Invisible Denim Repair
A few weeks ago, I saw in instagram post by Closet Case Patterns that completely blew my mind! She was sharing an interview she did with Rain from Indigo Proof. She is a specialist in denim repair, and you absolutely have to take a look at Rain's before and after photos. It is complete magic!
Along with the interview, Heather (of Closet Case Patterns) also put up a blog post about how to try this invisible mending technique for ourselves. I can't tell you how excited I was when I discovered a giant hole in my husbands jeans over the weekend...
I don't think he's ever seen me so excited to mend his clothing.
The process was actually really simple!
I used some scraps of fusible interfacing (lucky for me they were black to match the pants!) to interface the holes, and the area around the holes. Then, using a matching thread color (also lucky for me, because I of course have black thread) I sewed over the holes along the grain of the denim weave, imitating the fabric itself.
Heather recommends that you use a darning foot, and that you mix up the top thread color to imitate the many hues of your worn jeans. Well, I don't actually own a darning foot for my machine, so instead I just used a regular foot, put the stitching length at about 1.5, and it seemed to work just fine! I also only had one color of black, so I didn't vary the hues at all. My repair work definitely isn't as invisible as Rain's is from Indigo Proof, or even Heather's attempt, but they look pretty damn good to me! It's a lot less noticeable than your underwear!
8/17/2018 10:34:41 pm
Another good way of fixing jeans is to stitch along the top of a pocket so you can't get your hand in anymore, cut out the fabric from the back of it and use that as a patch. Works great!
8/21/2018 12:37:40 pm
Oh my gosh! I'd never thought of that but what a great idea for getting a perfect color match.
9/9/2018 03:44:46 pm
What a fabulous idea!!
1/30/2019 04:53:04 pm
I do that all the time with pockets, I definitely don't need to add any packing to the back end. That pocket material can be used for patching or making a gusset. You can also do that with a shirt pocket.
11/16/2021 11:33:51 pm
4/14/2022 06:44:16 am
I tried that with my pockets, and the fabric was MUCH darker than the rest of my jeans! I still used it under my holes and the repair turned out pretty well.
Paula Jeanna Patterson
8/16/2022 05:31:53 pm
I alter my granddaughters school uniforms. I use the pocket material for whatever I may need it for. Perfect match, especially when the material is plaid!
10/30/2022 03:52:34 pm
Great idea. Beats shopping for matching fabric.
8/17/2018 11:37:48 pm
Ah, that's a good tip ! Thank you, though !
8/18/2018 10:54:33 am
I have three boys that I end up fixing pants for. They are very hard on jeans and just pants in general. I've been using this method for over 15 years. It really does work very well! I've found that using a blue variegated cotton thread is just perfect for jeans! The trick is to match the weave of the original, direction and length of stitch as much as possible.
8/21/2018 12:39:36 pm
I'll have to remember that thread for next time, thanks! And I agree that matching the weave makes for the best results! I'm sure after 15 years you've got it down pat!
11/27/2018 05:59:13 pm
Wow! That is so ingenious and very cool. 😀
12/12/2018 06:41:49 pm
I know right!? Seeing the work that Rain from Indigo Proof can do is like seeing magic!
12/8/2018 11:25:32 am
12/12/2018 06:44:49 pm
Thanks! It's such a fun little mending project!
12/8/2018 08:58:37 pm
Did you use just a straight stitch?
12/12/2018 06:39:59 pm
Yup! Just a straight stitch.
12/11/2018 09:55:56 pm
I was thinking about throwing my old jeans out because of the worn out sections. Now I do not have to.😃😃
12/12/2018 06:46:36 pm
Yay! It's so hard to find a good pair of jeans, I love that you will get some more life out of yours!
12/20/2018 06:59:28 am
I never throw away old jeans that are beyond repair. I just cut them up and save only the good fabric. I also get jeans at the thrift store for $1 a pair to use for patches and recycle into other items.
12/23/2018 04:23:53 am
Thank you for sharing!
