Everyone has that one pair of favorite, worn-in skinny jeans. Unfortunately, those are usually the ones that get torn up beyond “fashionably distressed.” That is where my pair ended up a few weeks ago, with the left leg ripped halfway from the knee to the ankle.
The main problem was the high spandex content in my jeans. The rip happened from my knee poking through the original hole, so I didn’t want to patch it with something stiff. I was fairly certain I had seen spandex/cotton patches at the store. Apparently, that was something I imagined.
For those of you in the same situation, I’ll give you a simple solution. Go to the thrift store and find a cheap pair of jeans with the same fiber content. That’s the most important part. Seriously, you need to check the tag in your jeans, right down the exact percentages of fiber, and then search through your store for a pair that is the same. You want it to stretch the same amount.
Your next step will be to find a part of the thrift store jeans that are in tact and the same width as the area you wish to patch. I had a pair of jeans about three sizes smaller, but with a slightly flared leg that worked perfectly below the knee to reach slightly longer than seam to seam.
Flip your jeans inside out and lay your patch on the space you need to cover, wrong side facing up (like above). I wanted to leave the original hole open, so I set it just at the edge. Sew the vertical edges of the patch to the seams of your jeans, then flip them inside out again.
Starting from the top, use an elastic stitch (it usually looks like a dotted zig-zag stitch on your machine) to create horizontal lines about 1-1.5 inches apart. It also helps to start and end each line with a few straight stitches (and backstitch them).
Try to match your thread as much as you can. The elastic stitch helps to hide it a bit, too. Or, you could always use a very different color of thread to make the patch a design element. Another tip, you don’t have to sew directly along the top or bottom edges. Your first and last lines will hold the piece in place well enough, along with it being stitched along the edges, that it won’t fold over when you put your pants on.