How do I patch a hole in a pair of jeans?
I've had a pair of Levi Jeans for a couple years and they've finally started to fall apart. I've somehow managed to rip a giant hole in the back above both pockets, and I can't really wear them anymore because of it.
How should I go about repairing them?
It would be interesting to know whether the Levi's warranty covers this, so please let us know.
You could certainly try the iron on or sewing route. The iron-on patch starts to curl away from the fabric after a few washings anyway, so it's best to sew around the edge of the patch no matter which method you choose. How are your sewing skills? Do you have access to a machine? Let me know if you would like instructions for repair by hand or machine.
Having said all that, it might be that the fabric is wearing out and new holes will soon appear regardless of the repair. The denim that jeans are made of today is just not as strong as in the old days. Those old "dungarees" were stiff and tough to break in, but the fabric lasted forever. Now jeans fabric is pre-stressed to make them soft, so they are actually already somewhat worn out before we buy them. Then we put them over and over again in an "agitator" washing machine, stressing the fabric even more. (Front-loading machines are easier on clothes and use less detergent and water).
What to do now? Well, you can save them so you'll have some denim to patch future pairs with, cut them up for some heavy-duty cleaning cloths, or put them in one of those clothing donation collection boxes that you see sometimes in parking lots. The jeans may not be wearable anymore, but if you donate them they eventually make their way to a company that will shred them for use as all sorts of stuffing and insulation. Even worn-out fabric is valuable to them and is never wasted.
Levi Jeans come with a Full Warranty, so you may not even have to fix the jeans yourself. However, you can get a denim patch that you can sew over the hole or get a patch the you can iron on over the hole. In my experience, the ironing method is easier, but the sewing method lasts longer. You could do both to insure a long fix.
Someone here is surely going to want to SEW the repair, so I'll address it. I say wear them till they are too big or ugly. If you have a machine, you need to take a razor blade or seam ripper and remove the belt loop if the rip is underneath it. Since the rip is above BOTH pockets, I assume it is not along the back seam. So look for the "zigZag" stitch vvvv, and make the stitch width as high as it will go. The stitch length should be fairly long too. Position the rip so both sides are held together under the sewing foot, and stitch. Reverse, stitch again. Takes 5 minutes...depen
It would be helpful to know more about the hole, because different damage needs different kinds of fixing.
Though when fabric wears out, you can't do all that much, to extend the life of your jeans (especially if they're $100 jeans or part of a limited wardrobe) you can fix most holes.
A simple rip in a straight line, like a broken seam or a tear, can be trimmed to remove the extra fuzz and stitched back together. A zigzag stitch on a machine is one option, but you can also do it by hand. if you've never hand stitched, what you're doing is basically lacing the gap back together.
A small hole can be mended with a piece of denim fabric (or other rough material) cut to fit and then stitched over the hole. For a funky look, shapes (skulls, hearts, etc...) make good patches. Otherwise find as close a fabric match as you can. Either way make sure that the edges of your patch are firmly stitched down to prevent it from peeling or fraying.
If you want, you can hem the patch before you sew it down. Use an iron to fold the hem over for nice crisp edges.
For a bigger hole, you can lay a patch over it. To make the item long wearing, say for the knee of a pair of pants, put a patch on the inside as well. A comfortable, non-chafing fabric goes on the inside, with denim or a rough fabric on the outside, and the worn jeans in the middle of the sandwich.
To darn holes in jeans, you will need:
Sheers (or sharp scissors)
Denim spool of thread
Iron denim patch on
Turn the jeans inside out, exposing the hole. Lay the pair of jeans on a hard, flat surface (such as a table or an ironing board) with the hole facing up.
Use a patch of denim matching the color of the torn jeans that is large enough to cover the hole. Denim patches can be purchase at most craft stores. If you must, you can cut fabric from the jeans pocket (the one that doesn't get a lot of use) or use a piece of denim from another pair of denim jeans if you have no other options.
Cut out the denim patch a bit larger than the hole, in any shape you prefer. Lay the patch over the hole and pin it into place, around its edges and through the patch underneath the jeans.
Use a sewing machine to darn the hole. Set the sewing machine on a fine setting. It’s foot should be on an embroidery setting. Place the sewing machine on a zig-zag setting, guiding the patches’ edges along the sewing machine’s stitch. You want to make sure that the hole’s edges are completely stitched up. For holes that are round in nature, make sure that you sew all the way around the patch. If the hole is rectangular or square, only sew a few corners of the hole and pivot.
If you do not have a sewing machine, darn holes in jeans with denim iron-on patch. These iron-on patches can be purchased from a craft or fabric store. Simply follow instructions as directed on product label. Generally, these patches can darn a hole in jeans just by ironing the patch over the pair. However, these patches can weaken overtime and rip from constant washing and drying. To secure the patch, stitch denim thread onto the edge of the patch with a needle, pulling the needle up and through the jeans, making at least five to ten stitches per inch.
Go to your local thrift store, throw a fiver on the counter for replacement jeans to either wear or as a source for a patch
or take a fashion risk and cut up some other cool shirt or shorts you no longer wear and put on a contrasting patch...you can add more matching patches to other non-holey areas of the jeans to make it look like an intentional fashion statement
or cut them up and repurpose them into shorts or a cool backpack, book bag or whathaveyou