I used to buy all of Henry’s jeans used and then I passed them on to E. But there comes an age when you can no longer find any used jeans in your son’s size. It starts around 4T and there is a virtual jean desert until… well, H wears a 6 slim and I still can’t find them. Because boys this age are HARD on jeans.
I have not been able to pass jeans down either. By the time one boy is done with them, there is only enough jean left for shorts, if I’m lucky. Besides that, E is determined to keep growing and seems to be catching up to his older brother. They are only one size apart now. Some things fit both of them.
All of this is to tell you that patching jeans has become an important skill in this house.
Here is a quick tutorial of how I keep my boys’ knees covered through the winter. This method give the jeans that popular “destroyed” look, except they are hole-free and will hold up for a few more months.
Here we have a pair on holey jeans…
I have yet to buy a patch, instead I have cut “patches” from the lower legs and backs of jeans that were too holey to be repaired. I use pinking shears to cut a piece of denim large enough to cover the hole. If you don’t have any jeans to cut from, you can buy jean patches at a fabric store.
Pin your patch to the inside of the jeans, with the pins on the outside so you can pull them out as you sew.
My sewing machine has this crazy stitch. All machines are different, but select the craziest stitch you have.
Next I remove the accessories box that allows my machine to have a free arm…
And then I slide the leg of the jeans over the arm. This is so that I can stitch the patch on without sewing through the whole leg, closing it on accident.
Now start sewing. You are going to stitch all over the hole and the patch. Back-stitch is your friend, because with the jeans over the arm like this you can’t turn them at all.
I found it helpful to stick my left hand in the top of the jeans and use my right hand to operate the back-stitch lever. Now sew, sew, sew. Cover the entire hole and all around it.
Almost done. Sew like crazy.
After the patch is covered with crazy stitches, slide the jeans off the machine arm, turn inside out and trim any excess patch away.
All done! A little extra life with a rough and tough patch for your kids’ jeans!
Depending on the thread you use, you can really make the patch stand out with contrasting thread, or disappear if you can get a good color match. I have about four different blues. I try to get close, but thankfully, my boys are at an age where they really don’t care either way.
Do you patch kids’ clothes? What tips do you have?