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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

When a pair of blue jeans reveal more than I'd like: patching a holey crotch

Perhaps the worst area of my jeans to become threadbare -- the crotch

I've been putting off patching these jeans, as I wasn't sure how I'd go about it. But these are by far my most comfy jeans. They have lots of stretch and never bind.
The main issues to deal with: stretch fabric needs stretchy patches. The inside of the jeans are black and wear spots show as black. The main patch would need to cross a major seam.

A two-piece patch for the main worn area that crosses 1 seam

using some scraps from old jeans, two pieces of patch were
 sewn together at the seam, the grain was matched for both halves
 before cutting the patch pieces

Wonder Under adhesive iron-on attached to back side of patch

patch then ironed onto underside of jeans in worn area,
matching center seam

patch sewn at edge to inside of jeans

inside of jeans after some additional stitching

I used an embroidery hoop and embroidery thread
for hand-stitching on top of the patch

I went with basic dark blue floss, 3 threads

close-up of main patched area

A long, narrow worn area alongside a seam, patched and zigzag stitched


inside, patched and zigzagged

after, not perfect, but less noticeable and reinforced

no longer obscene

I still need to add some stitching to the right side patch to reinforce the entire worn area and secure the patch to the worn jeans. I'll get to that in the next day or two. For now, I wanted to share how it went.

Hints for patching holes in the crotch area of blue jeans
  • Matching the grain Match the grain of the fabric of the patching material with the grain of the fabric of the clothing item so the patch moves with the clothing item evenly.
  • Stretchy vs non-stretchy patch  Try to match the stretchiness of the patch to that of the clothing. Stretch jeans need a stretchy patch.
  • Two-piece patches  If the area to be patched crosses a crotch seam, then the patch will need to be made in two pieces stitched together mimicking the seam of the pants, matching the grain of each half of the area to be patched.
  • Iron-on adhesives secure the patch for sewing Wonder Under iron-on adhesive for fabrics is great for holding the patch onto the clothing item during the stitching process. Alternatively, you could pin and baste the patch in place before sewing the edge of the patch to the jeans, then stitching all over to fully secure the patch and give strength to the worn fabric. 
  • Stitch the outside edge of the patch, then all over to reinforce the worn fabric Wonderful Under and the patch alone (or iron-on patches) won't last through a couple of wearings, due to all of the stretching of fabric in the crotch area when moving. The patch needs to be secured to the worn area all over for best results.
  • Have fun with patching jeans  Blue jeans are a type of clothing that can look fine with more visible repairs. I've seen fun-looking jeans hand-stitched in contrasting colors or decorative patterns. 


  1. I'm impressed. That's a pretty complicated patch. Luckily, the crotch of my jeans doesn't usually wear out. My favorite comfortable jeans are wearing out fairly evenly. They are almost threadbare all over with the knees ready to break through. I don't know that a patch would hold up very well on any part of them, so I will just continue to wear them around the house until they fall apart. I often save the pockets of old jeans that can no longer be worn thinking I will make something out of them, but I haven't so far.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I have saved denim scraps for many years for making a picnic blanket. So far, I haven't felt inspired to tackle that project. Pockets sound interesting to work with.

    2. I have a quilt top that I started in high school with old jeans I wore at the time. I took it out several years ago and did some more with it, but never finished it. My sewing is not the best on it, but it is fun to remember some of the jeans that went into it, like the bright green pair.

  2. Wow, you finished it!! I'm sure the patch will outlast the rest of your jeans. As the case with my husband's jeans shorts, the area adjacent grew weak and started to fray, so I wanted to add another patch, ie layer patches as done in boro patching. But he opted to retire the shorts at that point. What may help and act as a reinforcement to the adjacent area is to extend the running stitches a few inches past the patch. Sometimes I think tthe weight of the patch had weakend adjacent areas.

    Enjoy your day!!

    1. Hi Laura,
      Thanks to your encouragement! I've seen that happen where the area right next to the patch wears out. That's a good suggestion to extend the stitches beyond the patch. Thank you!


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