1/18/2019 06:40:06 am
I've done this for years. I normally have to shorten my jeans and save that material. I especially have problems around the top of the back pockets, so I save what I take off the hem and use it on the pocket corners.
6/13/2019 06:47:42 pm
Another way to fix the collar problem is to take the collar completely off and mend the worn, folded section (I've used lightweight iron-on patches), then REVERSE the collar when putting it back on so the mended section is on the underside. My mom used to do this on my brother's shirts.
6/15/2019 05:45:00 am
what a great idea for repairing a collared shirt Jan, thanks for sharing
6/14/2019 07:59:38 am
For fixing the crotch of jeans, do you put them inside out for the interfacing? It looks like the interfacing is on the outside but that doesn't make sense to me....
6/15/2019 05:42:50 am
You are correct! The interfacing goes on the inside! I think the fact that my jeans are black makes that harder to tell :)
12/19/2019 09:17:43 pm
Then do you sew on the outside?
6/19/2019 05:38:09 pm
Thank you for sharing! My husband has a few pairs of jeans he absolutely loves. They have holes all over them. I bought a few denim patches to try and fix them. But it just didn't seem to work, in my opinion. I tried just stitching them and it held up for a bit...then tore back open. He does water and sewer work; and when he is home he is always running around doing something. Busy, busy! Lol. So he tends to be ruff on his jeans. I just showed him your technique and he said well maybe that will work better and hold up. (Also, I sew by hand. Is this possible doing it by hand? Or do I need a sewing machine?) Thanks so much!
7/26/2019 04:41:56 pm
personally I like this method much more than patches. I'm sure you can do it by hand, it just may be much harder to get the "invisible" look by hand. I'd love to hear how it goes!
7/26/2019 04:48:27 pm
Hi Sally! I have not yet tried it on a pair of cotton trousers. I have a feeling it may not end up as "invisible" as with denim, but I think it would be worth trying! visible mending is still better than holes in my opinion :)
7/12/2019 06:27:50 am
Absolutely love this share and the comments!!! Thank you so much!
8/29/2019 11:44:17 am
Love this tutorial for fixing denim. I'll probably use this on my denim zafu I made!
10/19/2019 12:20:21 pm
I am past 80 years old and have been mending like this for years. Check the clothing as you take it out of the dryer, and mend it before the threads break, then make your iron-on patch of fusible webbing and a scrap piece of chambray or percale, then darn it on the machine.
7/8/2020 04:27:55 am
I do exact the same with other materials it works great all my trousers are worn out at same bottom place by friction so I am used to do that fixing and it is possible to do it by hand too.
7/24/2020 04:51:36 pm
Good to know! I haven't tried it by hand yet.
9/13/2020 02:43:26 pm
Thanks so much. Can’t wait to try it
10/21/2020 03:25:28 pm
What type of fusible fabric did you use?
1/1/2021 04:12:49 am
I came across your post on pinterest and saved it. I ripped my black jeans over christmas, leaving me with just one pair of trousers. Today I decided to fix all of my ripped jeans (4 pairs plus a pair from my husband) - thanks to your post I felt like I could give it a try (I had no clue how to fix them beforehand) - it worked out great! thank you very much!
5/1/2021 04:09:12 pm
When I shorten any pants I save the cut off pieces to use for patching ,or extending the waist band
6/7/2021 05:51:28 pm
I save any old jeans my hubby wears out or the kids outgrow or where I shorten jeans. Then I cut patches to fuse to the back of the holes. My hubby always wears his jeans out there too. I then sew like you did. My daughter has started bringing me her boyfriend’s jeans too. LOL! SomImam getting plenty of practice.
6/28/2021 08:29:26 am
excelent idea..but...Do you cut the threads that are loose from the denim weft or do you sew over them? thanks...
7/30/2022 08:56:56 pm
How can I get the repair material to repair denim jeans? Thank you!
9/8/2022 03:56:30 am
Lovely to see mending is becoming popular again. I learnt to mend like that at school in the 50s and 60s, only denim hardly existed in those days. It is particularly important to be able to mend denim as it is such an environmentally damaging material to make. Get mending folks, it is so satisfying !
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