How To Sew A Tear In Jeans By Hand

Jeans are made to last for many years, but they do sometimes get frays or tears either accidentally or through everyday wear and tear. The most common tears in jeans tend to happen in the inner thigh area or knees. Luckily jeans, unlike other materials, can be repaired quickly and still look fashionable and last just a little bit longer. 

How to Sew a Tear in Jeans by Hand

Sew A Tear in Jeans

You don’t even need a sewing machine to sew a tear in jeans. A simple needle, some thread, some time to spare and you will be able to repair that favorite pair of jeans you still want to hold on to. This is how to sew a tear in jeans by hand in no time.

First, you will need to prepare the jeans by shaving off any frayed material with a pair of scissors or razor blade. This will make it easier for you to hand-stitch the tear and make the repair job less conspicuous at the end. Secondly, cut a matching woven fabric patch from any old clothes you have lying around and use it to seal the tear from the inside. You can use some fabric glue or fusion web to attach the cloth patch on the inside although it’s not essential.

Now turn the outside of your jeans and slightly fold the bottom of the tear to the top forming an enveloped crease on the tear and underlying patch. Grab your needle and thread and start sewing the stitch from the bottom of the crease to the top, ensuring that you pass the thread on the inside. Do a few passes with the hand stitches to reinforce the repair job and then complete the job by creating an end stitch with a knot on the inside of the patch.  Here is a more detailed guide on how to sew a tear in jeans by hand. 

Steps to Sew A Tear in Jeans by Hand

Sew A Tear in Jeans


What you will need


To start, you will need to get your hands on the following items before you start the repair job

  • Some thread- Preferably tough poly-cotton thread made for denim and other heavy-duty sewing jobs. The thread should also be in the same color as the jeans you are repairing or neutral color such as grey or black.
  • A pair of scissors to prepare the tear and cut thread
  • A piece of fabric patch – slightly bigger than the tear you will be repairing
  • A sewing needle- A hand needle of sizes 70/10 to 110/18 is recommended for sewing denim. Since you wouldn’t purchase a single needle, you can grab a set of needles and choose the right sized needle from the pack.


Preparing the tear for the sewing job

Sew A Tear in Jeans

The first thing you should do before you even prepare your needle is to clean up the tear. Grab the pair of scissors and cut off the frayed thread normally found inside a denim tear. This will be useful later as it will help you create a neat and clean seal when you sew the two edges together. Though it might look counterproductive expanding the hole, make sure you make both edges of the tear as clean and straight as possible.


Cutting and attaching the inner patch


 To make the repair job more robust and long-lasting, it’s best if you can attach a patch of cloth just below the tear on the inner side. Cut a rectangular or any shaped woven patch that matches the color of your jeans and cover the entire tear with slight bleed on the edges. Attach it using some fusion web, fabric glue or safety pins below the tear before you start sewing. 


Preparing the sewing thread

Sew A Tear in Jeans

If you are ready to start sewing and have your poly-cotton thread/polyester thread with you, pass it through the eye of the needle on one end and create a knot on the other end. Ensure you measure thread that is long enough to cover the entire tear a few times and some. 


Sewing the tear- step by step


You can use any hand stitch to seal the tear, but slip stitches and catchstitches are recommended for this type of repair. Start by pulling both sides of the tear together until you can fold the bottom side slightly into the top forming a crease- do this progressively as you sew.

Start from the edge closest to your sewing hand and create a stitch that goes over the bottom edge, passes through the underlying fabric patch and goes through the upper side and back again to the bottom edge until you seal the entire tear.

Note: Ensure that the needle only passes through the fabric patch and not through the back of your jeans. Also, make sure that you do a few passes going back and forth until the tear is tightly sealed but do not overdo the stitching.

Lastly, you just need to pass the needle to the inside of the fabric, create a knot with the thread and secure the stitch.  You can create two or three knots to make it more secure, especially if you are using thin sewing thread. Remove any safety pins if you had used them to attach the thread and you will be done with the repair job.

Alternative method using a patch

Sew A Tear in Jeans

If the tear is in a more visible area such as the knee or ankle, using a patch on the outer or inner part of the jeans might work better. You can cut denim or woven fabric patch that matches or complements the color of your jeans and sew it with a simple running stitch all around. To make the patch hold, use an inner patch to hold the stitches on the other side as opposed to stitching it directly into the jeans alone.

For this, you will need to prepare your patch well before sewing by trimming the edges with a zigzag baric scissors or turning and ironing them. You are free to be more creative and use a patch that adds into the aesthetic flair of your jeans if you choose to sew it on the inside.

Related Questions

How do you sew a hole without it showing?

The best way to sew an invisible stitch is by using sewing thread that matches the color of your jeans and learning how to sew a slip stitch or catch stitch. These two types of hand stitching are perfect for repair jobs as they allow you to hide the thread on the inner part of the jeans while maintaining the effectiveness of the stitch. 

Also, it’s important to prepare the hole or tear by cutting off any frayed threads before sewing. As mentioned here, this will help you create a clean stitch that is barely visible.

How do you keep jeans from tearing?

There are three ways you can prevent your jeans from tearing; wash them less frequently, use the right denim detergent and keep them dry as much as you can. Jeans tend to lose their toughness with more washes and dampness. The drier you can keep your jeans the longer they will last without tearing. At the same time., always ensure that you wash them separately with the right detergents recommended for jeans.

How do you fix a rip in pants without sewing?

If hand or machine sewing isn’t your thing or possible, there are alternative, albeit, temporary methods you can use to fix a tear or rip on jeans pants without sewing. The best way to do the fix is to use some denim patches attached to the inside of the jeans with lasting fabric glue. Ensure that you find the best fabric glue there and cut the patches to size then glue them facing upward from the inside of the jeans.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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