05 November 2011

Sewing 101 with me...Patching pants

How many of you have loved the Sewing 101 series?  {Both my hands are raised!!}  I am so grateful to the amazing contributors and the many things I have learned.

I am a little sad to announce that Sewing 101 is going on a bit of a hiatus.  With the building of our house looming, and barely keeping up with blogging as it is, I am going to take a break from Sewing 101.  Not to worry, I'll still be sharing what I make and house updates...I just need to slow down a bit. So, to celebrate the break, I thought I would share some fun techniques I've developed for patching holes in pants, especially jeans.

Method one.  Simple mending.
Sometimes pants develop little holes that can be mended rather than having a full patch applied.  To do so, I create a little patch for underneath the project, and then do some mending stitches with my sewing machine.

To create a non-showing patch, you'll need:
  • Heat n bond lite
  • A fabric similar in color to what you're mending
  • Matching thread
  • Iron and Ironing board
  • Scissors, sewing machine
First, cut a piece of fabric slightly larger than the hole you are mending.
Second, apply heat n bond lite to the TOP of the fabric.
Third, peel off the paper backing, and apply the patch to the UNDERSIDE of the hole.

Fourth, using a curving zigzag stitch (or zigzag if that's what you have) sew over-lapping rows of stitches to cover up the hole.

I love that stitching is not very noticeable.  It's a great way to go...especially for smaller holes.

Method two.  Make a finished edge patch.
I have a thing for finished edges.  I do.  That's why I've been inventing fun methods using interfacing for making all kinds of things, like my finished edge heart, the round leaves on this wall hanging, and even for my fabric roses.  When I made the Gryffindor patches for my kids I realized it would also be a perfect method for patching holes in a fun way.

To make your own finished edge patches, you'll need:
  • Scraps of fabric
  • Scraps of interfacing, or even fusible fleece
  • Matching/contrasting thread
  • Pins
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors, sewing machine, and your other sewing gear
First, reinforce the place you are patching. I like to apply some interfacing to the back of the hole.
Second, decide on a shape you want to use, and cut out the shape in interfacing.  I've used rounded rectangles, squares, and even hearts.  Just choose something simple.
Third, sew the interfacing shape to the fabric, adhesive TOWARD the fabric.  Stitch the entire perimeter, at about 1/8" from the edge.
Fourth, trim fabric and interfacing to 1/8" from seam.

Fifth, cut a slit (or more depending on shape) in the interfacing and turn your design right side out.  Use your fingers or even a pin to pull out the design fully. {HINT: be sure to notch your heart at the top!}
Sixth, press the design in place.  This will give it some temporary hold before you sew.  You may need to add a few pins also.
Seventh, zigzag stitch your patch to your pants.  Be sure to not catch any extra parts of the pants in your stitches.
Eighth, add some additional stitching or embroidery if desired.

This method is only limited by your imagination.  Here are some of the pants I have fixed (I've been on a bit of a mending spree):

A helpful hint.  You will likely need a little stitching around the middle of the patch.  Just to quilt everything together.  I had a little fun with Dolly's jeans embroidering a rainbow twist,

but it can be as simple as some zigzag stitches in random directions.  As long as I'm keeping pants functional, why not be fun too?

I hope these methods are helpful in prolonging the life of the pants your family wears.

{UPDATE:Claudia voiced a concern about getting down to the knees with your sewing machine. I remove the back portion of my machine, and that provides a skinnier surface to slide the pants over.  I've also slid the pants under the needle portion and then scrunched up the fabric from the waist to make it a little easier.  Shannon @ Shannon Makes Stuff shared an interesting method to mend jeans HERE.  If all else seems impossible, you can make a patch like I've shown you, iron it on, and then use a small blanket stitch to hand sew the patch in place.  I hope that helps!}

Thank you for reading and enjoying the Sewing 101 series.  I will always keep the archive on my blog, and hopefully can bring it back next year.  I'll also keep adding great tutorials I find around to the Sewing Tips Roundup.

p.s.  I just had to show you.  I wanted Dolly's pants to not look too homemade, so I went a little crazy and embroidered little rainbows in the hearts on her bum pockets.  Too much?

Sharing with Sugar Bee Crafts,  Someday CraftsSew  Much Ado, and the Quilted Cupcake.

Featured on Craft Gossip and One Pretty Thing!

11 happy thoughts:

Impera Magna said...

Great ideas for extending the life of pants and jeans! Used to do it for my kids (not as fancy as you tho) and have patched a pair of jeans for my granddaughter.

Hope the home building is going smoothly...

Claudia Almandoz Gerbolini said...

I love this...and hate it at the same time! My son has SO many pants that need to be pathced but i simply CANNOT the "trcky" part down. I can´t adjust the pants so that my sewing machine can zig zag near the knee area! Help!

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

This is such a fab idea, Chris. My children are forever ripping their trousers and this looks so pretty!


Unknown said...

Thanks for all the tips. My favourite pair of jeans has just started getting some holes so the timing is perfect. I think the hearts are adorable. Maybe one day I'll have the patience for embroidery!

I hope the series returns soon! Good luck with the home building.

Melissa said...

Love the first photo of her with the patches - cuteness!!

The embroidered patches and corduroy patches are my faves...

Tiffany said...

Sometimes these post come at the perfect time. I have not been in front of the machine in months, the pile is looming and LARGE, inspiration achieved! And the rainbow heart - never too much!

Unknown said...

the fact that you've been keeping up the way you have with the blog while building a house is amazing. it'll be fun to watch that whole process. and as you say, you can start the series up again later. you've built such a great resource as it stands. it's just awesome. so a break is WELL DESERVED! Congratulations!

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

Hands raised here! I LOVE the rainbow twist! And the rainbow heart is certainly not too much... just right :)

Quilted Cupcake said...

Love the rainbow stitching, and the hearts. Great thrifty tip.

I'd love for you to add your post to my weekly Thrifty Thursdays link party. Here's the link: http://quiltedcupcake.blogspot.com/2011/11/thrifty-thursdays-5.html

Anonymous said...

I commented to Claudia, but do not know if it will appear because of the way the window popped up. I love this idea. For me to overcome tight legs, I turn the pants wrong side and take out the leg stitching that is serged (enough that I can easily sew all around a patch). I never thought to use a decorative on the outside like you. DUH for me! When finished adding the patch, I use a straight stitch then zig-zag to re-sew the pant leg. Hope this is helpful.

Abbi said...

I have been mending too and was looking for some creative ideas for my daughters jeans that are so skinny I am going to have to do them by hand. Thanks for the ideas! We are working on building a house too. I hope yours goes well!

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