How To Make Patchwork Jeans

Photo of cutting jeans

Making a brand new pair of jeans look uniquely vintage is easy if you know how to sew patchwork! Follow these steps and your boring jeans will become one-of-a-kind!

Tools you'll need:
- Jeans
- Patch fabric
- Scissors
- Needle/Thread
- Pins
- Chalk (optional)

1. Pick your fabrics: This is where you can get creative. Any kind of fabric will work as long as it's close in thickness to the jeans you're using. For lightweight jeans, cottons and other lightweight denims work well; for thicker jeans you can be a more adventurous, using corduroys, wools, and even leathers!

2. Using scissors, cut holes in jeans: The shape, size, and placement are up to you! If you're going for a "natural" look, use your scissor to cut circle-shaped holes in the knees of the jeans. Helpful hint: put the jeans on and then trace out desired hole-shapes with chalk. This will ensure proper patch placement.

3. Trim pieces of fabric: Cut each piece of fabric according to the sizes of the new holes in your jeans. Each piece of fabric should be about 1/2 inch larger in diameter than its corresponding hole. Err on the side of cutting the fabric pieces larger, as you can trim away excess later.

4. Pin fabrics in place: Lay jeans down flat with the hole you will be working on facing up. Slip the piece of corresponding fabric inside the jeans, directly under the hole, so that the fabric completely fills up the hole and there is no empty space. Place pins around the perimeter of the hole and through the fabric underneath, leaving 1/4 inch between the pins and the perimeter of the hole to comfortably sew. Turn jeans inside-out to ensure the fabric is centered on the hole. Repeat on each hole. Helpful hint: for a cleaner look, form hems on the perimeter of each hole. Achieve this by folding the perimeter of each hole in and under about 1/4 inch and pinning to hold.

5. Sew: Thread your needle and tie a knot at the end of the thread. Poke the needle through from the inside to hide the knot, and sew along perimeter using your favorite stitch. Backstitch (in which you make a stitch from right to left, make a space of the same size, and then take the needle back over the space and make another stitch) is a strong stitch to use. Helpful hint: if you're worried about the evenness of your sewing, mark a sewing line around the hole using chalk first.

6. Trim excess fabric from inside, remove pins, and enjoy!

Note: This works great for older, naturally holey jeans too! Simply trim the edges of the holes and follow the same instructions.


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