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Author: Nancy Nelson

How to Easily & Quickly Patch Jeans

How to Easily & Quickly Patch Jeans

jeans with holes in them

Today I am going to attempt to show you my method for patching tears and holes in jeans. In my business I do A LOT of jean patching. We live in an area with lots of farmers, construction workers, agriculturally based factory workers, etc. Most jobs around here are a business casual style of fashion. Not a lot of super high fashion going on in our neck of the woods. We also have a mend and make do attitude for the most part. At any rate jeans get worn, torn, and repaired whenever possible. After all, they are only going to get dirty and grimy anyway.

Since I do a great deal of patching and mending of all shapes, sizes, and colors I prefer to make my own patches from old jeans in various colors. To make my patches I use a product called Steam-A-Seam.

Steam-A-Seam
Steam-A-Seam (affiliate link at end of post)

I LOVE this product and I will tell you why. First, it is a double stick fusible web that you can use with a steam iron. Second, prior to ironing your patch down you can position it the way you want it and it will stay in place until you iron it. Although it sticks well on it’s own it doesn’t necessarily stand up to laundering on it’s own. I prefer to sew my patches down in addition to ironing them on. This brings me to the third reason I love this product. Sewing through it does not in any way shape or form ever gum up my sewing machine needle like other similar products do.

I have a collection of old jeans that are beyond repair or were given to me to use as patching material.  I use this resource to make my own patches. For example, for this post I am using a pair of my husband’s jeans that I have patched twice already (the rule is I will patch them twice and then they are out of commission) Although the front of the jeans aren’t particularly useful, the back side usually is in great shape. This is the part I usually use to make one big patch from which I cut from to make all the other patches.

Jean leg of a previously patched pair of jeans.
Front of old jeans are not completely useful.
Back side of jean leg not worn or torn.
Back side of jean legs are usually great patching material.

To make the patch I simply following the manufacturer’s instructions for applying the Steam-A-Seam. I should note that when you apply the Steam-A-Seam to pay attention to the whether you are applying it to the right side or the wrong side of the fabric. I say this because most of the time I apply it to the right side of the fabric and place the patch underneath the tear or hole rather than on top. If any portion of the patch is going to show through you will want the right side showing. On the other hand if you choose to put your patches on top then you will need to apply the Steam-A-Seam to the wrong side of fabric patch.

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Apply Steam-A-Seam to the right side of the denim.

Then I cut the patch to the size I want. I try to make it as small as possible with some extra around the whole area of the tear or hole.

Make patch big enough to cover the torn area plus a little beyond.

To stitch down my patches I like to use the argyle stitch shown in the picture below.

Argyle Stitch

On my particular machine I have to use the stretch stitch setting to get this stitch.

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Stretch stitch setting for using the argyle stitch on Kenmore sewing machine.

You will want to use a denim needle preferably size 16 and a thread color that is super close to the color of your denim. (see affiliate links at end of post) For most denim, even darker denims, I can get away with Coat’s & Clark Surelock – Steel Blue. It is just the right color of blue and gray for using on denim.

Coats and Clark Surelock Steel Blue
Coats and Clark Surelock Steel Blue

You will also want to loosen up the pressure on your machine foot so the thicker fabrics will move through the machine better.

Loosen the pressure of your machine foot to stitch through the heavier layers of denim easier.
Loosen the pressure of your machine foot to stitch through the heavier layers of denim easier.

I always apply my patches with my steam iron to inside of the garment by turning the garment wrong side out.

Jeans with patches ironed on the inside.
Iron on patches to the inside of the jeans.

After the patches are ironed on turn the jeans right side out. For stitching I usually stitch around the outer edges of the patch I have ironed on which you can usually feel with your fingers. I do this so the outer edges of the patch are secure. It adds to the stability of the patch and prevents a bunch of fraying and curling after the garment is laundered. It also relieves the tension put on the original tear or hole.

Stitch on the right side of the garment at the outer edges of the ironed on patch.
Stitch on the right side of the garment at the outer edges of the ironed on patch.

Next I continue stitching around the edges of the actual tear or hole. This part actually fixes the hole or tear itself. I follow this up with stitching up the center of the tear to catch any loose threads or edges, leaving a nice flat finished look. When it is a hole I do NOT try to stitch up the center, I just make sure the edges of the hole are stitched down flat.

