Living Well: 4 Secrets to a Well-Mended Wardrobe

September 5, 2012

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

By Lindsey of Café Johnsonia.

Sigh. It’s true. We live in a throw-away clothing culture. We pick up inexpensive pieces, fully aware that they’ll wear out and need to be replaced next season. But with new interest in slower, sustainable living, choosing clothes that last, and maintaining them so they’ll last even longer, is gaining momentum. Which means patches are back!

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com
Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

And I say hooray. The thought of wearing a favorite piece of clothing over years instead of months is wonderfully appealing. And if your pockets are feeling empty after back-to-school shopping, the idea of dungarees that will handle a thousand hours on the playground, sounds especially smart.

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

So here’s a useful patching guide that will aid even the non-sewers among us. In this post, I’ll cover three patch types: A simple no-sew patch in both fabric and leather. A contrasting “under patch” that will add a nice texture — using iron-on fusible web and a few decorative hand-sewn stitches. And third, a patch that works with knits (like sweaters) and can be hand-sewn in minutes.

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

OVER PATCHES

To start, you’ll need some type of iron-on interfacing. This helps strengthen the fabric as well as adhere it to the area being patched. It’s basically a sheet of fabric glue that melts between your piece of clothing and patch when you iron it. I recommend Heat n’ Bond. Because it can be used on lower heat settings, doesn’t require steam, and works with a wide variety of fabrics, including synthetics. It’s also much stronger than traditional fusible web. You’ll want to cut it exactly the right size, using the patch as a pattern. Remove any stray threads.

Secret #1: If you need a really precise edge, skip the scissors and use a rotary cutter with a straight edge tool instead. Rotary cutters are also good for thick, tough-to-cut materials, such as leather.

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

The rough side of the Heat n’ Bond goes against the fabric.

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

Iron until it is melted and has completely adhered. Let cool and remove the backing. Position the patch where you want it on the pants or jacket or whatever you’re patching. It might be pretty easy to tell where the patch should go, but just in case, try on the clothing so you can place it correctly.

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com
Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

You will want to iron the outside and inside of the clothing to make sure the interfacing has totally melted.

Secret #2: Corners and thicker areas are the trickiest parts. Double-check that these are totally adhered. If they’re not, add more heat.

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

If you’re making a patch with leather instead of fabric, replace the iron-on interfacing with a strong fabric glue. Cut the shape you want (perhaps hearts for some little girl jeans : ). I cut the basic rectangle from leather with the rotary cutter and rounded the edges with sharp scissors.

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

Place glue on the underside of the leather and place it on the pants.

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

Press firmly and let dry. Easy as can be.

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

UNDER PATCHES

Sometimes you may want to use an under patch, like when holes develop in the knees of your favorite jeans.

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

Pick a fun, contrasting fabric that will peek through the holes and a coordinated thread.

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com
Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

Cut a piece of Heat n’ Bond the same size as your fabric patch, leaving a hole in the center that will align with the hole in the jeans.

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

Pin it directly behind the holes in the knees and iron as directed.

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

Secret #3: I wanted to make the fabric patch extra strong to ensure it would hold up longer, so I used Heat n’ Bond to attach some sturdy twill to the back of the fabric.

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

As a final step, I used embroidery floss to make some stars that match the fabric. The hand-sewn stitches aren’t just cute, they also help keep the patch firmly in place.

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

KNITS

When patching a knitted clothing item, such as a sweater, you won’t want to use the heat n’ bond or glued or under-patching techniques above. Instead, you’ll want to pick a sturdy fabric that coordinates with the sweater and use a simple stitch to sew it on.

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

For the elbow patch pictured, heavy upholstery felt was used. Regular felt strengthened with interfacing will work too. Or even leather would also make a handsome patch.

Secret #4: Sometimes, patches on knits are used to reinforce instead of repair. But, if you are using the patch to cover a hole, you will need to mend the hole a bit first so it doesn’t keep unraveling under the patch.

In the example pictured, there is no hole to mend. The patches are being added because they’re cute. : )

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

Mark where the patch should go and pin it in place.

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

Use embroidery floss to make quick stitches all the way around the patch, making sure to tie strong knots at the beginning and end. Simple as that.

