My jeans are too short…again! One of the disadvantages of being fairly tall at 176cm (roughly 5′ 9″). It’s great being able to reach things on the high shelves and being able to wash the roof of the car easily, but I do wish I could wear high heels without towering over everybody. Oh and often than not ready to wear pants are just to short.
Welcome to my how to Repair Small Holes in Clothing using Fabric Paint. Today I’m going to show you how to use dimensional fabric paint to patch little holes in clothing. I have only done this on tees but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work on other fabrics too. The first T-shirt I patched for Hannah is still going strong 8 weeks later and that is with a lot of wash and wear.
What you will need
Shorts/Skirt/Pants to be altered
Bias Binding (Bias Tape) or Cotton Ribbon (A shoe lace would work too!)
Sewing Machine (can hand stitch but will take longer)
Step 1 – Prepare you drawstring
Step 2 – Insert drawstring
Yes I am back on the holes in the knees band wagon! I have turned them into short leggings, and added cute patches. But then my MIL gave me this idea and I just had to try it out. It is easier and quicker than adding patches and you can add/reduce length as much as you like. Both sound pretty good in my book!
You can even stand around in mid-air wearing these! Well Hannah can, I got on the trampoline not so long ago…you realise you are not as light and strong as you were as a kid!!!
I love the look of the band around her knees! You can use any stretch (knit) fabric you like. Mine is slightly heavier than the original leggings (shop bought) and it works fine. I wouldn’t go too heavy, then you’ll get bulky seams either side of the insert piece.
What You Will Need
Leggings (with or without holey knees!)
Two small pieces of knit fabric for inserts – mine were 6” (15.2cm) long by 12” (30.5cm). One for each leg.
Pins. Overlocker (Sewing Machine ok too), thread
Step 1 – Measure and Cut Fabric
Firstly cut out the holey piece. I removed a 3” (7.5cm) section to remove the holes and any overly stretched fabric.
I had small off cut pieces that were almost the right size to work with, but you can lay your fabric on top of your leggings as a guide. Make sure the stretch of the insert is going horizontally across the leggings. Decide how long you want the insert to be. Hannah’s leggings were 7/8 length and I wanted to make them longer. I removed 3” to cut out the holes, so I wanted to add those back plus the extra length I wanted. I decided on 3” (removed piece) + 2.5” (extra length) + 0.5” (seam allowance), my total added up neatly to 6” (15cm).
As in my calculations above your piece will need to be 1/2” (1.2cm) larger to allow for the seam, at the top and bottom. Add more allowance 3/4” (2cm) should be fine if you are using a standard machine.
Cut out your pieces leaving the width a little long, so that when folded double and lined up on the leggings it overhangs the seam side a little (see photo above). You can see I have marked the excess to remove with a pen. I have left the 1/4” (0.6cm) seam allowance on (or 3/8” (1cm) for standard machines).
Pin the edges together, knit fabrics have a tendency to roll up and you wouldn’t want to miss on layer when sewing.
Step 2 – Overlock Side Seam
Overlock the side seam so that the cutting blade lines up with your pen mark.
This is what you should end up with.
* If you are using a standard machine stitch the seam using a 3/8” (1cm) seam allowance using a small zigzag stitch. You can then trim off the excess, you don’t need to finish the edges as the knit fabric shouldn’t fray.
Step 3 – Sewing Pieces Together
Leave your insert piece inside out and slide over the leggings, which are the right way around. This way they will be right sides facing each other. Line up the raw edges, and the seam needs to line up too. Make sure that you insert is the right way up! You don’t want the narrower end at the top.
I like to pin the seams together first. I line up the seams and fold the seam allowances one each way. That way there isn’t a thick lump with them all to one side.
Pin on the inside the rest of the way around, making sure it is lining up nicely. It is ok if one side is slightly longer than the other, just spread the gather evenly.
Starting at the seam overlock the two raw edges together. You can lightly stretch the fabric to make the sides line up, but don’t overdo it or you will end up with a wobbly seam.
Now you should have something that looks like this!
And once turned around the right way you get to see what it is going to look like.
Now just attaching the bottom piece. Lay them out like above, with the bottom piece inside out. Pull the upper leg inside the bottom piece.
Pin into place and sew just like you did for the first join.
Here it is a little clearer to see with the colours this way around!
And there you have some nice knee inserts! These are grey with a neon-orange stripe, I do love a bit of neon!
Just one more way to get some more life out of those leggings with holes in the knees! I would like to try the inserts on an angle next…I won’t bore you with another tutorial but will share the pictures on Instagram. Now just to wait for Hannah to go through the knees on another pair!
What is your favourite way to fix those holey knees?
What you’ll need
Fabric – Small amount of knit fabric – I wanted it to maintain it’s stretch to prevent further tearing!
Regular Sewing Machine (Overlocker Optional)
Unpicker (Seam Ripper) is the most important for this one!
Step 1 – Unpick!!!
Step 2 – Patch Hole
Step 3 – Cutting Patches
Step 4 – Attaching Patches
Step 5 – Sew Unpicked Seam
I don’t know about your kids but my Daughter in particular has a habit of going through the knees of EVERY single pair of tights and most pants too!
I have been turning them into shorts for summer, and short tights which are great for underneath dresses/skirts, especially since she loves hanging upside down on the monkey bars!
There are two great and EASY ways to do this.
But first up cut the pants/leggings into shorts. I try to cut fairly close to the hole, as long as the surrounding fabric is good (not thin or worn).
Now it’s time to hem them up!
Fold over the hem over onto the outside with the pants the right way around.
Then fold it back down so that the cut edge lines up with the folded bottom edge. Pin in place.
Run this through the overlocker, making sure to catch all the layers of fabric and take the pins out as you are going!☺ I have sewn on the outside, but you can sew it from the inside of the leg too, which ever is easier for you!
There you have it a neat tidy hem! So simple yet effective! Great for yoga pants style waistbands too, more coming on that soon.
Now for round two with the sewing machine.
Sewing Machine Method
Fold the hem inside the leg, with the pants around the right way.
I prefer to sew on the outside of the fabric, you can see what you are doing! I also like to use zigzag to prevent that puckered look and to retain as much stretch as possible. You can use any stretch stitch you like! Start at the inseam seam, that will be the least visible spot for the join.
If your leggings/pants are too small to fit around your machine, turn them inside out and sew on the inside of the leg. One leg down and one to go!
Fold your pants in half so that the legs line up, pin and sew the second leg in the same way.
Just so you can see, this is what the inside will look like. You can trim of any excess, to prevent it rolling down.
And there you have it! Very simple but effective way to get a little more use out of those holey kneed pants!