I’m really pleased with the results and this is how I did it.
I’d looked at a couple of different online tutorials and even bought the embroidery foot attachment to do it by sewing machine. Then in a fit of enthusiasm (I can’t remember why) I decided to do it by hand. This was a much slower process but gave much better results.
You will need:
Spare denim for patch
Thread in a similar coloured thread to the denim
Small embroidery hoop
1. Pin the denim patch on the inside of the trousers with the right side of the patch facing the wrong side of the hole. You should be able to see the right side of the patching material through the hole.
2. Then stretch the denim over an embroidery hoop to keep the fabric taught and even throughout the mend.
3. Sew vertical lines of small running stitches up and down the patch, securing it to the original denim with lots of small little stitches. For material this thick running stitch works fine. Just don’t pull the stitches so tight the material buckles. If you look very closely in the above photo you’ll just about be able to see my rows of stitching on the left hand side of the patch.
4. Once you have covered the whole of the patch with lines of closely spaced running stitch turn the jeans right side out. Use more hand stitching to blend the edges of the hole and any bits of frayed fabric until it is hard to discern where the edges of the patch are.
If you don’t have any spare denim to make a patch then you could consider sewing up one of the back pockets of your jeans and cutting a patch out of the fabric in the back layer of the pocket which won’t be seen.
When I showed the jeans to Josh he couldn’t see the patch at all at first. Success!
This mend took a lot of time and effort. But it was worth it, partly because I got a real buzz out of doing such a great job (no false modesty here!) Secondly because it is one of the small steps I’m taking against throw-away fashion. If we mend our clothes they will last longer, then means we can afford to buy fair trade, organic cotton and more expensive clothes which will in turn last longer. Not everyone can afford to buy more expensive clothes and every choice you make for yourself and your family is personal so this isn’t about judging anyone’s choices but my own.
But I can’t buy clothes which I know are made by people who don’t get paid a fair wage and have to work in dangerous conditions, use cotton grown using farming practices which are unsustainable.