Clothes Patching Guide via DesignMom.com

Happy patching! And here’s hoping you’ll be wearing that favorite sweater for many, many years.

P.S. — Love secrets? You can find all the Secrets to Living Well posts here.

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{ 94 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amanda September 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Awesome tips – thank you!! I just picked up a favorite old sweater today and just about teared up when I saw it has a big hole in it. :( I’m going to patch it and keep it alive a bit longer!

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2 Sarah H September 5, 2012 at 2:19 pm

We’ve all seen this needle felted heart image on etsy:
http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-elbow-patch/, but I think that it would be a great way to patch up holes on knits. Doesn’t just have to be wool, doesn’t just have to be on the elbow- needle felting is super durable and fun (to look at and do).

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3 Petit Elefant September 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Lindsey, you are crazy talented!

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4 Tasha September 5, 2012 at 5:07 pm

This reminds me of when my grandmother would bring a patch to match my blue jeans way back when…it seemed so cool that it matched! Magic:)

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5 bri September 5, 2012 at 5:37 pm

do you have any tips for holes in the crotch/ butt area?

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6 Zeljka September 18, 2012 at 12:44 pm

maybe something with less contrast… cut out some shape from the same material (star, flower) just big enough to cover the hole and try to sew it on as seamless as possible.

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7 Samantha October 18, 2012 at 3:19 pm

keep in mind that you will want a very soft fabric and no big thread knots…learned from experience…

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8 Joanne T. September 18, 2013 at 7:03 am

You also don’t want to use an iron-on patch around the inseam, as it does not breathe and gets sweaty (and if it’s lower on the inner seam of jeans it can stick to your leg and also be uncomfortable).

I usually put on a patch of the same color and use the machine to zigzag around the edge of the patch and the edge of the hole, but have found that once it starts fraying in the inseam/inner thigh that the jeans are not long for the world. You might be able to get another six months out of them, but I’ve never gotten longer than that.

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9 Christa the BabbyMama September 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm

I hated having patches on my knees as a kid – maybe I should have tried being more careful with my jeans. But now I love patches. Even messy plain old iron on patches. They make clothes feel… comfy and lived in and happy.

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10 Sonya December 21, 2012 at 2:13 am

I was just cutting out little denim knee patches for my little boy’s jeans and thinking the same thing! Glad to read this tutorial so I can reinforce the patches even more before ironing them. Little brother can maybe wear them next.

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11 Maureen September 5, 2012 at 6:14 pm

I have been waiting for someone to capitalize on this business opportunity – there should be more options for cute, iron-on patches! I’ve searched Etsy and everywhere else. I think there’d be a huge market for patterns and shapes that you can use to cover the worn knees and elbows of kids’ clothing. In the meantime, thanks for the tutorial!

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12 Mika September 5, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I have tried iron on patches before but they always roll up at the edges after going through the drier. Do you have to air dry patched clothing, or am I doing something wrong?

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13 annie (the annilygreen one) September 14, 2012 at 7:58 am

try stitching around the edge after you iron it on…it will keep the edges down better.

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14 Jenna at Homeslice September 5, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I love the felt one on the sweater, looks like it was made to be there!

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15 Maria @ Busy as a Bee in Paris September 6, 2012 at 3:40 am

I am really just loving this series! Lindsey you are so talented and I always love your photography! Gabrielle we made a fun connection this summer when the Wright’s came through Paris and I got to meet up with my buddy from high school French class and his darling family and they told me they knew you from NY and then Lindsey told me she knew them AND you from NY! Small world!!!

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16 Robin Troxell September 6, 2012 at 5:04 am

I made a fun “monster” patch on a pair of jeans – the hole is the mouth, patched with red similar to the yellow patch above, then use embroidery floss to stitch some crazy eyes above, and funny tongue out of the mouth. unfortunately my daughter felt it ‘scary’ so now i’m waiting for her younger sister to grow into them! another Pinterest fail ;-)

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17 Donna February 22, 2013 at 10:46 am

I did a similar patch for my 17 year old son. His “monster” had the red mouth. But I also used white felt to add some crooked teeth and used black and white felt for eyes. The eyes were crossed, so he was a ‘silly’ monster. I thought he would just wear them around the house. He LOVED them and asked that I CUT some of his other jeans to make more monster patches!! He even has friends that want their jeans patched the same way!! Who knew ?! :-)

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18 Cristi P March 16, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Do either of you have pictures?? Love to see that! My daughter is the one who wears out her knees, Maybe i could do a girly monster.

