Trendy jeans these days come pre-distressed with holes and gashes galore. Sometimes gashes become holes, and sometimes holes become bigger holes, and sometimes these hole happen right where you wish they wouldn't.
Sewing an actual patch of something over these holes would infinitely reduce their coolness, meanwhile indicate how uncool the wearer is for not appreciating the inherent coolness of the holes.
So I came up with a quick tutorial on how to repair a hole in your clothes without using a patch, in a way that can coexist with the intrinsic coolness of the jeans themselves.

Step 1: Materials

  • one holey garment
  • thread in at least one cool color
  • sulky (or other) water soluble stabilizer (that's where the magic lives!)
I had the 'paper' kind around. They make a bunch of different weights of the stuff - pick what you like best. They'll all work for this.
Would the "solvie" be the same material used in some button holes? Its sorta has the same weight as felt but just really stiff?
I'm not familiar with solvy, if you remove it at the end, how is it different from just sewing crazy across the hole?
If you don't use the stabilizer, there's nothing for your thread to go into in the gap of the tear. You can't sew into air.
Would you recommend hand sewing at this part, or using a sewing machine?
I would recommend a machine, but with time and patience, hands can always do what a machine does too!
I manage to get huge holes in the knees of my jeans because I kneel a lot at work when I'm going under desks to get at computer towers. Do you think that this method would work on a larger area like the knees of jeans? My holes are about 2" tall by 4" wide. Also do you think that a guy could pull off the look?
Good question. The hole you've described is too large for this method. However, if you were to use a piece of denim or flannel or twill in place of the washable stabilizer and do everything else the same, it will work out great! I've done exactly that to jeans for both myself and my fiance. You've just got to go crazy with the stitching so it looks like a designer pair that you paid hundreds for. ;)
Great idea!
Hmm, would this be strong enough for a hole over the knee? Or will it just pull apart again really fast? Any thoughts?
Can you explain how this works, a bit more? I understand that stabilizers are for embroidery, but are they tough enough to mend jeans if you can just tear off chunks of them? Also, how does the wash-away part work? I'm not getting the magic part that makes this better than using a patch of cloth...
The stabilizer is there to keep the thread in place. When the stabilizer is rinsed away, only the thread remains, keeping the hole from gaping open. It's lighter weight than a patch and does, I have to admit, look pretty cool.
Thanks for the great explanantion. Sorry I wasn't more clear on that! I like it better than using a fabric patch only for aesthetic reasons. I didn't want to add extra bulk and I wanted something that looked unique and cool. As rachel explains, the stabilizer is just a temporary means of laying down enough thread to make it sturdy and tough enough to stand up on its own. Washing away the stabilizer still leaves a hole behind, which is what I wanted, but it's more controlled and not the gaping huge one I started with.
This is a really great idea. I think I'll have to try it. I have several jeans with holes and I don't want to buy new ones just yet.

About This Instructable


32 favorites


Bio: Former Living & Food editor here at Instructables, now running Sousvidely.com! Follow me @sousvidely
More by scoochmaroo: Easy Halloween Costumes How to Make an Iron Man Costume The Secret to Perfect Burgers
Tags: jeans patch sew
Add instructable to: