Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

need tips on mending children’s jeans

RJ1 | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Help! I don’t know the reason but my son seems to have a talent of ruining his jeans fast.  The fastest record is two weeks.  The rest of the jeans still look brand new except for the knee areas.  The two torn areas make the jeans look so dingy I have to throw away lots of pants due to this reason.  Is there anyway to mend the pants without looking dingy or strange.  I’m sure I’m not alone on this issue.  I’d appreciate for any advice.  Thanks!


  1. sueb | | #1

    I have a friend whose kids tear through their jeans quickly too.  Now when she buys them she reinforces the knees from the inside with some leather patches to give them a little bit of strength.  I think I saw an article somewhere (or it may have been in the front of the magazine as a tip) about someone who would make a patch that was actually sewn into the two side seams on each side of the knees on the outside.  Sort of creating a cover for the knees, that way when the knee cover wore out it could be taken off and then replaced with another one. 

  2. Jean | | #2

    I thought rips and holes were fashionable nowadays. ;) Our grandkid's jeans get patched with the leg part of other jeans that have been cut off into shorts.

  3. carolfresia | | #3

    How old is your son?! My six-year-old does the same, though perhaps not as quickly. I've caught him running and then sliding on his knees. Ouch!

    As suggested by another poster, you might consider reinforcing or patching the jeans before he even wears them. There are iron-on patches available in denim, which you could iron to the inside of the jeans. If you decide to patch the torn jeans, you might have to undo the inseam to sew a patch on (depends on whether you have a free-arm machine and how small the jeans are). Saving fabric from jeans you've given up on and turned into cut-off shorts is a great way to recycle denim, and it might even match.

    I don't know yet if kids outgrow this...let's hope so!


    1. sanderson | | #4

      I thought they'd outgrow it, too, but just did son 2's laundry as a college graduation gift and his bib's had holes in the thigh that made my blood run cold.  He's an art major and doing lots with power tools and the wound in the jeans looked like a flesh eating saw type thing had gotten away and I was sure he had had a near death experience.  (Jump to conclusions, moi?)  I woke him up, he said screaming, asking to see his leg.  The true story is that a bad washing machine ate the pants' leg and my maternal hysterics was, once again, for naught.

      1. rjf | | #5

        It's good to have daughters!  They're a little easier on their clothes and they can mend for themselves if necessary.  Not that boys can't; they just don't seem to have as much interest.  That must have been a frightening experience, discovering the destroyed jeans.  I wouldn't have thought "bad washing machine"; I would have thought what you did!                                                      rjf

        1. stitchmd | | #6

          Don't bet on that. My 11 year old daughter is obsessed with clothing, yet treats it like garbage. Stains, holes, dirty laundry hidden from me so I can't wash it, etc. My 17 year old son rarely ever damaged clothes and has done his own laundry for 5 years. He used to express an interest in sewing, but once he was old enough had already decided it wasn't an appropriate activity for a male. I'm hoping he gets past that hangup and will try it. My daughter has tried sewing, embroider and knitting but not stuck with any of them.

          1. Tish | | #7

            My daughter was hard on pants.  From second grade through about the sixth grade, I just expected at least one knee-hole within the first week. I had a co-worker whose daughter got my daughter's better hand-me-downs, and he complained once that I gave nice shirts, but no pants!  I told him that, believe me, but the time my daughter outgrew a pair of pants, his daughter didn't want them.  (I thought, but didn't say, your kid is getting half her new clothes for free, quit kvetching.)

            My problems with iron-ons are two-fold: They're stiff, and my daughter hated that, and the edges pull away and curl.  I didn't have a machine that could top stitch the edges.  (My Singer Featherweight is fifty years old and has had a heavy-duty life.  It no longer does heavy duty).  If you can secure the edges, the stiffness might be a plus for boys who slide on their knees!  My sons prefer sweats to jeans, and they get holes pretty quickly.  They don't care.

            My kids all play hard, grow fast, and beat the warp out of their clothes.  I've learned to like the children and the clothes in a clean-but-ragged state.  Usually, they couldn't care less.

      2. betsy | | #8

        My children are in the college-age category too, and they have developed different wear patterns from the worn out knee stage. Back pockets rip away from the pants at the top corners. I have ripped the seams down until I got to intact fabric; this is the worst part of the process, undoing the bar tacks at the top. I've then fused a substantial patch onto the jeans. (animals or the leaves and/or flowers from print denim or upholstery fabric work well). Another fabric can be fused to the inside of the jeans, strengthening this area. I machine satin stitchstitch around the patch,(basically creating an applique design), and then flip the pocket back up over the patch and stitch it in place. Try to avoid satin stitching in areas where there are many seam allowances, and you should be OK.     Mending worn crotch areas is a little more tricky, to add strength without great visibility. I usually fuse a fabric to the inside of the jeans; use a flexible/lighter weight fabric, and then machine darn/zig zag pretty heavily with a matching thread, stitching well into intact fabric.    If anyone has another solution for this area, I'd love to hear it. Good luck!

        1. JulieP25 | | #9

          Hi! I open up both sides seams and press. Then I trace out a knee patch using the legs as a pattern. 2" above the knee and 1 1/2 ' below  adding a seam allowance to both edges. Pressing the seam allowances I straight stitch and then resew the sides up. I also keep old jeans so I can match the jeans up in color. I also use a variety of blue grey threads that have the same shade as the jeans I'm patching. This makes for a neat and not too noticeable patch. Crotches, I patch on the inside using a circle shape and treating the edges with a serger and then straight stitching into the pants ( around in a circle).  I pin and hand baste the circle into place before stitching . I have 2 kids  & 1 husband ( farm) they're all hard on clothes and jeans is what they wear the most. 


          1. betsy | | #10

            Jules, Your advice on patching jeans is welcome and timely. I spent 4 1/2 hour in my daughter's room with her, unpacking from her first year at college. She arrived home about a month ago, so piles had reached a pretty incredible state, a fire hazard, at least! A favorite pair of jeans surfaced, and WE are going to try to salvage them this week. Thanks so much; I might even consider the spiral stitching fun!


This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More