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How to Mend a Tear Around a Pocket

How to Mend a Tear around a Pocket - a tutorial from Shiny Happy World

 I love to mend my clothing with visible stitching.

The Problem

These jeans have torn right at the stitching where the pocket is attached.

Dang! That’s a tricky place to patch. But I WILL patch these jeans. Partly because I’m stingy frugal. Mostly because I loathe buying new jeans. The only thing worse is shopping for a bathing suit. Ugh.

The Solution

First, get out your seam ripper and pick off as much of the pocket as you need to to get at the tear. I went a good two inches past the bottom of the tear so I’d have plenty of room to work.

Choose a piece of sturdy fabric from your scraps. This is heavyweight cotton twill. Cut it at least an inch bigger than the tear all the way around. I often cut it as much as two inches bigger. Turn the raw edges under (about 1/4 inch or a bit more) and press. Pin the patch over your tear. In this case I butted it right up to the big fat seams. I don’t want to stitch over them if I can avoid it.

Now stitch the patch in place. I see a patch as an opportunity to fancify – so I embroidered it to the jeans. I started with split stitch for the stems, added some lazy daisy flowers, and then lots and lots of running stitches for strength. (Those links go to videos showing you how to do each stitch.)

See how the running stitches are parallel to the diagonal weave of the twill? Using the weave as a guide makes it easy to stitch nice and straight.

Those running stitches are the key to a successful patch. They distribute the stress on the fabric to the whole patch instead of just around the edges. I took this photo of the back of the patched area so you could see how the stitches would support the damaged fabric. The rip is that frayed line right up the center of the photo.

See this post for a basic tutorial on mending with patches – I go into more detail about the purpose of the all-over stitching – and show lots of samples of different patterns you can try.

Flip the pocket back into place. Put a heavy-duty needle and some gold thread in your machine and stitch the pocket down right over the original stitch lines.


Here are all the posts about finishing embroidery projects.

Basic Finishing

Other Ways to Use Embroidery

Return to the Learn to Embroider main Table of Contents.

Happy stitching!


  1. I want a tear around my jeans poquet right now!! maybe if I take my scissors…

    • Lisa G. SAYS...

      Thank you Wendi. You have solved my problem. Your patch is stunning and the tutorial impeccable.

  2. Yolanda – you crack me up!

  3. Donna SAYS...

    OMG I love this! I just knew there was someone out there who would show me how to not just fix my ripped jeans but use it as an opportunity to make them cuter and a bit more fun. Its exactly what I was looking for. Thank you! 🙂

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      Always happy to help with the cuteness! 🙂

  4. Cathy Babnick SAYS...


  5. Genelle SAYS...

    Any chance you could do this with a flap-pocket? Is it just a matter of taking off part of the flap AND the pocket?

    • Yes. Just make sure you pay attention to how it’s put together so you can reassemble it when you’re done. 🙂

  6. Rm SAYS...

    This is revolutionary! Thanks you so much!

  7. Judy G SAYS...

    Just in time! My college-age grandson just brought me a pair of jeans that need to be mended. I could have figured it out myself, but this post is a big help!

    • jesi SAYS...

      Hi Judy, How did you repair your grandsons’ jeans…picture? Thx, jesi

      • Heather SAYS...

        So beautiful. I am obsessed with patching clothing, and this is one of the most beautiful patches I have seen!

  8. Angela Blackmore SAYS...

    I have a pair of Jean’s that have this exact same year ( caught them on the arm of the rocking chair after rocking my granddaughter to sleep). I will do this repair and then undo the other back pocket and do a matching patch. Thank you for the tutorial.

  9. Seralyn andrews SAYS...

    My hubby does not want embroidery on his pants…. how would you patch them…..

  10. Seralyn andrews SAYS...

    Pics of men’s jeans please

  11. Pingback: Visible Mending: What’s Old Can Be New Again