Mending Made Fun – A Mini Tutorial

 As much as I enjoy sewing, I really don't like mending.

But recently we've had an epidemic of holes-in-knees, to the point where children we running out of jeans-options in their wardrobes.  I really didn't like the thought of buying replacements – especially for the youngest of each gender – just to get us through the last few months of pants-weather.

So here is what I came up with. Start with the iron-on Dritz patches.
I discovered if all you do is iron them on, they fall right off.
Plus, rectangles are kind of boring.
This is the solution.  I cut out some hearts.
Then ironed, then stitched. 
(Plus, stitching and embellishments on jeans are so 'in' right now.
Think how cool and chic your kids will be.)
I used a heavier-weight DMC thread, a heavy-duty needle and a thimble.

Because it's a little tricky stitching something in the middle of a pant leg, I suggest rolling the pants up to the knee first. (I know that sounds pretty obvious, but it took me three pant legs to figure that one out, so I thought I'd pass it on, just in case.)  It's also pretty hard to work from the inside of the pant leg, so stick your needle through and pull from the top. (See picture.)  It's tough stitching through that many layers, which is why I strongly suggest a thimble.  A little rubber grip to pull your needle, wouldn't be a bad idea either.

Here's another option.  (Actually this was the first one I tried.) This time I used the boring rectangle, but I embellished with a little wool heart.  The wool is easy to tack-down and came through the wash beautifully. Hope that helps anyone out there having an epidemic of their own! I will admit that these patches are kind of 'girly' and I haven't really come up with a good option for my boys. Feel free to share any favorite (or improved) mending tips of your own. My other hurdle is holes in knits (jersey) fabric. Any brilliant suggestions?

Post by Amy Smart :

  • Tara

    Nice patches. I’ve used trashed jeans and wonder under to make patches for others that were in better shape. You’ve inspired me to get back to my mending pile. For knits, you should try some reverse applique. Just put your knit patch on the inside and stitch on. Then cut the top knit to your design.

  • Danielle Boyle

    Super cute! Any suggestions for 6 year old boys with holes in their pants?!

  • mrsblocko

    Hmm. Don’t think that first post worked. Sorry if I double post this.

    I really like the dark denim patch against the light. I’m going to try something like that for the next pair of jeans that need mending.

    I made some of my own patches for my daughter’s holey jeans. You can see pictures here:
    I made the patches by fusing scrap denim to a printed fabric with underwonder, and then used more under wonder to fuse the patch to the leg of the pants.

    Recently I saw this cute tutorial on how to turn a tear into a monster mouth. It’s in a different language, but you can get the general idea by looking at the pictures. That link can be found here:

  • amy smart

    Cute ideas and great links! For boys you could try dinosaurs, , skulls or animals.

  • Peter

    That monster mouth is great!
    But now the boys may go out of their way to rip more holes.

  • Lisa

    you could do a simple airplane for boys. darker denim for the body of the plane and then lighter for the larger wing & tail wing. i tried to attach a pic, but it didn’t work.

  • Maggie

    This does look pormising. I’ll keep coming back for more.

  • Monster Beats By dr. dre

    Here is another fun Valentines idea. I picked up bouncy balls at the party store for about a quarter each. My store sold them in packs of 12, but they also had the balls available individually, which I thought was nice in case your kiddo’s class has, say, 26 students, you won’t be stuck buying a whole extra pack.

    I couldn’t decide whether I liked the “have a ball” or “make my heart bounce” saying better, so I decided to do them both. I was thinking the “have a ball” phrase might be a better Valentine for boys to handout in class since it’s not too mushy.

  • Monica

    For holes in jersey knit I turn them into bike shorts for the summer.