Here’s yet another way to patch a hole in a pair of pants. I was inspired by a pair of jeans I saw on my friend Gina, and I asked her, “did you do that?” She said, “no, I bought them this way.” So here’s a way to use lots of zigzag stitches to patch up a hole in a pair of pants. Read on for the complete tutorial!



The pants I’m patching are my boyfriend’s work pants, so I let him pick the patch and thread color. I started out by cutting a piece of fabric big enough to cover the hole and then some. As with darning, we want the patch to be big enough to help distribute the force of wearing evenly throughout the area so the pants don’t sprout new holes right away.


Pin the fabric to the backside of the hole. If it’s up near the pocket, be sure not to get the pocket fabric caught up in the operation.


Depending on where the hole is, now might be a good time to use the free arm of your sewing machine, if it has one.


Start making long lines across the hole area, back and forth, using the reverse function on your machine (usually a button you hold down on the front), creating big zig-zags.


Keep on going until it’s secured to your satisfaction. Remember to go past the hole a bit to create that force distribution I mentioned earlier.


Turn the pants 90 degrees and make more stitches in the opposing direction.


Trim the fabric on the back, and you’re finished!

Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern (sternlab.org is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).

  • Marie

    That is a really sweet idea. Besides it looking unique, I’m sure that patch isn’t going anywhere!

  • Dave

    Inspired me to repair 2 pairs of jeans immediately!
    I used thin stretch cotton (scraps from a customized t-shirt) to avoid a thick double layer.
    Love your blog!
    Dave (Amsterdam, Holland)

  • Seth the Verbose Mute

    Great post, I just patched my first pair of jeans a few minutes ago !

  • lauren b

    As simple as that is, it looks shotty. You don’t need the huge zigzags across the vacant area, that makes it look messy and amateurish. o-o; Instead, you can hem along the fraying area to prevent anymore unraveling (with a small zig zag stitch by hand or via machine). It ends up looking better, “clean” and is just as, if not more sturdy than what you did and takes just as long. No use looking unkempt, if I wanted that I’d just keep the hole in my jeans.

    • http://danielleyarian.wordpress.com danielle

      They looks designer, these would cost alot of money in a store.

      • Karen

        Exactly! I have paid a lot of money for my daughter’s jeans to look like this new! My dad always teases her about the holes in her jeans and I remind him that I paid a lot of money for those holes!

  • Rachael

    Very cute!! Love this idea! I’ve been looking for a cool way to patch jeans and this is it!! Thanks for posting!

  • niki

    I will be doing this for all of my 5 yearold sons jeans!

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