Visible Mending: Weak in the Knees

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Denim Repair: Weak in the Knees

Knee and Full Leg Denim Repair by wrenbirdarts

I don't want to sound like the crabby lady on the corner, but. . . JEANS TODAY! Jeans take thousands of gallons of water to make, from seed to thread, and then the chemical dyes, and then fake holes are made in those brand new jeans. How long should we expect jeans with manufactured holes in the knees to last? I won't mention the spandex that weakens the upper thigh area of every pair of jeans!!!!! 

Thanks, I had to get that out. 


Fast Fashion Denim Isn't Meant to Last

Pretty wicked, right? The jeans are 100% cotton, which is why I am repairing them. Unless they are 100% cotton, they are bound to keep ripping. The spandex that is blended with the cotton weakens the fabric. 


Visible Mending Patch Prep for Denim Repair

I trimmed off the excess strings around the tear, and then cut a patch the shape and length of the rip. A good rule is to cut the fabric about 1/2" larger than the hole on each side. I slid the patch into place on the inside of the jean leg, and pinned gratuitously. 

Pin the patch before mending

For this mend, I focused on patching and adding strength to the knee, and still allowing for the wearer to crouch down, so I opted for an under patch, with folded under edges, giving a strong, mend showing off the fresh denim patch. 

I wanted to highlight the tear, and also make sure that it didn't have the chance to tear any further down. But also, look at that scar!

Sashiko Inspired Mending by wrenbirdarts

So, is this sashiko?

I keep asking myself this question, and the answer still isn't clear. I would say that the denim projects I work on are sashiko inspired. Though I am Japanese, I haven't been formally trained or immersed in Japanese culture and tradition. However, I do observe some guidelines of sashiko, and each of my mending projects are intentional and personal. 

I plan to explore this further. It's something I think about every time I am mending, and really can't answer definitively yet. 


Visible Mending as Denim Repair by Erin Eggenburg

For the meantime, I'll leave the rip in the other knee, though sooner or later, it'll need to be mended. 

I referred to those pesky upper thigh mends earlier, click here to read up on the repair options.

And if you like the mending part, but don't want to deal with the tracing out the design part, I created water soluble sashiko design transfers for mending! Click here:

Sashiko Mending Transfers

It's mending for busy people!


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  • Erin Eggenburg on

    Thanks all! For this mend, I did not use any transfers. I used large chunks of denim, and stitched them to the large torn area, giving these jeans much more stability. The transfers posted at the end are a product that I have created to make mending easier. They are sticky backed, and water soluble. No iron, no basting.

  • Kathy Gambill on

    Do you iron on the transfers?

  • Suzanne on

    I love it all❣️ Instructions a very well written and generous 🥰

  • Nita on

    Greetings and Gratitudes for your sharing.
    For your information, instruction, AND inspiration, I am grateful.
    Best, Nita

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