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19 Dale Coykendall September 6, 2012 at 5:31 am

Funny timing, I love patching …it is so quick and feels smart. My favorite jeans were so perfectly comfortable when the knees went. Our cotton sheets just got wonderfully soft and smooth when they developed a tear, I patched them with the lightest cotton and I can’t see it nor feel it. thanks for the post !
Dale

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20 Vanessa September 6, 2012 at 7:17 am

It’s like you read my mind! I was just thinking about patching a hole in my favorite jeans, and I love the under-patch idea- I hadn’t thought of that. I also have a favorite sweater in need of patched elbows. Thank you for the great ideas and impetus to just go ahead and do it!

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21 Mandie September 6, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Fun! And perfect timing…my favorite jeans just got a tear in the knee. I was going to toss them but I think I’ll try the under patch idea. I love it

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22 K October 29, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I just did this and my fave pair of jeans worked awesome i used strips if heat’n'bond that r made for hemming but worked great.

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23 Marly August 14, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Never, ever throw away your old jeans! Cut them up to make rag rugs, or if the strips are too short, make them into rag wreaths. They are gorgeous, especially if you use different colored jeans. Use the cut off side seam as a tie for the wreath. And you can always make a purse or a pillow out of the butt or front, or both! And if you can cut the leather, you can make a neat bracelet out of the belt.

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24 Barchbo September 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm

I always had patched clothes and my sister and I were just discussing reviving it with our kids – great post!

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25 Kathy September 7, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Seriously – who wears their clothes long enough to wear holes in them? I’ve always wondered this. Okay – I guess technically my daughter wears her clothes so HARD they get holes in them. But given she grows out of them every 6 months or so, they are hardly worth mending.

But the designs are sure cool!! Maybe if I had 5 daughters worthy of hand-me-downs I’d take on the task!

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26 Zeljka September 18, 2012 at 12:46 pm

“Seriously – who wears their clothes long enough to wear holes in them?”
I do! I guess I’m emotionally attached to several pieces I have now for maybe over 15 years!!! :) Maybe it’s just me…..

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27 Amanda October 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Some people seem to have a gift for not wearing out clothes. My grandma has tons of clothes that are like 15 or 20 years old and they look brand new. I, on the other hand, must be especially rough on clothes. My clothes rarely last more than a year before they need mending, especially jeans.

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28 Meghan September 24, 2012 at 4:58 pm

That’s pretty much the mindset of our society today. But repairing clothes is not only economically sound, it’s also really green, and frankly, it’s the right thing to do.

Granted, some things become unrepairable, but if we all took a few minutes to mend the clothes and other items we own instead of throwing them away, we would probably have a much better economy, environment, and sense of appreciation.

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29 Sarah October 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Seriously- who gets rid of clothes before they start to look worn? I’ve always wondered this. If you like something, why wouldn’t you keep it?

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30 SarahD September 9, 2012 at 8:23 am

I’m interested in this topic because I have been mostly unsuccessfully trying to patch my children’s clothes for years. When I sew the patches on by hand it is labor intensive and generally looks bad, but when I tried the iron-on patches you can buy at the store, they began peeling off within a couple of days no matter how much heat I applied to them initially. I’m hoping it was a quality issue, and that this heat and bond stuff is better. I also wonder if some of the difficulty was that so many denim fabrics now have some stretch in them, which seems to undermine my patching attempts. My kids put holes in the knees of their pants in about two months, on average.

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31 annie (the annilygreen one) September 14, 2012 at 7:57 am

you could try a combination of the two. use an iron-on patch or heat n bond…then stitch around the edges. so you get extra holding power, but the patch stays put while you sew. the other thing i do is buy really cheap pants for my kids because they will inevitably ruin them. :)

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32 Margo, Thrift at Home May 15, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I patch my kids’ holey knees in their jeans all the time, and my patches STAY. I unpick the sideseam that is not double -stitched (or flat-felled) and then I sew in 2 patches: a cute one on the outside of the knee, and a soft flannel one on the inside. I make a criss-cross with over the patches so the hole is really reinforced. Then I re-sew the side seam. I never had good success with iron-on patches and always felt the selection was so pitiful.

