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While patches can be very punk rock and 90s, they’re not always the look you want to go for on a classic, day-to-day pair of jeans. However they were created to fix holes in your jeans and that is also not a look you want to go for—ripped jeans are great, of course, but no one likes a crotch rip or finds thigh rips super fashionable.
So what are you to do? There are many mending options that don’t rely on appliques and iron-on patches and these jean tutorials can be done with very few tools and materials right now.
How to fix a hole in jeans without patch by hand sewing
If the hole in your jeans is a small, clean rip you can fix it very quickly and easily with a regular hand stitch. Small holes are the easiest to fix so it is imperative to constantly inspect and take care of your clothing so that you’re not faced with rips so large they ruin your pants.
This method works best for small holes that are in low-stress areas like your leg seams. All you need is scissors, a needle and a thread that matches the color of your jeans.
From the inside of your jeans, close the hole with pins or your fingers and use small, tight whipstitches to keep it closed. This will also prevent the edges from fraying further.
Alternatively, you can begin repairing your hole by reinforcing the area with another patch of fabric that will sit inside your jeans. This will help your stitches have something to anchor to and prevent further ripping if the hole is in a high-stress area.
How to fix a hole in jeans with a ladder stitch
This is the most seamless method for how to fix a hole in jeans without a patch. The ladder stitch is a simple stitch that has you move your thread in the pattern of a ladder. All you need for this method is scissors, a needle, and thread. You can opt for a thread that matches the color of your jeans but this is completely optional.
Clean up any frayed threads on your hole with scissors. Knot your thread into the jeans, making sure to anchor it securely.
Then starting on the left side of the hole make a small vertical stitch and then a horizontal perpendicular from it. Make another verticle stitch on the right side and follow through with another horizontal stitch. Keep repeating this until you’ve gone from the bottom of the hole to the top of it, make sure to taper your stitches as the hole gets smaller.
At the end of the hole, you can gently pull on the thread which will bring the sides of the hole together in a seamless line. You can reinforce this iron-on interfacing or a patch on the inside or leave it as is.