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Message Board > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Patching jeans ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Patching jeans
in a delicate area
SusanMcD
SusanMcD
Intermediate
WI USA
Member since 6/28/04
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Date: 1/8/07 11:18 AM

My 20-year old daughter has worn holes & thin areas in the "crotch" area of her jeans...(in the fabric on either side of the seam) sorry, no more descriptive way to phrase it. I tried repairing the holes by machine darning, because that style is actually fashionable, but the thread had no stretch and it made the area too tight. With a second pair (same problem), we tried iron-on patches on the inside of the pants, but they felt stiff and uncomfortable. Anyone have this problem and a different way to solve it? Thanks.

patma
patma
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In reply to SusanMcD
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Date: 1/8/07 12:15 PM

I patch many jeans for my adult sons and grandson (work clothes). One consistently tears or wears out the crotch area. After much trial and error, we have found the most satisfactory way is to put a piece of polarfleece (usually gray) under the whole area. Zigzag or attach by whatever kind of stitches from the right side being sure to secure any worn edges. From the wrong side, trim off any excess fleece. The polar fleece wears like iron, is soft and has some give. I once used my decorative stitch alphabet and stitched "PATS PATCHING SERVICE". It wasn't a big hit with the son but I was amused.

Michelle T

Michelle T
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Date: 1/8/07 12:19 PM

I have found that it is not worth trying patching the inner upper thigh when it wears out. Usually other areas of the pants are starting to wear out and you are lucky to get much more wear out of them.

Adding bulk to the area can lead to chafing and it is hard to cover the thinned out fabric without adding bulk.

------
Proud parent of a Dwight International School Honour Roll Student

LauraTS
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LauraTS  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/8/07 4:29 PM

I've had decent luck with iron-on patches put on the right side of the jeans. That avoids the scratchyness problem, although depending on the largeness of the hole the patch will be visible. Really when jeans get to this point they're only good for chores, etc.

I'll have to try the polarfleece trick sometime - great idea.

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SusanMcD
SusanMcD
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Date: 1/8/07 9:55 PM

Thank you everyone! I will definitely try the polarfleece approach. Brilliant. You would think the rest of the jeans would be worn out too...but they're not. And these are NOT cheap jeans. They're "Sevens," if you've ever heard of those. At least $150....I know, I know, crazy, but it's her money and she loves the fit. She's in college, so she wears them every single day. I just can't believe the crotches would wear out so quickly. Maybe my next effort will be to sew a pair... Thanks again.

Kathi R
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Date: 1/8/07 11:57 PM

I have 2 daughters and have rebuilt many pairs of jeans over the years. I think some of these pants are weak in certain areas due to the chemicals they use to get the "desirable" fabric finish. I normally use cotton stretch shirting (like poplin) with about 3% lycra for the patches and I patch very large sections. Pale blue works well since the jeans are normally faded by the time they need this much maintenance.

I use spray starch to slightly stiffen the area for repair. Cut the patches much larger than you need to avoid a near term blow out in an adjacent area. Try to arrange the patch so that you are attaching the edges of it to sturdy fabric and then sew through the worn part to attach it to the patch. My favorite thread for sewing through the worn area is Coats and Clark in a color they call chambray -- it really fades into the worn spots.

When rebuilding a crotch, I use one piece perpendicular to the crotch seam so that I'm attaching to strong fabric on both sides.....depending on the curve, you may need to break this up into a couple of perpendicular patches. Working with shirting fabric you won't add much bulk so having the patches overlap isn't a problem.

The record lifespan for a pair of jeans at our house was 12 years -- my older daughter's first pair of Levi's 501s stayed in circulation from 7th grade to age 25....good thing the style was baggy when she first got them. I have found that rebuilding a favorite pair of jeans and giving them a new life is one of the easiest ways to become a hero mom.

