Easy embroidery technique to Mend A Pair of Jeans

Updated: Aug 20, 2020


embroidered knee patches

Being at home since Mid March definitely has its pros. I have gained 15 extra hours since this time and have found multiple ways of using it (I know your first thought was for me to say I gained 15 pounds, stay busy and this won't happen!) You can read all about this revelation here in my past blog about redesigning yourself. My daughter Emma and I filled a box of clothes that she didn't use anymore and that we would diy and do some painting or embroidery on them to refresh their looks. See below for jeans that she painted the pockets, added embroidery detail and a button down that we added some star stenciling.





After we did these few projects, I abandoned this to go paint my bedroom walls, furniture, you can read about that here, then went on to stenciling pillow covers. My eye kept going to that box with all the discarded clothes and all the possibilities! When I stenciled my Peace pillow and my Medallion pillow, the added embroidery detail became my favorite part.I fell in love with this process.


I am currently enrolled at Fashion Institutes certificate program "Sustainable Design Entrepreneur" I love the idea of taking anything and repurposing it. I had the opportunity to do this with a pair of discarded jeans. The idea of mending these using this easy embroidery technique on a specific pair of Emma's jeans fascinated me! So I got to work. I didn't have high expectations but thought that I would use these as a "practice" while I was researching how I wanted the jeans to look, I came across an ancient Japanese mending process called Shashiko mending. This method was started in the 1600's and was used to reinforced worn out garments. Now this takes practice and skill and as a designer I took the inspiration of this process and did a loose variation and started calling it my boho mending process! The stitch is the same, a continuous running stitch that reinforces the fabric and the patch.


ripped jeans
Original ripped jean


patches for jeans
scraps for patches

patches for jeans
place scraps behind holes and pin

embroidered jean patches
Pick your Embroidery colors

embroidered knee patches
Running stitch in horizontal rows

embroidered knee patches
Adding a contrast vertical running stitch for my look


The design possibilities are endless! See below the process and the end result. Now as a mom, it takes a lot to impress an 18 year old college bound person. Emma is now so excited to own a "new" pair of one of a kind pair of "boutique" embroidered jean and I feel really accomplished by giving her a new "look"


Steps to mending

  1. take a pair of jeans with holes in the knees

  2. find scrap fabric that you would like to incorporate Use old shirt, or pants, you can also visit places like Fabscrap that sell recycled fabric from the fashion Industry.

  3. pin the scraps behind the hole, securing them in place

  4. Use embroidery floss, and embroidery needle .

  5. I started in a horizontal pattern using a simple knot in the back threading my needle and using a simple running stitch from one side to the other then repeating so that I had many horizontal rows of my grey ombre thread from top to bottom

  6. I removed all the pins, since the piece was now securely sewed down

  7. I then started the process with a vertical running stitch using an ombre red/pink embroidery floss

  8. turn the garment inside out trim any loose threads

  9. Enjoy a pair of one of a kind repurposed pair of jeans!


embroidered knee patches on jeans
Completed embriodered jeans!




Above are some denim picks if you don't have a spare pair at home to use. Also below are the links to supplies used for a project like I did.








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