Patching up a pair of DIY trousers

Today I’ll show you how I patch up a pair of jeans that will only be used for dirty jobs, such as painting and gardening. It’s not pretty, but it’s fast and sturdy and can give some extra life to a pair that would otherwise be thrown away.

My boyfriend’s old pair of DIY trousers has become a bit too threadbare to continue wearing. In the past I’ve patched both knees and the backside. On one leg the trousers are now ripped above where it was patched and I don’t think it’s really desirable to put another patch on top of that.

old pair of diy trousers

Old pair of DIY trousers that has been used for many years.

In my quite large collection of old jeans that are waiting to be cut up and repurposed I still had one of his old pairs that only had a tear just below one of the back pockets but was otherwise in pretty good shape. To mend these kinds of tears in a pair of DIY trousers I simply take a piece of denim cut from another old pair (preferably in somewhat the same colour, let’s not make things too crazy) and pin it to the jeans so it overlaps the part that needs mending. I generally let it overlap quite a bit. The area around such a tear has usually become thin as well and the patch will reinforce the whole area.

attaching a patch

The jeans are then wrapped around the free arm of the sewing machine and the patch is sewn in place with lines of stitching. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of each line. When the entire patch is attached cut off the thread ends on both sides and you are done. I think attaching this patch took me less than 10 minutes including stopping for some pictures but my boyfriend will probably be able to use this pair for a couple of years of dirty jobs around the house.


Outside and inside view of patch. I didn’t take particular care to sew straight, this isn’t couture…

Did he have a particular reason to ask for a new pair of diy jeans now? Oh yes. Remember how last year I splurged on some new sewing equipment? This year we’re definitely topping that because we’ve just bought a new sewing room house! We’re currently in the process of decorating so this new pair of DIY trousers is certain to get a lot of use in the coming weeks.

12 comments on “Patching up a pair of DIY trousers

  1. Melissa e says:

    Congrats on the house. I was wondering about your blogging break

    • Emmely says:

      The house is definitely contributing to my lack of recent posts. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of time for sewing right now so I also don’t have as many projects to show and write about as I used to. Things should get better from February onwards or so. At least I hope they will!

  2. Kristin says:

    Congrats on the new home :) How exciting!

  3. Selma says:

    congrats on the house. I was wondering to about the lack of posts. Now I understand.
    Just wondering why you didn’t put the patch on the inside of the trousers. You might be able to pass it of as vintage then.
    I do the same with my husbands trousers. Although I tend to use another (sturdy) fabric, Usualy one that has the opposite color.

    • Emmely says:

      I thought it might be annoying to have a large patch on the inside of the garment if it rubs against skin. My boyfriend is not so adventurous in the colour department so colour matching is my safest bet…

  4. CurlsnSkirls says:

    Congratulations on that new sewing room (and house!), and your willingness (and talents) for making it a warm and comfy new home! Have a very Happy Holiday, Dear One!
    xx del

  5. katechiconi says:

    My husband’s work clothes often need mending, and I’ve become a huge fan of machine darning, putting the patch on the inside, which means you don’t even need to vaguely match colours. Sometimes, though, he’ll bring me something that I can’t do anything about, and then it gets turned into squares I’m saving to make a denim quilt…

    • Emmely says:

      I don’t want to spend a lot of time on these jobs (because that usually means I tend to put them off for ages) and for me this is the fastest way to get it done.
      Denim quilts are great, especially if you manage to accumulate a large variety of shades so you can get some contrast. I’ve made one for my sister but I’m sure to make another one at some point.

  6. onedabbles says:

    Congratulations! Wishing you both a Happy New Year – and many more in your new house.

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