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Clean the site before you attach the patch. Use a small pair of scissors to snip off loose strings, trimming them as close to the edge of the hole as possible. Pull off any fuzzies and lint balls, and spot-wash any dirt around the hole that might prevent the patch from bonding to the jeans. Lay the pants flat and allow any water to dry, or your patch will fall right off.
Cover the invading hole with a large patch, and trim it approximately 1/2 inch larger than the hole. Turn your jeans inside out and secure the patch to the denim with a few straight pins. Line the edge of the patch up under the foot of your sewing machine, and sew it on with a zigzag stitch. Guide the needle slowly around the patch, snipping off the excess thread.
Stuck Like Glue
If needles aren’t your thing, opt for a glue on patch. Cut your patch an inch bigger than the hole, as the glue requires a little more patch to hold onto than the sewing machine. Rim the edge of the patch with a line of fabric glue, and push the patch onto the hole. Press the patch with a hot iron, holding it down for 15 seconds to permanently bond the patch to the pants.
Life After Patching
Patched jeans require a little more pampering than hole-free pants. Wear the pants as infrequently as possible, saving them for special occasions. Hand wash patched jeans, or drop them in the washer on the gentle cycle. Hang them to dry, or tumble them on your dryer's lowest heat setting.