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How to Mend with Patches

How to Mend with Fun Patches - a video tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Want to learn the basics of hand embroidery with an easy online workshop – totally free?

Sign up for Embroidery 101 here. You’ll learn how to get started, the tools and supplies you’ll need, the four most basic stitches, how to transfer your pattern and how to display your work.

If you already know the basics – sign up for Embroidery 201. It’s also free! You’ll learn how to stitch on specialty fabrics like felt and stretchy T-shirts. Plus you’ll learn lots and lots and LOTS more stitches – all my favorites!

Use all your favorite embroidery stitches to make mending patches prettier AND stronger. First watch the video for the how and why – and then scroll down for some detailed examples of finished patches from a pair of my jeans.

 And now for the samples. These are all from one pair of jeans. 🙂 Click on any of the pictures to see them bigger.

This one is super easy. I used a running stitch around the edge of the patch, and then I used split stitch over every other stripe.

This is just running stitches – lots of running stitches. It’s stitched on corduroy so I was able to use the space between the ridges to as a guide to keep my rows of stitching straight and parallel. I used a two different shades of blue thread.

On this one I used the gingham print of the fabric as a grid to make nice, even cross stitches and running stitches. The stitches of my Xs were pretty big – possible to snag on things – so I took tiny little straight stitches in pink at each intersection to strengthen the whole thing and add a fun accent.

Pretty Patch Tutorial at Shiny Happy World

This started as a plain black fabric with white polka dots. First I took little straight stitches in the polka dots and made cross stitches in the spaces between them. That didn’t make the stitching as close as I wanted so I added a grid of backstitches in green.

And finally – this one was a labor of love. I satin stitched over each drop shape in the fabric print – matching the color of the printed drop. It took a long time but the texture is luscious.

See this post for additional tips on patching a tricky spot – like when the rip is at the edge of a pocket. Have fun with some patches! Soon you’ll be looking for an excuse to mend!

That's me!


  1. I patch my boys’ knees way more than I’d like! Sometimes I make it look nice, and sometimes I just want to get the darn pants through the year. 😉 When I decided to learn embroidery, I started by chain-stitching a spiral onto a denim patch destined for my jeans. I get complimented on that patch all the time!

  2. This is wonderful! Having raised 6 children, I did a lot of patching. Probably the most creative thing I did was to use old jeans pockets as knee patches. But I certainly never embroidered patches. What fun! And the idea of covering a stain with embroidered patches… brilliant! Thanks, Wendi!

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  3. Kathleen SAYS...

    You gotta really love that pair of jeans to go through all that work, especially on the legs! I would like to see how you embroidered that corduroy patch though, since it didn’t start out with a pattern to follow, curious about what you did on it!