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33 Gillianne May 25, 2013 at 11:34 pm

I have been reading these great comments but Margo you have the answer. I have mended clothes for my self and for customers for 30 years. The iron on type of patches, I believe, do come off unless they are stitched down. With jeans or work trousers I used to use a lighter fabric to cover the hole on the inside and machine down then a neater patch of matching fabric on the outside. Cutting an oval [round corners on a square] shape makes it easier to sew by machine. Patching fabric can be from an old garment or fabric scraps. Try a charity shop. Living in a small town I often saw my handiwork as the workmen got on with their day.
When my son was at school I wouldn’t send him in mended clothes until I realized that at least it showed I cared enough to bother patching rather than having holes in his pants knees.
It is a “green” thing to do but we were bought up not to waste so it is second nature to me. Patching and darning are part of life..stitch in time and all that. Keep up the good work.

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34 Lisa November 1, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Iron-on patches stay better if you don’t use fabric softener, including dryer sheets. You might try that and see if it helps.

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35 Michele September 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Awesome! My favorite jeans have a hole in the knee, and Levis aren’t cheap to replace! I’ll have to try the underpatch with the little stitched stars or something on the edging. I’ve been jealous of my 8 year olds pretty jeans with the embellishments. LOL

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36 MadeByYoursTruly September 21, 2012 at 12:19 pm

These are really great tips – I’m forever patching things, but for some odd reason I’d never thought of using interfacing to help bond them! Duh!

Any top tips for jersey materials? My girls go through legging knees like there’s no tomorrow. I’ve done some heart-shaped patches also made of jersey fabric but they don’t stay very well (but maybe that’s down to lack of adhesive to help?).

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37 Joanne T. September 18, 2013 at 7:11 am

I’d like to know too, but I’m wondering about t-shirts.

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38 muriel September 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm

any suggestions on patching a hole at the site of torn belt loop, and re attachment of beltloop especially on jeans, material is so heavy!. would appreciate any feedback.

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39 Marcy September 21, 2012 at 9:33 pm

When I was growing up, I was embarrassed to have darned sox and patched jeans. Then one day a friend’s Mom commented on the skilled work on my jeans and said I must be very loved to have someone take the time to repair my clothes with such skill.
Today, I love to darn and patch my children’s clothes. Love sewn.

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40 Jessica September 22, 2012 at 8:35 am

These tips (and the other comments) are really helpful for a new parent, thanks!

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41 jacque September 27, 2012 at 8:26 pm

These tips are fabulous, thank you! Do you have any tips for mending holes in the belly area of shirts? My cotton shirts always get holes in the stomach area and I can’t figure out what is causing them! :-( Thanks in advance if you do have any ideas!

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42 Virginia October 10, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Do you have a rough place on your desk or counter in the ‘stomach’ area? If so sand the item ruining your tops. To repair top add patches that are leaf and flower shape connecting with green floss to repair and decorate. I did this to a stain near my shoulder and got lots of compliments.

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43 Sara October 11, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Virginia…I would love to see the finished product of what you are describing here. I have a few favourite sweaters that mysteriously get tiny holes in the tummy area. Would love to see a solution for this.

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44 Amanda October 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm

What’s with the tummy area holes?! I get them on my t shirts, usually near the pants zipper are. But it’s not like I go around with my fly open and there’s a cover over the zipper on jeans anyway so I can’t imagine how it gets there. I don’t spend my time leaning on furniture, rough or otherwise. DRIVES ME NUTS!

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45 Sarah A. November 30, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Maybe the lap portion of your seat belt rubs there?

46 Joanne T. September 18, 2013 at 7:08 am

I get holes & stains on the tummy of a lot of shirts mostly because when I’m doing dishes, I lean against the sink surround/counter and the edge of the counter isn’t particularly smooth and often has drips on it.

