Holey jeans batman!


So I've got two brother in laws, neither of them connected with the other, and both into cycling. Cycling is obviously the sport of champions!

My brother in law who's married to Dus' sister (as opposed to the brother in law who's married to my sister), used to work in London so rode his bike to the station in the morning. In his jeans. There's only one thing that can mean.....holey crotch.

Holey crotch!
Thinking they were unrepairable, my BIL was going to throw them out, but Dus' sister said they might as well bring them to me to see if I could do anything. He had 3 pairs, all the same. Without promising miracles I said I'd have a look, and actually, I did manage to patch them up slightly.

Seeing as these jeans cost around £80 a pair, patching them up is always better than buying new!

I took some photos along the way in case it's helpful to anyone else.

I started off by using a contrasting colour and stitching some big, loose basting stitches, just to hold them together for the time being.

Next I cut a square of medium weight fusible interfacing. Do yourself a favour and cut yours a lot smaller!! I fused it onto the jeans manipulating the legs over the end of my ironing board to make sure it laid flat-ish.

Next I unpicked the basting stitches and cut off any loose threads from the tear.

I set my machine to a zig zag stitch with 0.7mm stitch length and a 3.5mm stitch width.

Starting from one end of the tear I stitched down, trying to catch both sides together. Where the tear went off at an angle I went over that. When I got to the end I pivoted and went along slightly next to the stitching I'd done reinforcing the whole tear.

In this case, I went with 'more is more' and went over the tear a good few times to make sure it was secured.

I don't think it'll be seen by anyone in normal use, and I used a similar colour thread, so it made me feel a bit easier about doing so many rows of stitching.

Here's my repair from the inside. As you can see I just stitched where there was a rip, with no rhyme or reason. Well, maybe some reasoning!

I tried to tear away as much of the extra stabiliser as I could to make it more comfortable to wear after, but I didn't want to use a soluble interfacing, because I think the tear needs that little bit of extra stability to hold on to.

All in all he was a happy punter and I'll return his third pair to him this weekend when we attend a family wedding.

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  1. I repair jeans in a similar way, but use the darning stitch on my machine - this makes short rows of stitching backwards and forwards, with a bit of twisting and turning I can cover both the tears and thin patches pretty well!
    It's worth slapping some interfacing on before the jeans wear through - it's saved the knees of DH's jean wearing through quite so quickly!

  2. A friend of mine ripped his jeans in the same place recently (also rides a motorcycle) and asked me to repair them. i did the same thing and used some fusible interfacing and stitched it back up, although i did it by hand. i guess machine would have been faster! if the jeans rip again i told him, i'd just put a flower shaped patch instead

  3. I have to do this with my husbands work trousers too although I tend to do even more stitching! Clothes are so expensive - we really must make do and mend, after all the money for fabric the better!

  4. Good grief, girl, that is a lot of work! But good for you. I guess if I had a pair of £80 jeans I'd try to mend them too. I never know what to do when there's a hole in the actual leg, because I refuse to open a seam and work on them. Then again, my jeans are about £12. But I'm not a cyclist either. And definitely not a fashion plate. LOL I hope your BILs appreciate you. :-)

  5. Excellent job!! Well done, and thanks for the lesson!

  6. you are kind to do that for your BIL; mending is my least favourite sewing. I wrecked my first sewing machine putting darts in a pair of jeans for my skinny nephew long before I had kids.
    I use the same technique for repairing jeans, except I usually really go crazy with the extra stitching. I think the last time I used the three step zig-zag on a short, wide stitch.

  7. Sure hope your BILs appreciate all the hard work! My husband used to do this to his jeans all the time,(not from cycling) but I was never nice enough to patch them for him. I just gave them to my Gramma to chop up to patch her brother's pants instead. I'm definitely not much of a mender. ;-)

  8. Hi - thought I'd add my penny's worth - my son's jeans (and pants) wear out in the crotch area too - and I mend them in a similar way, though generally catch them before they are worn right through. I position the leg area onto my ironing board, and cut a shape out of iron-on interfacing that will fit over the worn-out fabric. Iron that on, and stitch the whole area (from the right-side) using a slightly paler colour thread than the jeans (I find the greys work well). The stitch I use is simply the straight stitch - long straight lines following the line of the denim from crotch down the leg, and back up again in reverse, forward and back - no turning of the pants in the machine - until the worn-out cloth is well covered in stitching, giving it strength and extra life. After having tried zig zag stitches and others, I find the straight stitching is the least visible, and unlike the darning stitch, you just go forward and reverse for as long a line as you need.


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