Stitching around the edges of the hole or tear.
Stitching around the edges of the hole or tear.
Follow the edges of the tear or hole.
Follow the edges of the tear or hole.
Stitching on the seam to catch the edge of the tear or hole.
Stitching on the seam to catch the edge of the tear or hole. This is where a looser sewing foot pressure comes in handy.
Stitching down the center of the tear when the tear is not completely ripped open.
Stitching down the center of the tear when the tear is not completely ripped open.
More stitching down the center of the tear.
More stitching down the center of the tear.
Completed stitching of patched jeans.
Completed stitching.

Most of my customers who are wanting patches are not that fussy and I want to keep my fees reasonable. In fact many times I use up the odd bobbins that have no spools left to match them instead of winding a bobbin of the steel blue, especially when patching jeans for my own family. This helps keep my bobbins empty and available.

Patching the holes or tears of the pocket corners and belt loops is pretty similar. I have a basket of little scraps with Steam-A-Seam scraps already applied to them.

Scraps already prepared for small patches.
Scraps already prepared for small patches.

The only difference in the stitching is that I am able to go forward and reverse with my stitching over such a small area. I usually go back and forth enough to cover the whole patch. I still stitch from the right side and the looser pressure on the machine foot will be very important.

Patching a tear at the pocket corner.
Patching a tear at the pocket corner going forward.

Completed stitching of pocket corner on the right side.
Completed stitching of pocket corner on the right side.
Completed stitching of pocket corner from the wrong side.
Completed stitching of pocket corner from the wrong side.

When the jeans are all patched up and ready they should look pretty good and ready to be worn for a while longer. I hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you have any questions please feel free to do so in the comments section below.

Happy Patching,

Nancy

Products Used In This Tutorial (affiliate links)

How to Make a Mini Tissue Pack Cover (Method 2)

How to Make a Mini Tissue Pack Cover (Method 2)

Mini Tissue Pack Cover

So call me lazy, I prefer to call it efficient. I needed to find a way to make these adorable tissue pack covers as quickly and efficiently as possible. Preferably with one piece of fabric and minimal seams. In a previous post I showed you how to make these using three smaller pieces and four seams. You can see the post How to Make a Mini Tissue Pack Cover (Method 1) if you are interested in using up smaller scrap pieces of fabric.

You know how sometimes you are laying in bed thinking about all the things you need to do and all of sudden a solution to something else in the back of your mind suddenly pops into your interal viewing screen. That’s how this idea for making these tissue packs came to be.

Sew here you go!

Cutting:

1 piece of fabric cut 5-3/4″ by 12″20160828_142103

Assembly:

Finish the narrow ends of your fabric using a serger. You can also use your favorite edge finishing technique with your regular sewing machine. If you are making a bunch of these this would be a good opportunity to use a chain method of stitching.

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Fold each narrow end in 2″ with wrong sides together and press.

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Flip that piece over with right side of fabric facing up.

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Fold each end toward the center with right sides together overlapping the folded edges about 1/2″ to 3/4″. Pin in place.

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Stitch the narrow ends of the folded rectangle using a serger or regular sewing machine. I prefer the serger for the finished edges.

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Trim your threads and turn the cover right side out.

Press only the stitched ends unless you want to press the whole thing.

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Insert your tissue pack and deliver to your friends or family.

Mini Tissue Pack Cover

You can also embellish these with your favorite little doodads. You could even embroider on them for a more personalized approach.  If you do embroider on them I would do that prior to folding and stitching the ends while the project is still flat. Again this is still a great way to create fun little gifts for your groups of friends and family and use up your fabric stash.  Even if you don’t have scraps of this size you can still use smaller scraps using my Method 1 posted previously.

Hope you enjoyed this quick and simple little tutorial. Please feel free to share and comment. I would love to hear any feedback you have for any of my posts.

Now go make something awesome today!

Nancy

How to Make a Mini Tissue Pack Cover (Method 1)

How to Make a Mini Tissue Pack Cover (Method 1)

Mini Tissue Pack Cover
Mini Tissue Pack Cover

Mini pack tissue covers are a great way to make cute multiple gifts for a group of people. In my case it was a bible study group I belong to. When I was trying to find a good tutorial on Pinterest with the correct dimensions it proved to be more of a task than I anticipated. Some only showed pictures and referred to some other topic and others just talked about their finished project and only one or two had actual dimensions. Those that had dimensions had too many pieces and seams for such a small quick project. I have boiled my mini tissue pack covers down to two ways of making them quickly and easily.

