Alright are you DUMMY THICC with POWERFUL THIGHS that keep DESTROYING YOUR JEANS? Are you super fucking broke and can’t afford new clothes? Would you rather not contribute to disposable fashion, one of the MOST UNETHICAL industries of the modern age, on which I have many thoughts? I’m here to show you how to keep your pants on unnatural life support until they literally disintegrate off your legs.
You’ll need some basic sewing skills and supplies. If you don’t have a sewing machine, jump to the end, I’ll add an epilogue just for you.
Step one: look at this disgrace. How did this even happen. What was I doing.
Now you don’t need to do this next bit, especially if it’s a less extensive repair, but I’m going to show you how to make a nice pattern for this, if you like nice patterns.
Turn one leg inside out and put it into the other, so you can see the tear.
Put a piece of paper on the area and trace around the hole - it’ll take some guesswork, but you can figure it out. You want it big enough to cover the hole, and extending far enough from it that you aren’t just sewing into places where the fabric is worn super thing. I like to stop at the crotch and inner leg seams, both because the pants are shaped there so it’s hard to get a patch to span it without something puckering, and because it’s a good sturdy anchor to sew to. Mine looks like this. Yours will…probably be smaller.
Now cut that shape out of some fabric. I cut two, because I have similarly shaped holes on both sides. You do NOT need to add seam allowance. For the fabric, I recommend cotton twill or canvas (not treated canvas, you don’t want anything plasticky on your crotch). Twill is what most casual pants are made of (denim is a kind of twill). Canvas is the same but heavier. You’ll want something that roughly matches the color of your pants, obviously. I did not have this. I decided I do not care. My pants will look DUMB but I am a GOBLIN.
I serged the edges of mine (because I’m the kind of goblin with a SERGER but not TAN FABRIC?? apparently) but that’s not necessary. Turn your pants inside out and pin the patch in (one at a time, if you’re doing multiple). Make sure the patch lies completely flat against the pants fabric, and isn’t bunching or bubbling.
Now shove it under the sewing machine and stitch around the edge. I recommend sewing right on top of the existing seams where you can, since the pants are sturdy there. The tricky thing is not accidentally catching other parts of the pants while you’re sewing around the patch, but you can do it, I believe in you. If you mess up, just seam rip that bit and try again.
Once the patch(es) are in, turn them right side out. The holes are covered, but there’s a bunch of loose, ragged fabric flapping around that’s just going to keep getting shredded.
So take it back to the sewing machine, and just…sew everywhere. Start at the edge and make a big spiral to the center. Or make a bunch of parallel lines. Or start wherever you want and just go wild. But fill the patch with stitching everywhere there are two layers of fabric.
This not only keeps the layers together but REINFORCES them, so your sad pants will be STRONGER THAN EVER. It’ll look like this, and you’ll be like “ew, everybody’s going to see my butt stitching.”
But they won’t. Trust me. They won’t. Because it’s all up in your butt crack, and if they’re looking close enough you’re legally allowed to kick them. Even with my dumbass fabric choices, you can’t see it at all from the front (enjoy weird blurry shot of my crotch).
And you can barely see it from the back.
AND NOW YOU CAN WEAR YOU FAVORITE PANTS, AND NEVER BUY NEW CLOTHES EVER AGAIN. I think I’ve done this to EVERY pair of pants I wear on a regular basis. Some MULTIPLE TIMES.
My note for people without a sewing machine: you can do this by hand, it’ll just take longer. Use sturdy thread and sew with a prick stitch (or pick stitch, depending on who you ask). That means that when the thread is on the outside of the fabric, make the stitches absolutely tiny. That leaves less surface area to be abraided by the aforementioned slapping of your thighs. It also looks nicer - so I would do that if you’re fixing some really nice dress pants whether you’ve got a sewing machine or not. This is what a prick stitch looks like on the outside.
If you’re doing it by hand, and if you want extra reinforcement, I’d also recommend getting some Heat ‘n Bond (or Wonder Under, etc, there are a few different brands, any permanent iron-on adhesive will work) and affixing the patches with that first. I only didn’t do that because I don’t have any. I would not recommend putting the patches in ONLY with iron-on adhesive, even though the manufacturers say it will work. It’s not strong enough for your powerful thighs.
Now go. Stop buying pants. End the disposable fashion machine. The revolution starts with your ass.
This is almost exactly what I do, only this is way nicer. I do mine by hand because then I can do visible mending sashiko-style stitches and it’s very meditative.
My tip is that I try to do some stitching elsewhere on the pants so that if it’s going to be visible, there’s some part of it to look at that isn’t just my crotch. So like, if someone wants to see some of the stitching, I can show them the back pocket or the knee, and not have to just spread my legs and be like LOOK AT MY COOCH. But this method with matchy fabric would probably make it a lot more uhhh subtle.
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