5 Simple Steps to Patch old Jeans with Lace
Recently one of my favorite pairs of pants started ripping at the back. For a while I sucked it up and wore them with shorts underneath but the hole just kept getting worse every time I wore them so I decided to do something about it. In my massive piles of sewing odds and ends I happened to have lace... lots of lace (Thanks Grandma.) Follow along to see how I fixed my favorite pants to make them even better!
1) Lay clean pants on a flat surface with lace on top of the hole. My hole was big enough I needed two rows of lace to cover it. Cut the lace about an inch too long (1/2" extra for each side of the rip). If you don't cut the lace long enough your patch won't cover the entire hole and it will continue to rip further.
2) Since my lace needed to be wider to cover the hole I just cut two pieces the same length and cut a piece of hemp cord (about 2" longer than lace segments) to use as a stabilizer for joining the lace. I then placed both lace segments back to back with the hemp in the middle. To join them I used the widest zig-zag stitch on my machine with a short stitch length for the maximum amount of strength in the seam. I stitched down the middle ensuring the hemp cord was captured inside the zig-zag and both pieces of lace were secured together. I decided to use hemp because I have it on hand, it is cheap, and I like the natural look of it with the lace. You could use any type of strong cord pretty much.
3) After joining my two lace segments I cut the hemp cord to be 1/4" longer than the lace on each side. I left the hemp longer so I would be able to turn it under and prevent unraveling.
Broken needles happen... just make sure you pull out all the little metal pieces or it can really damage your machine. My needle broke while I was sewing around the extra thick seams in the crotch. If you advance the needle by hand in the thickest parts it's less likely to break.
4) (Showing stitches inside jeans) I first zig-zag stitched a big rectangle to secure the lace to the jeans. Make sure to turn your cording under and zig-zag over it extra well if you had to use it to stabilizer. If you don't the stabilizer cord will pull out and your patch will fail. I tried to only zig-zag on the busy parts of the lace to hide as much of my thread as possible on the visible side. The rectangle will keep the lace in place but you still need to sew down any ends that are loose so they don't stick out when you wear your pants. I did this by using a straight stitch to sew around the outer edges of the lace patch. You can see this in the photo above where the straight stitch makes little triangles outside of the zig-zagged rectangle. This way I don't have any loose lace bits flapping around on my butt.
5) Last Step! Cut any loose thread ends and try pants on. Now brag because your favorite pants just got even better!
This took me about 30 minutes to do (even with taking photos) and maybe half a brain cell. When I wash these pants I try to turn them inside out to protect the lace from snagging on other clothes. So far the patch has held excellent with no damage. Let me know how your lace patches turn out!
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