The first way involves cutting three pieces which is great for those who want to use up small scraps of fabric. The second method is my own design and uses only one piece of fabric and two seams. That’s what I call quick and to the point. You can check out my post How to Make a Mini Tissue Pack Cover (Method 2) if you want to keep it super simple. In this particular post we are going to show how to make a tissue cover using Method 1.

Method 1

20160828_112506Cutting:

2 pieces at 4″ x 5-3/4″
1 piece at 5-3/4″ x 5-3/4″

 

 

 

 

 

Assembly:

Fold the 5-3/4″ x 5-3/4″ square in half with wrong sides together and press.

Fold one of the 4″ x 5-3/4″ pieces in half long ways with wrong sides together and press.

20160828_112547

Place the remaining 4″ x 5-3/4″ piece right side up.
Place the wider folded piece on top on the left side of the piece, lining up the outer long edges.

20160828_112620

Now place the more narrow folded piece on the right side on top of those two pieces lining up the long outer edges. The fold should overlap the the first folded piece by approximately 1/2″ to 3/4″.

20160828_112643

Pin the three layers in place down the center where the folds overlap.
Stitch all four sides using a 1/4″ seam. I used a serger because I like finished seams.

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Turn your cover right side out poking out your corners.

Mini Tissue Pack Cover

Press the seams and insert your tissue packet. Give those cute little packets to all your friends and family. Don’t forget to make one for your kids to keep in their school packs too.

All Done! That was easy right? Wait until you see my second method . Don’t forget to share or comment on any of my posts. If you would like a PDF printable format of this tutorial be sure and subscribe to Nelson Sewing & Crafts. After subscribing you will be taken to the place where you can intantly download and print this project.

Hope you are all making something awesome today!

Nancy

A Brand New Look

A Brand New Look

I have been sewing for a really long (34 years)Celebrating time but as an official business Nelson Sewing & Crafts is celebrating its TENTH anniversary this summer (2016). In celebration I have given our website a makeover. It now has a more modern theme and cleaner layout. I have gone through all my old posts and decided that they need updated and clarified. I’ve learned a lot since posting those and although the information is still good I am going to clean up the writing and images a bit so they remain “evergreen” rather than tied to dates and times of the year.

I also want to let you know that this site also carries ads and affiliate links. When you click on them and make a purchase I do get a share of the sale at no extra cost to you. I want to thank you in advance for your support if you do purchase through one of my links.  I try to make my links relevant to the topic or topics at hand. In addition, the companies and products I link to are either near and dear to me and reliable or I have researched them and found them to be legitimate.

One of the things I can’t stand when visiting a site similar to mine is a bunch of pop up ads slowing down the works.  I do not plan on subjecting you to those so if something like that shows up on this site please let me know because I can assure you that is not what I want for this site. My ads will be stationary and unobtrusive for reading content. Links and ads will all also be opened in a new tab when you click on them so you don’t lose your place here at Nelson Sewing & Crafts.

What’s Going to Be New?

There a few new items I will be adding to the site this year:

  • Handmade Products to Purchase
  • Downloadable Patterns and Tutorials
  • Sewing Studio Tour
  • Silhouette Studio Fun
  • Arts & Crafts for Kids
  • Upcycle, Recycle, and DIY
  • Sewing Home Decor
  • Online Video Sewing Classes

Anniversary Contests, Prizes and Giveaways

To make things more fun and interesting I am going to offer prizes and giveaways through out the year. Some prizes will be downloadable and some will be mailed. However, if you want one of the nelson sewing logoprizes you will have to participate in one or more of my Social Media outlets. If you want to get a head start, my social media buttons are at the top of the right hand column of this website. To get updates on recent posts, products, offers, and events please sign up to my email list.  I promise I won’t send you an annoying email every hour of every day . . . once a week is more manageable. You can sign up below or in the right hand column of this website below the search bar.

So here is our first contest give away:

Sign up to get email updates from Nelson Sewing & Crafts and get your name entered in a drawing for one of ten free customized magnetic needle cases from Nelson Sewing & Crafts. The drawing will take place July 1, 2016 so enter soon. Then stay tuned for more opportunities to other prizes and giveaways each week for the next ten weeks. Each drawing or contest you enter will also put you in the drawing for the big grand prize to be drawn on September 2, 2016!

When your name is drawn for a prize that has to be mailed I will email you directly to get your mailing information. Share with your friends and join in the fun!

Let’s Celebrate Together,

Nancy