Jean Mending Project: Repairing Large Holes with Sashiko & Denim Patches

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Denim Repair Blog by wrenbirdarts Erin Eggenburg

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 1/2" larger than the hole on each side. Pin the patch in place, making sure not to stretch the denim out of shape. The can be tricky when maneuvering around oddly shaped rips.  

Denim Mending

I decided to use linen, because it's lighter, and this hole is so large, I want to add a denim patch on top of the linen for added strength. 

Patching a knee hole

I ran simple horizontal sashiko style stitches, over the entire rectangular knee area to secure the linen, and the overpatched denim in place. The denim has raw edges and will fray slightly over time, but the sashiko stitching stops the fraying at a point. 

Sashiko Denim Repair

Now, let's deal with that paint splotch that is bothering me. The denim is fine, I just don't like the look of paint stains. It's a personal preference. 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 a soft woven wool patch. Wool is fun to use for mending, just make sure that it isn't going to shrink when you wash your jeans. That would be a bummer after all of that work. 

Sashiko Style Mending

This wool is such a great color and texture contrast to the denim. 

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

Embroidered Feather made from paint stain

And that's it, not so bad, right? 

sashiko mended jeans

If you like this style of mending, click here for more mending.


Click here for a FREE downloadable sashiko style visible mending guide.


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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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