47 Lana February 11, 2014 at 8:54 am

I find that I have better luck avoiding the tummy area holes if I wash my t-shirts (especially the thin ones) in lingerie bags. A pain? you bet… but they stay hole-free much longer. Also, look at the quality of what you are buying in the first place. Thick, quality t-shirt material will last longer, require less patching/mending, and then when you do fix a little hole, it will be worth it because the rest of the garment will last also.
Finally… the dryer kills clothes. I hate to say it, but it does cost in terms of wear and tear (as well as the environment) – I found this when I lived in Lithuania for a bit and was forced to hang all my clothes to dry (no dryer there!). At first I hated it, then I grew accustomed to it, and then I found that my clothes were lasting far longer! I have never gone back to using the dryer on most sweaters, t-shirts, jeans… at least not the good ones! The house ones, yes, I do put in the dryer. It’s that old “ounce of prevention” thing, I guess.

48 Dianne January 11, 2013 at 11:43 pm

I have heard that the button on jeans can sometimes cause a hole. Just a thought…

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49 Julie March 12, 2013 at 3:39 pm

I’v found that the holes on the (bottom) belly of my shirts is from cooking! My shirt rubs on the counter and my pants while I chop and prep meals. It makes a bunch of tiny little holes.

A kitchen apron is a must have for me now

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50 britt September 30, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Its not even the fact that the clothes with holes are OLD…accidents happen haha. I’m clumsy! I fell once and ruined a pair of jeans with nasty tears in the knees. Wish I’d found this earlier. Super cute idea =)

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51 Beckie October 17, 2012 at 6:29 am

Now I can keep my favorite jeans :) Thanks for a cute and great tutorial! It will be up on my FB later today!

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52 jackie jade October 17, 2012 at 6:58 am

Great tips! Especially for those of us who aren’t great at sewing. I have a few jeans that need fixed up, so can’t wait to try a fun colorful patch. The embroidery detail is so cute too!

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53 lannie October 17, 2012 at 10:44 am

love the idea of embroidering stars to match the patch on the pair of jeans!! Definietly will have to do this!!

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54 sylvia October 17, 2012 at 6:38 pm

This reminded me of my college days! My 2 friends and I formed the ASK patch company. We would go to parties and ask the guys if they needed their pants patched. We charged by degree of difficulty and location of patches. We earned money so we could see bands on campus and have fun partying!

Glad to see patches are back!

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55 Lily October 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm

thanks for this tutorial, I have several pairs of jeans in desperate need of patching, and I love your idea of using bright fabric and cute embroidery stitches!

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56 Annie October 24, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Any ideas for frayed cuffs and collars.

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57 Charmaine July 9, 2013 at 4:00 pm

When my gran was alive we used to spend evenings taking frayed collars and cuffs off shirts, turning them inside out and sewing them back on. This was for men’s shirts. For the ladies we would sew lace on to hide the fraying or do a colourful blanket stitch or such

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58 Amanda October 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm

I love the under patch on the jeans. So cute! But the time or two that I’ve used interfacing, rather than thoroughly sewing on a patch, it didn’t hold very well. It eventually peeled off and I had to reapply. Perhaps user error or quality of the heat ‘n bond brand I used?
I, too, love the idea of clothes lasting for years! I like saving money but I also have a hard time finding clothes that fit just right so when I find a winning piece I want to wear it FOREVER. I still (pretty much every day) wear my Danskos that I bought about 8 years ago.

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59 Alicia November 13, 2012 at 10:32 am

Thanks. I have four daughters and my youngest will put a whole in a pair of pants within weeks. I feel like I do nothing but buy her pants because I can’t stand sending her to school with holes (though she always comes home with them). I’ll try this, hopefully we can just get through this phases…

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60 Sarah A. November 30, 2012 at 1:40 pm

I wish there was a way to patch stretchy clothing like leggings. My daughter wears holes in her leggings So fast! I either have to toss them, or allow her to look like a ragamuffin (which I’d prefer not to, but I can’t just treat clothing like it’s a disposable razor!)

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61 Penni December 21, 2012 at 9:41 am

I use fleece (an old sweatshirt usually) to patch my daughters leggings. I cut a small heart and just used a blanket stitch all around. It holds up really well. I also cut a ‘flower’ shape, kind of round with petal edges, just don’t get too crazy with detail because you still have to stitch it!

