How to repair a hole or tear

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What You’ll Need

  • A sharp needle
  • Thread (this can blend in or contrast with what you are repairing)
  • Pins
  • Fabric for patching
  • An iron

Basic Patching

Patching is a great way to repair large holes that form at knees and pockets. You can pick material to patch with that either blends in or contrasts the material you are patching, depending on your desired look.

  1. Trim a scrap of fabric for the patch slightly larger than the hole you are patching.

    Denim patch hole fabric
  2. Position the patch on the inside of the garment so that the patch totally covers the hole. Pin this into position

    Denim patch hole pinned fabric
  3. Thread a loop of thread through a needle, and tie a knot in the end.
  4. Starting from the inside, stitch as pictured, joining the garment and the patch with stitches that run perpendicular to the seam. For a cleaner look, simply tuck the raw edges inwards, then sew.

    denim patch whipstitch
  5. Tie the thread off and trim.
  6. Turn the garment inside out, and trim the patch to size, taking care to leave enough allowance for the patch to fray without coming loose.

    denim patch whipstitch weft inside


Hand Darning

Hand darning is a really lovely looking way of repairing smaller holes where there is lots of material still present. This extra anchor fabric is necessary, as you are going to be weaving new thread into the fabric. Exposed weft yarns are really helpful for this.

  1. For a hole this size, start out with an arms-length loop of thread. Ideally, you would use a darning needle for this, but if you don’t have one on hand its not a big issue.
  2. Start in a corner of the hole, a little bit before the hole actually starts.

    denim jean hand darning repair
  3. From the underside of the fabric, start weaving the thread in with the yarns of the fabric, making sure to go a little past the edge of the hole.

    denim jean hand darning repair
  4. After each row, pull the thread so there is no slack, but not so tight as to warp the fabric, and push the thread as close to the edge as you can get it.
  5. Repeat this until the hole is filled, and tie the thread off.

    denim jean hand darning repair





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