First attempts at patching

Inspired by Make Do and Mend’s post about patching clothes in the Guardian I decided to practice on a pair hand me down trousers given to R.  They were a nice pair of blue corduroys but with a small rip on one of the knees and both knees were looking a bit threadbare due to the previous owner’s enthusiastic crawling.

A small but undeniable hole.

A small but undeniable hole.

I also thought that the decorative patching technique in the article would best suit children’s clothes.

Now R has a lot of trousers and whilst I had pulled these out for mending ages ago I never got round to fixing them because he didn’t really need them.  Then I read an article on another blog about the terrible condition of some clothes donated to charity.  I decided to fix them there and then because even if R barely wears them at least now I’d be happy to donate them to a charity shop in the future.

Because the knees on these trousers will always be subject to crawling wear I decided to make my patch out of a smaller circle of fleece and a larger circle of cotton fabric. I thought the extra cushioning would help with future wear and tear.

Patch pieces - wow that photo is blurry!

Patch pieces.

Before I started the patching process, I very quickly put a few stitches to roughly hold the torn bit of fabric together to make it more secure (even though no-one will ever see it… doubly so since I forgot to photograph that step!) Then I placed the circles wrong sides together and using a running stitch I tacked down the edges of the cotton fabric so that it enclosed the fleece.

A patch complete and ready for sewing to the trousers.

A patch complete and ready for sewing to the trousers.

Once I’d gone all the way round I pinned the patch over the worn place on the trousers with the right side of the cotton facing up.  Then I sewed around the patch using blanket stitch to make it look prettier. I used this tutorial on blanket stitch applique which was very easy to follow.



And finally I repeated it on the other knee.  Both knees were worn so it was worth it but I would probably patch both knees on another pair of trousers like this just to make it look more appealing.

It took about an hour in total – which might seem like a lot to time-poor parents.  But since I spent the evening relaxing in front of the TV it was easy to fit in.

The grand finale!

The grand finale!



6 thoughts on “First attempts at patching

  1. Phyllis Weaving

    lovely job with the patches. I use to work at Help the Aged. we dreaded donations were the person said they had cleaned them. I even recieved soiled Trousers. yucky.

  2. Becky A Post author

    Thank you! I can’t imagine giving something dirty, stained or ripped (etc.) to a charity shop and it is very sad to learn that people do.

  3. Dawn McHugh

    great bit of patching there well done, I have just been looking in a magazine and they had patches on the knees of kids trousers made to look like bunnies heads.
    Even if its just for a few more weeks wear its worth it.

  4. thehomemaderoad

    This is such a useful post. I have exactly the same problem with my son’s trousers. I always try to buy second hand for him but am finding holes appear quite quickly…..he’s way past the crawling stage but is such a rough and tumble little boy this kind of wear and tear seems unavoidable. Am def going to give this a go….especially since it can be done in front of the tv with a cuppa 🙂

    1. Becky A Post author

      Thank you very much. Although machine sewing is quicker I often find I’m more likely to get something done if it is hand sewn as I don’t have to set the machine up and get it all out!

      I’m very proud of the idea of using the fleece fabric to line the patches. Provides a good buffer zone for crawling!


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