth the effort.
If you have any experience with hand stitching, your patch will probably come out much nicer then mine. But even with my little experience, I like how my patch turned out. To make my patch I used embroidery thread and a sewing needle. I kept my thread whole, but if you want a thinner thread, you can separate yours apart so that you’re using half the amount of thread.
Here are the steps I followed:
step 1| double knot your thread on the backside of the jeans. I started just outside my fray area. If you look where your jeans ripped, there is usually a larger area of fabric that is fraying from use. If you only sewed in the fray area, it’s possible your jeans will rip more with the added weight of the new thread, whereas if you sew outside of the fray it will help set up a strong base and give support to your jeans.
step 2| using the running stitch, sew your thread in a straight line down next to the hole. Again I sewed my thread down through the fray area.
step 3| when your first row of stitches is finished, make a new row by pushing the thread under and then out where you want to start your new row. I made my new row start one stitch more then the first row. This is because my fray area makes a triangle shape, so I want to make sure I sew around and inside that area.
Tip: Don’t pull the thread through tightly when making a new row. You can see on the backside that I made sure to leave a bump in my thread so that when the fabric is stretched the thread has room to stretch too.
step 4| continue sewing parallel rows of the running stitch. When you come up to the hole in the thread, pass over all the weak fabric and the hole. Leave a loose amount of thread over the hole, again so that the thread has some room to stretch. Continue sewing your parallel rows until all your fray area is sewn.
I also wanted to point out that I have twists on my vertical rows, because I wasn’t being patient and did this quickly. If you have or experience or take your time you can sew your thread without the twist.
step 5| now that your vertical rows are made, bring your thread under and out the fabric to start your horizontal rows. Sew these rows also using the running stitch and leaving bumps in your thread on the backside when starting a new row, just as you did before. When you come to the hole area, simply weave your thread over and under your vertical stitches, just as you normally would weave.
Tip: If your thread gets to the end before you’re finished sewing, simply go to the backside of your fabric and double knot your new thread to your old. Then tuck some of the thread ends in the back of the stitches on the backside and trim the excess. Continue sewing as before.
I wanted a little flash of color, so I tied a short pink thread in and continued to sew a little. I then tied my white thread and finished my patch. You can switch colors as many times as you want, or just keep it to one thread.
Have you tired this or something similar before? I really love how my patch turned out, it really gives these jeans some new character. I will probably try this on some other rips too.
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