Make do and mend: 5 knee patches in 73 easy steps.

knee patches

  • Note how your child’s trousers seem to be weakening somewhat.  Hang them back in wardrobe.
  • Months later, realise three pairs of trousers now have ripped or nearly ripped knees.  Hang them back in wardrobe.
  • Weeks after that, remove six pairs of trousers and realise if you don’t do something about it they’ll have no intact pants come winter.
  • Go on Pinterest and marvel at fancy patching options. Thank your lucky stars for our protracted indian summer and send junior off to school in shorts for most of September while full-length leg wear hangs, torn, in wardrobe.
  • Do one very cool Monster knee fix-up then mither husband for old jeans to attend to the rest.

So procrastination aside,  how did I do it in the end?


I used an old tshirt, felt, embroidery thread and wundaweb stuff for the monster knee, roughly following this great blogpost.  I then quickly realised after hours spent on it, that I was never going to do this for all the rips.  I mean, they’re super cool, but who wants themed knees every day? (Answer: me)

The weather was worsening fast – some simpler solutions were needed.

Here’s what I had:


  • Iron-on interfacing.  This is like giant one-sided wundaweb, bought by the metre in Hickeys (or your local haberdashers or y’know, the internet).
  • Old jeans to use to make patches. You can of course use patterned fabric to peep through the rips, or corduroy, or whatever you fancy. These ones were nice and soft.

1. The ones that are wearing thin:  


Simple! Iron on some interfacing on the inside to strengthen the knee.

2. The ones visibly starting to rip; regular straight leg jeans


Turn the jeans inside out.  Cut a small piece of denim to cover the rip, and cut a larger piece of interfacing to cover that. Iron them on together.

3. The ones visibly starting to rip; with a shaped knee 


As in number 2 but machine sew a zig zag stitch along the seam.  The zig zag is visible on the front, but looks pretty cool.

4. The ones that have are already properly hole-y:

Again, same basic technique as number 2 but machine sew multiple zig zag lines across the reinforcement to stop the loose threads on the outside ripping further (as in the other knee of the monster jeans).  Do it in a bright colour and make a feature of it.

 5. The ones that aren’t jeans:  


Bit harder work here.  These cords are really soft & light, so they needed to be strengthened from the front.

Iron interfacing onto denim, and cut out patch shapes.  Use an object to hand, like bit out of a Planes airport toy set to draw out an oval shape. (I did an evening course in Grafton Academy, I’m sure I remember doing it that way).

Settle down in front of Netflix and hand sew those mofo’s on the front.


Phew!  That’s it. Oh. Except for this top tip which I worked out just before I threw the machine through a window. Just remember to turn machine right way up before you turn it on and sew anything ok?


Any questions, do ask. Except: “Will you fix my child’s trousers for me?”


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