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Mending Jeans with Thigh Rub Holes
lupin with wand
lilacsigil wrote in fatshionista
I have big thighs! I like to wear jeans! In some jeans, this causes a problem: holes rapidly appear in the inner thighs of the jeans, making them uncomfortable to wear. There's a very easy mending solution - which can also be used preventatively - which will save your jeans and the delicate skin of your thighs!

The tutorial below uses a sewing machine, but you could certainly stitch by hand if you have a nice sharp needle that will go through denim without wearing out your fingers. The project is suitable for beginners and/or untidy people.

Jeans with holes in the thighs

Oh noes! These jeans have a big hole in the thigh!

Sizing the patch

Turn the jeans inside out and cut a piece of scrap denim or other heavy, non-stretch fabric. This piece is from hemming another pair of jeans. It doesn't matter if the colour doesn't match. The patch should be at least 2cm bigger than the hole in each direction. In this case, there's wear and fraying all over the inner thigh - you can see ripple marks on the fabric where it's going to rip next - so I've used a big patch to cover the entire area. Don't hem this patch - the hem will be lumpy and uncomfortable. The stitching is enough to stop fraying.

Pinning the patch

Slide a book (not a precious one!) inside the leg of the jeans. This will give you a firm surface for pinning and prevent you accidentally pinning the leg shut. Pin the patch in place on the inside of the jeans. Make sure that all holes are well covered.

Sewn patch, inside jeans

Sew around the edge of the patch. Be careful not to sew the leg closed - just stop and unpick if you do! Denim can take it! My jeans are size 26 - I suspect it would be a bit trickier to wrangle small jeans on a sewing machine, but I don't know for sure. If you're using a machine, the bobbin thread will be visible on the outside, so use something not too far away from the colour of the jeans. Remove the pins.

Pinning the holes

Turn the jeans the right way out. You will see the patch through the holes. Put the book back into the jeans to give a firm surface. Pin any large holes to the patch but don't worry about pinning little holes. Don't try to close up holes if there's not enough fabric - you'll just warp the shape of your jeans. Just pin the area flat to the patch.

Sewing over the holes

Sew horizontal lines of stitches across the holes, then vertical lines to give a nice tough grid. It's easiest to do this on the right side of the jeans so that you can see the holes. Make sure that you sew completely around any fraying edges, no matter how small, to stop them fraying further.

Patched inside

This is how it looks on the inside. It will feel a bit rough on your skin when you try it on, but it will soften up in the wash. The outside edges of the patch will also gently fray and soon you won't feel that it's there.


Presenting: my crotch! This is all that can be seen of the patch. I may have to patch the other leg at some stage, as the fabric is getting thin there, too. In the meantime, I can wear my favourite old jeans without pinching, ripping or the suffering the icy winter wind in a very sensitive place.

Crossposted to my LJ.
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ive also found that the iron on patches, for those of us that can't sew haha, work very well too!! i use them on a lot of my black or khaki pants.

I'm a huge fan of the iron-on patches, I admit.

I can never get them to actually stay ironed on! After just a few minutes of walking around, the edges start peeling, and it all makes a big mess! What do you do to make them stay put?

I iron on the patches, then sew the edges with a zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine. A hand backstitch would also work and is super easy to do, really. Just enough sewing at the edge, then maybe an X across the middle, but the iron-on adhesive will take care of the smaller holes and weak patches to reinforce the whole area.

thats really weird! i haven't had that problem? do you iron the edges as much as you iron the rest of it? i keep it on a little longer than need be.

i tried to find the "brand" of iron ons i use but i dont seem to have any right now!!


my sewing machine has paid for itself just in patching up trouser thighs. thanks for the tutorial, OP! it's exactly how i mend mine, just to reinforce this post.

Maybe I'm just getting the wrong ones but those patches irritate my thighs sooo much

I find the iron-ons unbearably sweaty.

Brilliant, I will try this out! I have loads of jeans which have worn through at the thighs.

I've got a pile of old jeans at home just waiting for this treatment. Thanks for the reminder to get to it!!


I always knew this would likely be what I had to do, but it really is helpful to see it all laid out, step-by-step.

I am actually wearing a pair right now that has holes on both sides and I've been thinking about patching them. thank you!

I will not be doing the sewing however, I will have to ask my grandma to do it. hehe.

Very cool!!! I am going to have to give this a shot soon, as some of my faves are starting to get the dreaded thigh hole!

Perfect timing! MY favorite pair of jeans finally gave up the ghost with an inner though hole, and I've been a bit melancholy over giving them up (good thing I hadn't yet!)

Thank you for this! I get so frustrated when those holes appear and I have a few pairs waiting to be repaired...

thank you thank you thank you! I was so afraid I would have to buy new jeans/shorts and I simply cannot afford it. this tutorial rules.


I seriously hate these holes and they have ruined my jeans ugh and my boyfriend doesn't understand and tells me to buy more expensive jeans.. and I keep explaining that it is my thighs doing the damage! They have ruined my Karen Kane jeans :(

i'm gonna have to try this out. even though i fail at mending things haa

Does anyone know of a way to delay the onset of the dreaded thigh holes? I recently got some new jeans and I was wondering if there was some kind of treatment that might help reduce the friction. I don't know what it might be, though. Spray starch? Wax? Lube? ;)

You can sew patches in as I've done above and it will reinforce your jeans to delay the holes, but I don't know anything that will actually prevent them.

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