Visible Mending and Whimsical Patching

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These jeans with 2 large tears (one in each leg) and some paint splotches might seem like a lost cause. I beg to differ. These jeans are in great shape despite some unfortunate experiences. But where to begin?

Repairing Torn Jeans

I always start by cutting off the denim fray fluff, and making a clean edge. It makes it much easier to patch when you can see what you're working with . The only time I leave the extra fluff is if it's a crotch/upper thigh mend.  But that's for another time. 

Preparing jeans for patching

Let's start with the right leg. I lined up the linen patch, cut about 3/4" larger than the hole on each side. Pin the patch in place, making sure not to stretch the denim out of shape. It sounds obvious, but can be tricky when maneuvering around odd shaped rips like this.  

Denim Mending

I decided to use linen, because it's strong, but not too thick. This hole is so large, I want to add a denim patch on top of the linen for added strength, but I don't want the patched area to feel bulky. 

Patching a knee hole

I stitched simple horizontal lines, from bottom to top, over the entire rectangular knee area to secure both the linen, and the overpatched denim in place. The denim has raw edges and will fray slightly over time, but the small, close stitches won't allow the jeans to continue to fray. 

Sashiko Denim Repair

Now, let's deal with a paint splotch that is bothering me. The denim is strong, but this is a way to cover a stain. 

I made a small patch from denim and I cut a bird out of a silk bandana, and stitched the newly made patch over the paint splotch. 

Denim Patch

Ahh, that's better. Now, let's get that left leg!

Repairing ripped denim

For this smaller hole, I decided to use textured woven patch. It's thick, but has a little bit of give. 

Sashiko Style Mending

Did you happen to notice that the left side paint splotch looks like a feather? I couldn't resist adding some stitches for whimsy sake. 

Embroidered Feather made from paint stain

And here's the big reveal:

sashiko mended jeans

More tutorials and a monthly Mending Club here! 

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  • Deborah Kelton on

    This was very helpful to me!! I had never patched anything before.
    Thank You!!!!

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