DIY · Sewing · Style

DIY Modern Patched Denim

DIY Patched Denim

Last week, I showed you my top 5 things to do with thrifted jeans.

One of my favorite things to do with thrifted (or just old) jeans is to cut them up to use for patches.

Last year, I did a tutorial on DIY distressed denim and how to use patches on the inside of the jeans to reinforce the holes. You can check out that tutorial here.

Today, I’m showing you how to add patches to the outside of your jeans. I was inspired by these images I found on Pinterest:

take aim patched denim
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Here’s what I used for this project:

  • a pair of jeans to patch
  • another pair of jeans or denim scraps to make patches
  • scissors
  • needle and thread (I used white)
  • pins to hold patches in place
  • sewing machine (optional)

DIY Patched Denim

This is what the jeans looked like before – saggy knees that have lost some of the elasticity of the spandex threads that give the jeans stretch.

DIY Patched Denim

I wanted the patches to be different colors, so I cut one patch from a thrifted pair of jeans, and I cut the other patch from an old pair of jeans that I had already repaired. I thought the ripped and resewn part would add some fun texture.

DIY Patched Denim

Place the patches where you want them to be sewn.

DIY Patched Denim

Pin patches in place. Now you will begin to stitch the patches to the jeans. For the top and bottom of the patch, I used my machine, but I quickly realized I wouldn’t be able to do the left and right side stitches that way, so I used needle and thread to finish.

DIY Patched Denim

I used back stitching for this part. (Here’s a great illustration of how back stitch works.) Start with the needle and thread inside the leg of the jeans. Poke the needle through at least 1/4″ away from the side of the patch and about 1/2″ from the bottom. Pull thread through to the knot.

DIY Patched Denim

Insert needle about 1/4″ toward the bottom edge of patch and guide it to about 1/4″ past where the thread is sticking out.


Pull thread tight and insert needle at the end of the previous stitch.

DIY Patched Denim

Guide needle through the inside of the jeans and poke out about 1/4″ past where thread is sticking out. Repeat until you have a full line of stitches, stopping at about 1/4″ from the opposite edge of the patch. Tie off the thread on the inside of the jeans.

I made a little video (my first on the blog!) to show you what this looks like in action:

And there you have it, how to add patches to your jeans.

DIY Patched Denim

I had forgotten how much I love hand-stitching. I find it super relaxing. Maybe it takes me back to my childhood cross-stitching days, or maybe it just makes me slow down and focus only on what I’m doing. Either way, I think I need to find some things to embroider, or at least find some more things to patch. I’m sure BB and BG have some holey jeans that need fixing!



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