March 20, 2024

Mending Jeans in Ignite Studio

Denim jeans going through the sewing machine

by Wil Cargioli

Learn to mend your jeans! Ignite studio wants to encourage all our patrons to reduce waste in any way they can. The EPA has noted a rise in textile waste over the years. This blog is to show you some of what Ignite has to offer to help you breathe new life into your wardrobe by mending torn jeans and encouraging you to do the same with your other clothes! 

Common Culprits 

My own inspiration for this comes from the common holes I found in my jeans.  

Another pair of blue jeans with a hole near the rear center seam.               A pair of blue jeans with a hole near the rear center seam.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds these holes in an otherwise perfectly good pair of jeans infuriating! Luckily, Ignite has the tools needed to help you mend your jeans. Here’s a list of the equipment and materials used for this project: 

  • Ignite’s Intermediate Sewing Machine (Beginner Sewing Machine works too!) 
  • Sewing Machine Kit (found in Kit Library) 
  • Mending kit supplies (Available during mending night or on request) 
  • Denim Blue threads – assorted 
  • Denim iron on repair patches 

The only thing you need to bring are jeans for repair and another pair for extra fabric! (Limited scrap denim is also available in Ignite).  


During this project, I mended 4 pairs of jeans; three with Ignite’s Intermediate Sewing Machine and one with an iron on patch. I also cut out some fabric from a pair of very ripped jeans to help with the repair of the others. 

Denim panels cut from a pair of worn out jeans

Pair 1 

With the first pair of jeans I sewed, I went for a more careful approach. I first stitched the hole closed before reinforcing the area with fabric and stitching.

interior center seam of denim jeans        exterior center seam of denim jeans                    

After that I laid the jeans as flat as I could into the sewing machine with a patch from the other pair of jeans. 

pair of jeans positioned under needle of sewing machine with a denim patch on top

Once the jeans were positioned correctly, I sewed the border to keep the patch in place. 

interior of jeans with a denim patch sewed inside

I then placed jeans back into the machine, with the outside of the fabric facing up. Then to secure the patch, I sewed over it, back and forth using the zig-zag stitch. 

  interior patch with zigzags of black thread across the patch         Exterior patch with zigzags of black thread across the patch

Though there is some roughness to this result, it is well reinforced and should stay strong for quite a while. 

Pair 2 

The next pair I mended had another rip on the other side of the pants. You can see that this will be the second time I repaired this pair of jeans. 

Close up of worn out crotch seams of denim jeans

In the first pair, I sewed the border first and then reinforced the fabric with stitching. This time I will do both without removing the jeans from the sewing machine. Here you can see a bit of the process of here. 

Denim jeans going through the sewing machine

After sewing the border and reinforcing the fabric, here was the final result.      

Interior denim patch with seams across Exterior of jeans with seams across

While this method was quicker and not as bulky as the other, you can still see some issues with the final product. Since we never flipped the fabric, the backstitch is what is seen on the front. This means that it was in black instead of the dark blue I had in my front stitch. Also because of my own lack of sewing skills, the backstitch was a bit more knotted. Lucky, patches in this area of the jeans are rarely seen. 

Pair 3 

For the final pair I fixed on the sewing machine, I used some of my newfound knowledge from the past couple of pairs I mended. I tried to be more efficient this time around. 

   Interior of jeans to be repaired

To mend this hole, I followed a similar procedure to the last couple pairs. I placed my jeans with the patch into the sewing machine, but this time I made sure the outside of the jeans was face up. This makes it so my top stitch color is the main color you can see. I also secured the patch with pins to make sure it didn’t shift while sewing.  

After sewing around the patch’s border like the others, I then sewed around the hole. 

  Exterior of Jeans at center seams where two squares of sewing thread is visible

This is much cleaner and less bulky than the others, but it comes at the cost of being a little less stable. The hole itself is also still only one layer of fabric, so it’s possible for another hole to develop again over time! But hopefully no sooner that the original hole.  

Pair 4 

This final pair doesn’t use the sewing machine at all, so if you want to repair your jeans, but are worried about using a sewing machine, this method could be for you!  I used an iron on patch that can be found in Ignite’s Mending Kit.  

A hand holding a dark denim iron-on patch           Hand holding an iron over a dark denim patch over dark denim jeans


These patches are designed to be placed into or onto the jeans and will fuse to the fabric using the heat of an iron! We have patches in various shades of blue to match whatever color your jeans are. All you need is to line up the patch with the hole and iron until fused! You can also cut the patch to a specific size, but I left mine whole. 

Interior of jeans with patch that has been ironed on.     

The process was quick and painless! However the area I was mending was a bit difficult to lie perfectly flat, so some of the fabric bunched up. It also has a bit of a plastic-y feel, so it may not be best for high motion areas. But for mending holes in the legs of the jeans, this method would work flawlessly! 


Not only is repairing jeans sustainable and can save you money, but it can also give a comfy pair of jeans a few more years of life! If you are interested in some self-directed mending, come on down to Ignite, check out our sewing machine and mend your jeans! If you want some extra help, you can come to the next Mending Night on April 11 from 5:30 to 7:30. (*Mending Night is a drop-in gathering occurring on the second Thursday of each month.)