How to fix ripped jeans

Trying to be greener? Read on for our guide to how to fix ripped jeans from tears to larger holes.


Repaired ripped jeans folded in a pile

Key steps

  • For small tears, sew by hand to hide the rip.
  • For larger rips, you'll need a sewing machine and a patch of material.
  • Cut your patch to size.
  • Use fusible material to attach the patch, before using the sewing machine to sew the edges.
  • Overlap your stiches to prevent loose threads.

In a society of fast fashion, it can be easy to forget the impact this has on the environment. As we begin to take steps to ‘be greener’ and minimise our waste, we should apply this thought process to our clothes; starting with fixing items instead of throwing them out! Here we’ll show you how to repair ripped jeans to give them a new lease of life.

Want to be a bit more adventurous? Why not make the hole a feature? Sew on a brightly coloured or patterned piece of material in place instead of a denim swatch.

How to sew ripped jeans: dealing with smaller rips

With some super simple steps, you can repair ripped jeans in no time!

  1. Snip off any long frayed edges.
  2. Turn your jeans inside out.
  3. Pinch the tear together with the torn edges on the inside: this will make the repairs more hidden.
  4. Take a needle and thread and sew the two edges of the tear together.
  5. Trim off any excess material and thread.
  6. Turn your jeans back out the right way and iron the area back into shape.
  7. Now, you can put them on and wear them proudly.

How to sew a hole in jeans: patching up larger rips

If you want to fix ripped jeans but think the hole is too big, don't despair: there's still a way! Here's how to fix ripped jeans with a patch.

What you need:

  • Thread: choose a colour which matches your jeans as closely as possible.
  • Scissors
  • Iron-on fusible (a thin webbing that works as a glue)
  • A denim swatch to match your jeans
  • A sewing machine: ensure it can do forward and backward stitches
  • An iron
  • Thick cardboard or heat-proof material that you can cut to size

How to repair your ripped jeans:

  1. Using the scissors, cut away fraying threads and trim the edges of the hole.
  2. Turn your jeans inside out.
  3. Cut the patch of denim to size. The patch needs to overlap the edges of the hole, and any weakened denim by at least ¼ inch.
  4. Place your jeans onto a flat, heat resistant surface. An ironing board will work best.
  5.  Make sure there's a heat resistant surface between the hole and the denim on the other side of your jeans: if the hole is in one of the legs and you can't arrange them so that you can see the ironing board through the hole, then cut a thick piece of cardboard to fit through the leg and separate the material on the other side.
  6. Cut small pieces of fusible and line the edges of the hole.
  7. Lay your denim patch right side down over the hole and fusible.
  8. Iron over the patch.
    • Keep the steam setting turned off.
    • Use a medium heat (or whatever setting is recommended by the fusible manufacturer on the label).
    • Always apply an even pressure: you want to seal the jeans and patch together, not burn them.
  9. Allow the patch and jeans to cool.
  10. Now it’s time to sew! Stitch over the edges of the hole, using a zigzag pattern to cover the edge of both the jeans and the patch.
  11. Ensure you go over the same areas more than once, overlapping previous stitches to prevent the thread from coming loose. We recommend overlapping the same area at least 3 times.
  12. Trim any loose edges to neaten up your work. Now your jeans are ready to wear again!

With these simple steps for how to fix holes in jeans, you can now give your wardrobe staple a boost and got those jeans ready to wear again. Lost a button as well as ripped your jeans? Don’t panic. Simply check out our guide for how to sew a button on clothing!

Originally published