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How to Sew a Run in Jeans – Step-by-Step Guide (2024)

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how to sew a run in jeansWhoa, slow down before tossing those ripped jeans, girlfriend! While a fashion rip can be fierce, runaway threads are so last season. But stitching up tears doesn’t have to be a drag – with a few basic sewing skills and the right tools, you can patch those babies up in no time.

Whether you’re working with denim or stretchy leggings, this simple sew-along has got you covered. We’ll start by cutting a custom patch and pinning it in place over that unpleasant run. Then I’ll share pro tips for maneuvering your machine through thick seams, plus finishing touches to make your mend practically invisible.

So grab a needle and let’s get sewing – with this step-by-step, you’ll soon be rocking your favorite jeans like the rip never happened. Trust me, once you’ve tried this crafty fix, you’ll be itching to DIY denim repairs anytime disaster strikes those designer duds.

Now who’s ready to get their stitch on?

Key Takeaways

  • Match the thread color and fabric to the jeans for an invisible mend.
  • Use a size 14-16 sharp sewing needle for denim.
  • Stabilize the fabric before stitching.
  • Attach the patch carefully and neatly for a durable mend.

What You’ll Need

What You
You’ll need a needle and durable thread that matches those jeans you love. Choose a denim-toned thread that complements the hue of your favorite pair. Aim for a polyester or nylon thread with some stretch to it, similar to the jeans’ fabric.

Prepare the mending area by ironing on a vellum patch behind the rip to stabilize the sensitive denim. Pin the edges in place and then it’s time to whipstitch. Take tiny 1/8-inch stitches just along the edge of the opened seam to reattach the loose threads and make the rip disappear.

With the right needles, threads, patches, and hand stitching, you’ll fix those jeans in no time.

Step 1: Cut Out the Patch and Pin On

Step 1: Cut Out the Patch and Pin On
Lay out the patch and pin it over the hole generously. You’ll want your patch to fully cover the distressed area, so don’t go too small. Match the patch’s color and stretch to the surrounding denim – contrasts can look cool, but for structural integrity, similarities are best.

I recommend pinning with the fabric’s nap and stretch in mind. Use thicker pins on loose weaves and thinner pins on stiff denim. Whipstitching the patch will disguise threads; for contrast, try appliqué or embroidery.

Whatever your style, secure that patch thoroughly! Mending adds life to well-loved jeans.

Step 2: General Tips for Sewing on the Patch

Step 2: General Tips for Sewing on the Patch
After you’ve cut out and pinned the patch in place, you’re ready to sew. Be sure to use a thread color that matches the jeans closely. A slightly darker gray thread on the inside of the jeans can help hide stitches too.

As you sew, focus on neat, tiny stitches about 1/8 inch apart. Whipstitch the edges with a double thread to prevent any fraying and keep the patch edges smooth. Knot the thread on the inside between the patch and jeans to hide knotted ends. Stitch slowly and carefully, inserting the needle between the patch and jeans, not through both layers.

Keeping the stitches small and even will reinforce the patch and make the mending practically invisible.

Avoid visible knots or loose threads on the outside of the jeans. When you reach the end, knot on the inside and snip any remnants.

Step 3: Sew Around the Edges!

Step 3: Sew Around the Edges!
The worn threads taunt your skilled hands as you mend the beloved denim. Guide the needle through the sturdy patch, pulling the thread taut with each tiny whipstitch. Take care to fully secure the edges, pinning generously to prevent any shifting.

Allow the needle to pierce just the patch first before drawing it through to the backside. Keep the knots nestled safely between to avoid abrasion. Mind the fabric’s stretch as you work, matching the grain precisely.

Though temptation arises to rush, patience prevails for the denim deserves diligent devotion. Persevere! With every stitch, you near the moment when buttons shine and seams sing once more.

Step 4: Reinforce the Hole

Step 4: Reinforce the Hole
Now sheath ’round the hole with a quick whipstitch! Reinforce that worn area, darling, by blanket stitching around the hole with doubled thread. This stabilizes the fabric and prevents further fraying of those distressed jeans.

Whip those stitches rapidly, keeping them tiny and tight. Think of it as embroidering a quick fix that supports the patch.

And remember, a whipstitch seals fraying edges, securing patches over threadbare spots.

Step 5: How to Sew a Run in Leggings

Step 5: How to Sew a Run in Leggings
You’ve gotta keep those precious legs covered, so whip out your trusty needle and mend that run in your leggings quicker than a hare on the run.

  • Use a stretchy patch that matches the fabric of your leggings to reinforce the hole.
  • Whipstitch the patch to the leggings using a needle and thread that matches the color.
  • Weave the needle in and out, catching just a sliver of the leggings and patch. This secures the patch while maintaining stretch.

Your leggings will be ready to wear again in no time, with that pesky hole reinforced and barely visible.

Step 6: How to Sew a Tear in Jeans

Step 6: How to Sew a Tear in Jeans
First, iron the hem along the tear to make mending easier. Then, carefully pin the edges together.

  1. Cut a patch from matching denim that is at least 1 inch wider than the hole.
  2. Pin the patch on the inside over the hole, aligning the grain.
  3. Use a whipstitch all around the hole through both layers.
  4. Knot on the inside and bury the thread ends between layers.

Hidden stitches on the inside will make your mending nearly invisible. Back tack at the start and end for security. With the right color thread and a neatly aligned support patch, you can easily repair tears in stretch denim jeans.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What type of needle should I use when sewing denim?

Fine denim deserves the finest needle. Use an elephant-sized leather needle that pokes gigantic holes, bending syringe-thick threads like spaghetti. Small puny needles snap, fraying thread and shredding precious selvage. Wimpy needles struggle to rip denim, straining tiny eyes.

How can I make the thread match the color of my jeans as closely as possible?

Choose a polyester thread that closely matches the hue and tone of your jeans. Spool through the blues and grays in the sewing kit, holding strands against the denim. Select the one that disappears, blending seamlessly. For an invisible mend, this matching is essential.

Is it better to sew by hand or use a sewing machine for mending jeans?

For mending jeans, use a machine. It’s quicker, more even, and stronger. Just be sure to match the thread color closely and use a tight zigzag stitch. Hand-sewing can be trickier to get neat but works for small holes or tears. Either way, take your time and mind the details.

What tricks can help keep denim fabric from slipping and shifting as I sew?

Pin often to hold layers in place as you sew. A stitch in time saves nine when mending fraying seams. Tack down stubborn corners first. Shorter stitches grip slick denim better than long ones. Press as you go to keep the fabric flat and neat. Small hands make light work – take your time for lasting repairs.

Will sewing over a run or tear compromise the strength and durability of my jeans?

Reinforcing a tear properly won’t compromise strength. Use tiny, closely spaced stitches and high-quality denim thread. Patch underneath for added durability. With care, you can neatly repair jeans and extend their lifespan.


So there you have it, folks! Don’t let a pesky run or tear in your favorite jeans get you down. With the steps outlined above and a needle and thread in hand, you’ll be able to mend those holes and keep strutting your stuff in style.

It may feel daunting at first, but taking it one stitch at a time will have you sewing up a storm before you know it. Remember, practice makes perfect – the more you mend, the better your technique will become.

Approach each tear as an opportunity to flex your sewing muscles and add some personal flair.

Before you know it, you’ll be able to sew a run in jeans with your eyes closed! So grab those torn jeans, thread up your needle, and let’s start stitching.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.