Mend Your Jeans!

Mend Your Jeans Tutorial

Today I feel like Bill Murray’s character, Bob, in the movie, “What About Bob”, one of my all time favorites. It is a hilarious laugh fest throughout every scene. In the movie, Bill Murray portrays a man riddled with anxiety who has every phobia in the book. He “accidentally” ends up  on vacation with his psychiatrist, played by Richard Dreyfuss, and ends up driving his doctor completely out of his mind. My favorite scene in the movie is when he is covered in life jackets and tied to the mast of the sailboat joyously and triumphantly proclaiming,



What does this have to do with today’s post you ask? Well, today I’ve forced myself to do something I don’t like to do so I’m feeling a bit like Bill Murray and I want to triumphantly proclaim:


You see, as strange as this might sound, I hate to mend.

WHAT??!!?!!? Screeeeeetch…. Back the truck up! I can almost hear you shout.

The Renegade Seamstress hates to mend?

Yep, it’s true. I’ve never been much of a mender. In the past, I’d rather stick a needle in my eye. But today, I’m actually mending and much like Bill Murray’s character, Bob, I want to tie myself to my sewing machine and joyously shout out my amazing accomplishment to the world.


It all started because I’m too cheap to go out and buy new jeans for Cooper. His jeans are wearing out quickly, but with summer fast approaching and school just about over, I’d rather not buy any new jeans now, since he’ll most likely grow out of them by fall. So here I am, actually mending a pair and finding it’s really not as bad I as thought. Not only did I mend Coop’s jeans, but I also made a tutorial for you just in case you also have a bad case of “Mendaphobia”.

It’s really not that horrific, you’ll see…..we’ll do this in baby steps.

First turn your jeans inside out.

Mend Your Jeans

See, that didn’t hurt. Now gather some scraps of thick fusible interfacing. I happen to have loads of scraps from all of the tote bags I make.

Mend Your Jeans

Next, place the jeans over the end of the ironing board and straighten the rip as much as possible so it lies flat. So far, so good.

Mend Your Jeans

Now iron on a piece of fusible interfacing directly over the rip. Baby steps… Baby steps…

Mend Your Jeans

Using a zig zag stitch, sew back and forth and all around the interfacing until you’ve covered the entire area. Just keep changing directions. No need to panic.

Mend Your Jeans

When you’ve finished sewing, this is what the patch will look like on the inside. If you find  thin areas, don’t fret, just add more interfacing and continue sewing with a zig zag stitch over the next piece of interfacing. Continue until all of the thin ripped areas are covered.

Mend Your Jeans

Breathe deeply, count to ten and trim the excess interfacing.

There now. You successfully faced your Mendaphobia! See, it wasn’t so bad, was it!

mend your jeans

If you’d rather be refashioning than mending like me, be sure to sign up for the First Ever Refashion Runway hosted by Yours Truly,

The Renegade Seamstress.

Refashion Runway1

We’ve gotten a nice response to our open casting call for competitors and prize donations. Thank you to everyone who has signed up to participate so far! It’s going to be so much fun. We are still looking for a few more contestants so go here if you’d like to sign up. If you’d like to donate a prize, email me at I will provide a link to your site free of charge throughout the Refashion Runway competition.

Much like Project Runway and The Great British Sewing Bee, we’ll choose six refashion seamstresses (or seamsters) to compete in weekly challenges. The refashions will then be scored by their fellow competitors and open to a popular vote. The scores will be combined to find a weekly winner and one competitor will be out (not without a prize for participating though). At the end of the series, whoever is left will not only receive a nice prize but will be crowned the winner of the First Ever Refashion Runway!!

We will also be having a Sew Along for those not interested in competing in the challenges but would still like to participate.

I hope you’ll join in on the fun by either sewing, voting or both!!!

You might also enjoy:

Easy DIY Refashion Tutorials

About The Renegade Seamstress

I'm a busy wife, mom, grandma, and teacher who loves to create. I've joined the refashion scene and I 'd like to share and connect with all those talented and creative people out there doing similar things.
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91 Responses to Mend Your Jeans!

  1. Susannah says:

    Baby steps to mending equals brilliant! I love to create, loathe mending. Hemming a pair of pants might take months. Making a prom dress? A few days. I love the humor in this post. Thanks for the chuckle.

  2. kathy says:

    After ironing on the interfacing, I prefer to stitch from the right side of the pants. I use a white bobbin and a blue or gray top thread, to match the jeans. I straight stitch with the grain of the jean weave. This mend is less noticeable for the front of jeans.

    • Great tips, Kathy! I agree, darker thread would’ve looked much better. But alas, I didn’t have any of the darker thread and driving 30 miles to the store just didn’t seem worth it to me. The lighter thread will have to do for now. Pretty sure Cooper won’t even notice. 🙂 I’m new to all this mending stuff, it really isn’t my thing and takes every ounce of my fortitude to force myself to do it. I’d much rather be refashioning or creating something new.
      Happy sewing!