------
2012 : starting stash 386, net additions 206, used 164, ending stash 428...I'm never going to get in front of this pile of fabric!

dyno
dyno
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In reply to SusanMcD
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Date: 1/19/07 11:48 PM

holy crap! a pair of Seven jeans wore out like that? I'd be seriously peeved.

you may have found a solution, but in case it's helpful I've just been patching jeans with other jeans. I put the patch on the INSIDE of the jeans, like an extra panel, rather than attempting to patch over the outside.

I'll take on old pair of jeans or grab a pair super cheap from a thriftstore and cut it up for patches. The patch then blends with the original garment and is hardly noticeable. I've found that when an area rips or wears out it's because more give is needed there. So trying to darn it close won't work, it just makes the stressed area even smaller. Whereas slipping in an extra piece is more likely to last.

-- sew around the rip in a matching thread color, getting as close as possible to the rip (basically staystitching to keep it from unraveling further and support the area). I use a stretch stitch.

-- trace the shape of the rip, then cut a patch the same shape with a 1/2 inch allowance on all sides.

-- pin the patch to the garment from the right side, turn inside out and check that it's positioned correctly

-- sew from the right side, following the tear, 1/8 - 1/4 inch from the ripped area. again, I stretch stitch. If it's something like a butt or knee rip I do another like of stitching 1/8 inch from the original line for extra support.

-- flip the garment inside out and trim off the excess allowance. starting with a larger patch than you'll actually need makes it easier to position and sew.

For large holes like a full split across the knees or butt of course the patch is going to be somewhat noticeable. But you'd be surprised how well it blends in if you get a good fabric match. Plus, with a rip that large the jeans are obviously not going to be ''dress'' jeans, so it's ok. You can also leave the frayed edges of the original jeans and place the patch underneath for a cool ''rock'' look.

You can take the ripped pair with you to a thrift store so you can find a pair in a similar shade and finish. I have a stash for patching so I can closely match the color when I need to mend a ripped pair.

I've noticed that the jeans I've bought in the past 5 years are of a thinner denim that doesn't stand up as well as jeans that were older. The stressed seams (crotch, butt, pockets) don't hold up. (A friend found this too with her very expensive designer jeans). I had to repair 3 pairs of jeans for my bf because the knees were shot within a few months. sheesh. :)

Karla Kizer
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Karla Kizer  Friend of PR
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 1/20/07 0:13 AM

I used to repair the kids' obscenely overpriced jeans by ironing fusible knit interfacing inside the jeans and darning with blue cotton thread in the bobbin and Sulky polyester invisible thread in the needle. The patched areas were close to invisible; they looked more like slight fabric defects than patched areas and the patches usually outlived the rest of the jeans.

ETA I didn't cut off any denim threads in the frayed areas. I just arranged them fairly neatly and fused them in place with the interfacing. I think the threads helped the patched area blend in, once they were darned into permanent position with the invisible thread.
-- Edited on 1/20/07 0:17 AM --

------
“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” -Robert Heinlein and Ann's father. Thanks for the reminder, Ann.

Where are we going, and what am I doing in this handbasket?

Matthew 25:40 (New International Version)
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'



Debbie Cook
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Debbie Cook
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In reply to dyno


Date: 1/20/07 0:19 AM

Dyno,
I've repaired my sons' jeans exactly like you described, except I already have my own supply of "scraps" from their old jeans. They actually like the patches since it adds to the worn in/out look and neatness doesn't even really count.

------
--
"I base my fashion sense on what doesn't itch." — Gilda Radner
http://stitchesandseams.blogspot.com

dyno
dyno
Intermediate
USA
Member since 12/6/06
Posts: 177
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In reply to Debbie Cook


Date: 1/20/07 3:18 PM

Karla Kizer,
that's a good tip to use fusible interfacing. I bet that works well when you catch the rip in it's early small stages and lets you make a less visible repair :)

Debbie Cook,
yay! now that I know someone else does it I feel like it's a legitimate technique, instead of my usual "well, it seemed to make sense, I guess" approach. ;)

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