Monday, March 11, 2013

Making Cute Patches For Jeans


Yesterday was a mending day around here.  The kids are finally staying one size long enough to tear the knees out of their jeans before they outgrow them.  I'm a big fan of hand me downs and making do, so it was time to start patching. 

Patching jeans is easy.  You can buy iron on denim patches at any store that sells basic sewing supplies and they take about 2 minutes to slap on.  Since my goal is for my daughter to continue wearing these jeans though, I figured my best course of action would be to make a cute patch.

First, I trimmed the frayed edges and found a cookie cutter that would cover the hole.  A plain circle or square might be easier if you haven't done much sewing.
I happened to have denim on hand, so I used that as the base of my patch.  Another (easier) option would be to use the denim iron on patches. 
Trace the cookie cutter with marker. I had to cut inside my line to end up with a patch that would fit between the seams of the jeans I was working on, so I also made a little mark to help remember how far inside the line to cut.
Double check to make sure the patch will fit.
Next, I let Sierra pick out a fabric she wanted on top of the patch.  She chose fairies.  Specifically the fairy with a blue dress and purple wings.  A heavier weight fabric would be more durable, but these jeans are already handed down from my niece and I mostly need them to last the spring, so I let her pick whatever she wanted.
Next, line up the fabric on top of the denim and pin the two together

Sew around the edge of the top fabric.  You want to use a zigzag stitch with the stitches set close together and wider that normal.  If your machine has a satin stitch, that will work well too. 
Next, the patch needs to go on the jeans.  If you used an iron on patch, just follow the directions on the package to iron it on.  If you used plain denim, this is the really tricky part. 

Pin the patch to the jeans and slide the jeans over the sewing machine.  They may fit better if you roll up the leg of the jeans.  Do the same zigzag or satin stitch around the edge of the denim. 
Sewing the edges along the sides, near the seam of the jeans, is difficult, to say the least.  You will need to twist and turn the jeans a lot without moving the patch (pins are your friend for this project).  You will also need to stop about half way through and turn the jeans around, putting them on the machine from the waist instead of the leg.
Here's what the finished project looks like from the inside.  The  edges will fray over time, so you can go ahead and trim them if you want, but I chose to leave them for now.  If you're using an iron on patch, the patch will hold the edges of the hole in place and prevent fraying.
And from the outside, a cute, kid-friendly patch!



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