    • Eliza says:

      That is also my manner of mending. I can see how I need to sew.

  3. kathy says:

    messed up my own email address! you can only imagine my mending pile!

  4. This is a very clever way to do it. I do a lot of mending so I’ll this to my bag of tricks. Thank you for sharing. I enjoy your posts. Maybe I’ll work up the courage to alter something soon. I’m thinking about it…that’s a start.

    • Thanks, Candace! I thought that ironing on the the thick fusible interfacing would keep it from slipping while sewing. I’m so glad you’re starting to think about refashioning, it’s so much fun!!
      Happy sewing!

  5. Felicia says:

    I have never used interfacing to mend jeans. It just wouldn’t last. I actually use scraps of denim in the same way and use denim color thread to blend.

    • Hi Felicia! I thought maybe the thick fusible interfacing would keep it from slipping while I was sewing the patch since it was in such an awkward place. You’re right though, denim would be much sturdier and darker thread would blend in much better. Have a great week!

  6. Cheryl Thomson says:

    I also have done this. I use black if I have or can find it. Someone said they did theirs with “duck tape”. I guess that was using what was on hand!

    Sent from my iPad

    • Yep, when mending something like these jeans that will be lucky to make it through the summer, I just wanted to use what I had on hand, too. Plus, it takes every ounce of strength I have just to get the gumption up to mend. Have a nice week, Cheryl!

  7. Julie Blake says:

    Great tips and wonderful tutorial – thank you. I too have a Cooper, our new little Grandson! Julie

  8. Mikayla says:

    Another lesson learned from you Ms. Beth. Thank you so much for sharing your gift. Now, I can mend the pants of my kids, family and friends….time to pile them up…hmmmm…quite a lot…hehe…God bless!

  9. alicecarman says:

    Great lesson today! Didn’t think you could you that with jeans

  10. I could do this! Thanks! (Some pairs of my own jeans that were favourites but had started to die can now be reborn for camping this winter! yay!!)

  11. Liochka says:

    great i just have au pants to repair. Thanks.

  12. First – What About Bob is an awesome movie! Classic Bill Murray.
    Second – Thank you for this tutorial! My favorite pair of jeans has a few spots that I can tell are about to break through and I was starting to get a little frantic. Problem solved!

  13. Patti says:

    If you are worried about the white color showing, do what I do when mending or repairing: use a permanent marker or ink pen to color the spot. Recently I accidentally bleached a wiggly line on a pair of good black pants, but the Sharpie coverup did the trick.

    • Now THAT is brilliant!! Thanks, Patti!

    • Ann Barlteson says:

      Just an FYI: Black Sharpies also work good for scuffs on black shoes. White-out works great for scuffs on white shoes. Along the same line of thinking, white nail polish works great for scratches on white enamal type jewelry.

      • Heather says:

        AND if you get a little Sharpie-happy and end up making a mess of that, sunscreen (lotion or spray, though spray seems to work better!) removes Sharpie. I have tried it mostly on surfaces and skin, though I’m sure the spray stuff may work on fabric (just might have to do a little oil-spot-removing afterwards). Hooray!

  14. craftysorcha says:

    That is brilliant! I can recoup some pairs of jeans that I love but are a little worse for wear!

  15. Blondie says:

    I agree with everyone above. This is absolutely great info.

  16. Eileen says:

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve got a few pairs of jeans that need mending and I’ve never tried the method using fusible interfacing. Maybe I’m inspired enough to try it this week…..maybe…. 😉

  17. Ann Barlteson says:

    I must be the odd one. I really enjoy mending like this. For me it’s just sort of fun to zig-zag back and forth.

  18. Robin says:

    I have done that exact same task for a daughter who begged me to save her favorite jeans. And yes, i am a little surprised you don’t like to mend! I sorta like it, sometimes for a quick sense of accomplishment.

  19. Pingback: Tutorial: Mend the holes in your jeans · Sewing |

  20. Mrs. Lucky says:

    I so need to get my hands on some thick fusible interfacing as my 4 year old son has heaps of jeans to be mended. It is always the knees!!! The jeans may be a month old, may look in its best shape in general but one of the knees would be ripped in most cases. Thanks for the tutorial. Found you via craftgossip by the way.

    • Hey Mrs. Lucky,
      If you don’t have any thick interfacing, you can use any type of fabric you have on hand. The fusible interfacing is nice because you can adhere it and it holds the rip together as you stitch. But you didn’t want to go out and buy it, you could try something you already have.
      Enjoy your week!

    • Teq says:

      My dh has the same problem but with his work pants. I solved that problem by putting patches in his work pants when we buy them. I’ve saved some of his old trousers and cut them into the size I need then sew them into the places that I know he will wear out fast. This has saved us a lot of money because we don’t have to buy new trousers as often as he wears them out.

