How To Save Your Distressed Denim

Learn how to salvage your favorite denim with this fun tutorial! 

Something really sad happened this past summer. My favorite, favorite jeans took a turn for the worse.

Now, I’m all in favor of rips. I like my jeans torn and tattered; really, the more the better. I found my jeans — an amazing pair of gold stitch Levi’s — at a little vintage store in New Hope, PA and they’ve been my go-to’s ever since.

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They’re perfectly worn in, the lightest of washes, and hang low on my hips. They’re it. They’re the one.

I tried to keep the washing to a minimum since each cycle would end in larger rips. Then, one day, it happened.

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The left pocket was down for the count. Ripped all the way through. Butt totally visible.

I tried wearing bathing suit bottoms underneath, having a print show through in hopes of making the hole look ‘”cool.” But no. It was too far gone to look even a little bit okay.

Something had to be done. With warm weather (hopefully) right around the corner, I decided to patch up the hole and fix these babies for another season of wear. Here’s how I did it:

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First up, gather your supplies. You’ll need:

A decorative piece of fabric

Scissors

Needle

Thread

Pins

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Try using a scrap piece of denim that’s a different wash from the jeans you’re fixing, or a patterned piece of fabric. I found this in one of our office drawers and knew it would be perfect for this project.

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First, find the hole you’re fixing and eyeball how you want the finished patch job to look. I wanted some of the flower pattern to show, so I made sure that was positioned correctly. Once you decide, pin it in place to the denim.

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Next, thread your needle.

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Then start sewing! I used a whipstitch all the way around for a more hand-touched, patchy look. In and out is the flow. Click here for an easy whipstitch tutorial!

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I really like how the red thread stands out against the light wash of the denim.

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Continue stitching all the way around the edge until the patch is securely in place.

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I turned my jeans inside out to cut away the excess fabric.

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Get as close as you can to the stitch so you have minimal raw edge.

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Turn right side out, give um a shake, and voila! Your distressed denim has now been saved.

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Have fun!

Check out more DIY projects on the BLDG 25 Blog!

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Comments

  1. i totally did this for mine and for my husbands i usually used bandanas, thanks for the memories and
    reminders to do i again!

  2. Excellent post, you definitely have to check out Just Threadz, they make patches for distressed jeans! There peel and stick and don’t even look like patches.

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