I wanted to share with you an easy tear repair method using a patch on the inside. As you can see in the picture to the left, the tear will still show a little bit, but it’s a very solid and practical repair that will hold up quite well. On something like uniform pants, this patch is the way to go.
There are only a few things you’ll need to make this repair:
- a piece of scrap fabric the same color as the garment you are repairing
- matching thread
- sewing machine or needle if doing by hand
- scissors, pins
- Fray check (optional but highly recommended)
How to: Tear Repair
This is the tear, just below the back pocket before we started any sort of repair. The first thing that we did was to find a scrap piece of fabric from another pair of pants in a similar color. I cut out a small square that was larger than the patch area. This gets trimmed after we are done sewing, so it doesn’t need to be a specific size, just larger than the patch area and small enough to easily pin in place.
Turn the pants inside out and place the scrap fabric on the tear so that is covers it and leaves some extra fabric on all sides. This does not have to be exact by any means because we will trim the edges after we are done sewing. Next, pin the fabric in place from the outside of the fabric. This can be a little tricky, but once you get the first pin in place, the rest go in pretty easily. You want to pin from the outside, because we are going to stitch from the outside to ensure it looks good on the side that will be seen.
Once the patch is secured in place, it’s time to begin sewing. Start by making a zig zag stitch to seal up the tear. In this case, we are stitching an L shape. Don’t be afraid to go over it a couple of times. Just make sure it looks as neat as possible and the tear is lined up close together so the stitching picks up fabric on both sides of the tear. So stitch one way, then the other.
We could leave it as is at this point, but it wouldn’t be super secure and that patch piece on the inside will be just hanging on by that zig zag stitching – not too secure.
So my next step was to to make a rectangle all around the tear repair using a straight stitch. Do this as neatly as possible. This kind of locks in that patch piece and gives us something to trim the fabric against. Since the thread color matches the fabric, it blends in pretty nicely.
Below is what it looks like on the inside. Just trim around the edges to make it nice and neat. If you’ve got pinking shears (zig zag scissors), use those. I like to add a little fray check to the stitching on the inside as well as the zig zag stitching on the outside to keep any loose ends from unraveling. This will keep the patch somewhat neat looking wash after wash as well.
Fray Check is one of my favorite sewing finds. I buy it when Joann’s has a 50% off all notions sale and it’s worth every penny. It’s great to put on buttons or any repairs to be sure they last a long time.
That’s all there is to it. I think this took me maybe 10 minutes start to finish, including picture taking. 10 minutes or $20 for new pants – I’d say that was a good investment. 🙂
After I made this repair, I realized that I could have used this method on several pairs of pants that I had just thrown out! Have you ever thrown something broken away only to find the perfect way to fix it a few days, weeks, or months later? It seems to happen to me on a regular cycle and kind of drives me crazy! I hoard “stuff” thinking that I will find a use for it or figure out how to repair it. Then one day, I just can’t stand the clutter and decide it needs to go. That must be the trigger for great ideas I guess, because as soon as the garbage truck hauls it away or I’ve sent it off to the recycle center, it’s like that light bulb just starts shining bright! UGHHH!!! Why does it work like that, Mr. Murphy?
I headed out to the garbage can, hoping that we had forgotten to put the can out at the curb for two weeks in a row – no luck. 🙁 We did miss one week, but they had just hauled it away the day before. Darn it! Maybe it was a good thing… It probably wouldn’t have been a good idea to poke around in 2 week old garbage looking for those pants. LOL!