  21. judyhamid says:

    Really helpful advice – I’ve always been a bit rubbish at mending and patching jeans – I always put what I think are trendy floral patches on my sons’ jeans but I think the hippie look is just not that popular anymore because they always complain – “nothing too flowery” they say!

  22. alisonj3 says:

    Loved this! I use the interfacing and then apply a colorful cotton that is backed with Heat N Bond Lite. That way it is pretty on the inside plus adding more strength to the repair!

  23. Domenica says:

    Thanks for the step by step instructions. Very useful to see how to mend those awkward holes in jeans.

  24. Nikitaland says:

    What a great idea! I have sooo many pairs of jeans that need help!

  25. Louise says:

    I have only used pieces of jeans that were disposed of. Will definitely switch to interfacing! Thank you!

    • Hi Louise, I think both denim and interfacing will work. The fusible interfacing just helped it all stay in place when sewing in an awkward place like the crotch. Denim would probably last longer though.
      Happy Wednesday!

  26. vjstracener says:

    That is really helpful. Thanks!

  27. Jo H. says:

    That’s brilliant – love it! I actually enjoy mending. The challenge for me is to get the mend as invisible as possible 🙂

    • Good Morning, Jo! As you can see, mending really isn’t my thing. I have to force myself to do it. But since young people’s jeans are actually sporting this kind of look on purpose, I thought I might be able to handle it. 🙂 HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!

      • Jo H. says:

        Yes, I love the look of the worn part on those jeans! It suits them completely. Being *slightly* older, I’m trying for a different look 😉 hehe You have a good week too!

  28. photosarah says:

    I mended my jeans with holes in the same place a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t think of using a zig-zag stitch. Good idea!

    I try to keep on top of my mending because as much as I don’t want to do it, I hate when pieces with small flaws pile up in my sewing area. I always feel so rewarded when I knock out a stack! (and it always takes far less time than I’d thought)

  29. Magda E. says:

    I’ve actually named May my mending month over my blog and I’ve been forcing to mend the huge pile of clothes. I hate it too.

  30. craftymadre says:

    This is brilliant! There’s nothing worse than having to throw away my favorite pair of perfectly worn-in jeans because of a hole in an unseemly place. I’m definitely going to try this next time. Thanks!

  31. Teq says:

    If you look through all the blogs and look at the fashions in the stores and on the street you will see that their on no rules for patches in/on jeans. There are some patches put on jeans to make a statement,hide a tear or just one thrown on.

  32. Rogier says:

    Good. I love you!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this post… I love my jeans and can now fix them!!!

  34. Faith says:

    Good job! When I patch jeans I like to use scraps of denim (when I have them) and fusible webbing. The iron-on stuff never holds long on its own.
    Here’s my patch tutorial 🙂

  35. says:

    Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my
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  36. Danielle says:

    Bookmarked this ages ago and just finally got around to using it to rescue my fave jeans…thankyou! 😀

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  40. stacie says:

    so I did not read all of the comments so I don’t know it this is mentioned, but I use 505 spray and fix temporary fabric adhesive on old denim scraps when I mend. The 505 holds the scrap in place until I get stitches down, but does not gum up needles or change the hand of the fabric (doesn;t make it stiffer). This spray is used for applique, machine embroidery and some use it to keep quilt batting from shifting when putting together quilt layers. it is wonderful stuff. It is a bit spendy I think my bottle was $12 or more, but is lasts for a long time I have probably had mine for 5 years or so and I use it frequently and it hasn’t run out yet! You can get it at any fabric store or online.

  41. You are officially the hero of the day! My jeans have been saved!!! I just started sewing a few months back, but I sew very small doll clothes. My lack of attention span makes this a suitable hobby. 😀 When my favorite pair of jeans ripped, I freaked out similarly to a person who has never sewn before… I JUST lost enough weight to fit into them again. argh… Upon inspection, the jeans had already been mended in that spot, but you know, hand stitched. Your article gave me the courage to give it a shot. My jeans will never rip there again AND I got to “learn my stitches” (like the manual told me to and never did) Mine doesn’t look quite as cool as yours. I think the white interfacing makes the difference (i used a scrap of jeans) but holy cow, that’s some solid work… Thank you for saving the day! 😀

  42. Lindsay Mack-Fortune says:

    thank you for your post. I am a pre-school teacher and garden teacher. So, I have to look professional but do garden work each day in hot Texas?! I still don’t know how to do this yet. I was unloading some river stone and some wire tore my $110 NY jeans today. I actually cried. I don’t know why I was wearing them to work but I like they way they make my legs look. I feel confident that I can make these jeans look good again after reading your article! Hugs!

  43. Pingback: Mend Those Jeans With a Sashiko-Inspired Stitch | The Renegade Seamstress

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