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62 Stephanie December 2, 2012 at 8:52 am

My son had torn holes in all of his track pants by practicing sliding for baseball. Any ideas if this would work for that type of material. Some are fabric and some are the wind.

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63 Valerie December 19, 2012 at 10:11 am

What great ideas for keeping loved items around for awhile longer! I used this as the “craft of the day” on our facebook page. Check us out at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Brushes-and-Thread/231012056980834.

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64 Ali January 5, 2013 at 6:34 am

I have bleach spots (also known as, “Never let a man do your laundry”) on several very new brightly colored tee shirts. Any ideas on how to mask the spots so I can still wear the shirts? Thanks.

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65 Gillianne May 25, 2013 at 11:16 pm

My suggestion to you Ali is to learn to stitch “Lazy Daisies” using embroidery floss or cotton yarn. Make the bleach spot the center of the flower and daisy stitch around. Perhaps sequins or buttons could be stitched in the bleached spots. Remember the fabric is stretchy
so make the stitches loose so they stretch too. Good luck.

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66 Mary Angerer January 11, 2013 at 4:58 pm

I have done quite a bit of patching in my day (I had six kids) but my favorite fix for holes in sweaters is to find in my stash of crewel yarn a strand that matches the sweater. I darn the sweater very carefully and the holes are almost invisible!

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67 Margo, Thrift at Home May 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm

I agree! I darn sweaters, socks, and recently, my beautiful damask tablecloth.

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68 astrid January 13, 2013 at 10:00 am

just: thank you!

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69 Danielle January 14, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Is your Heat n’ bond double sided?
I think I must have bought the wrong stuff. I’m trying to patch a hole under the back pocket of my favorite pair of jeans, but I’m petty sure the heat’n'bond fusible stuff I got is not double sided.

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70 Elise January 19, 2013 at 5:22 pm

I have a bunch of tiny holes in multiple shirts from my cats nails punching through when I’m trying to get him into the car. I’m loving the idea of little leaves or flowers connected by stitched branches. This could completely revive my wardrobe!

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71 Tiff February 10, 2013 at 12:11 am

Fabulous tips. This makes me feel guilty for a few of the clothes that I was too lazy to repair and threw away.
I have a question. What about holes in the butt of your pants? Is it appropriate to patch those or is that a situation where trashing them is the only option?

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72 Katrina February 25, 2013 at 5:58 pm

I just patched two pairs of my 6 YO son’s pants and they turned out great. I couldn’t resist posting a pic on Pinterest, giving credit to the Design Mom, of course. :)

Thank you for this tutorial.

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73 Karen March 2, 2013 at 9:31 am

I have a super easy and effective way to little holes in T-shirts. I yse fusible webbing very light weight and a piece of pantyhose as close to the color of the shirt as possible. I find the cheap knee high ones in multiple colors. I just cut a circle about a half inch larger all around than the hole and out all three layers together and iron from the inside. It can be tricky keeping the pantyhose material from rolling so I use ball point pins to hold the edges. The patch stretches with the fabric and its almost perfectly invisible! Works great!

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74 Danielle May 15, 2013 at 1:45 pm

I have a few pairs of skinny jeans that have developed holes in the inner thigh (almost at the… ahem… crotch). Any tips on how to mend those inconspicuously? Thanks!

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75 Margo, Thrift at Home May 15, 2013 at 7:05 pm

I love mending and patching! And I have seen that jeans patch with the yellow stars floating on Pinterest already – so pretty.

I wrote a poem on patches and posted it on Mother’s Day: http://thriftathome.blogspot.com/2013/05/mothers-day-poem-about-patches.html

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76 ana May 21, 2013 at 5:30 pm
77 Yolanda June 1, 2013 at 10:15 pm

Where can I purchase patches?

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78 pernilla June 30, 2013 at 11:28 am

Great tutorial!
I have just started making patchwork knee patches and selling them in my etsy shop
http://www.villapernilla.etsy.com
I also have a blog http://www.villapernilla.blogspot.se
Can I link this great tutorial on my blog?

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79 Mesha Reading July 6, 2013 at 7:11 pm

So what do you think should be done about tough stains? I hate throwing away cute clothing that has been ripped or stained. :(

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80 kaholly August 8, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Just too, too, too clever!!

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81 RoseMary Baty-Willcox August 9, 2013 at 9:05 am

How do you sew the stars in the knee without going all the way to the back side of the other layer of the pants? Did you use a small hoop? Or just your hand?
Thank You will any help on this.
RoseMary

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82 laura j September 4, 2013 at 5:31 pm

I did something similar and I just used my hand. It is hard to patch with embroidery anywhere near the knee area of pants but easier than using a sewing machine!

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83 Aloma Cronberg August 21, 2013 at 11:22 am

When the knees are too bad, I open up the seams of the jeans, cut out that portion or the jean from seam to seam, and replace the knee all of the way across, and resew the seams in the jeans with topstitching if needed. Be sure to add seam allowance x 2 so you can attach this material and it will fit the leg as it should.

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84 laura j September 4, 2013 at 5:29 pm

I love the way you patched the jeans with the yellow fabric! I did a patch job on some holey jeans of my own with some fabric from a bright muu muu. Mine was a little time consuming but my pants look cool now. :)

creationsbylauraj.wordpress.com

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85 Victoria Peat September 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Thanks for the great tutorial, I have just used your directions to repair two pairs of jeans for my not quite three year old. I’m so pleased with the results, thanks again

http://littleblackduckblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/22/pinned-it-tried-it-patching-jeans/

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86 Julia October 17, 2013 at 12:11 pm

I have never had much luck with heat and bond patches staying on after washing what am i doing wrong? also my 5 year old loves her hanna andersson cotton leggings but she has 2 now with holes in the knees they are big enough to warrant a patch,…any suggestions? Stretchy knit is always complicated to me.

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87 Sally K. May 25, 2014 at 12:28 pm

My daughter has about 3 pairs if corduroy pants with holes at the knee. I think you have a great tutorial here, and I am going to see if she can get some more use out of pants with a good mending. Thanks!

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88 Groovykarma May 30, 2014 at 2:10 pm

I have done most of these already. May I make a suggestion? When I repair a knitted item I take the item to the store and find a yarn that is near identical (if I don’t already have it at home). I darn the hole and catch the wandering piece of yarn. I have done some repairs well enough that it was impossible to find the hole without peaking on the inside of a garment. I have also used lace and crochet items to repair a hole to make it look like it was originally that way. I would hesitate to use a heavy duty patch only because it isn’t pretty (in my opinion).

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89 jet June 11, 2014 at 4:21 am

Thank you very much for the sharing of the beautiful mended hole in the trousers.;-D I have a hole as well, because of my livestyle i allways work on the floor and after just a year there will be a beginning hole.
but because of my not so rich life, i had to mended it. Only when you’re allmost 60th isn’t fun to mended with a shape of heart or bird.
so i like this one and i’m thinking to try this one myself.
thank you this is more an adult pretty fun mended idea.
I like the mending, i does this for many years, but i’m from the 1955 so in europe there was still a leack of all materials. It costed more time to find more materials. But by my mom i learned allready the mending of clothes and living with less.
I’m still great of that live lesson;-D

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90 Jennifer June 20, 2014 at 7:12 pm

I love making jeans that are too short by the ankle into cute shorts that I can wear for summer. First I cut it to the length that I want, then I hem the bottem with a colorful thread. Then I make rips near the top and patch It with a piece of pretty scrap fabric. My favorite craft.

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91 Swati August 17, 2014 at 8:33 pm

I’ve found that using the fabric glue makes the fabric rather stiff and thick, making it difficult to hand sew on it. Did you have this problem when embroidering those stars?

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92 Lindsey | Cafe Johnsonia August 18, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Swati, I don’t think I used fabric glue for the patch with the stars. I did use the heat n’ bond, which is a little stiff and hard to push the needle through, but not impossible. But I do agree that the fabric glue would be very difficult to stitch through for sure!

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93 Mary September 6, 2014 at 4:18 pm

What kind of Heat N Bond did you use on the jeans knee patch? It looks clear. I’ve never seen that kind before.

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94 Ginger October 17, 2014 at 10:15 am

You have very cute ideas. I just wanted to add a plug for my favorite fabric glue. It doesn’t get stiff when washed and I haven’t had any patches that want to come off. I usually patch from the inside like you did on the jeans. https://www.tearmender.com/howto.php

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