Intro to Visible Mending by Hand: Fix Your Jeans - Simply and Beautifully! | Nina and Sonya Montenegro | Skillshare

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Intro to Visible Mending by Hand: Fix Your Jeans - Simply and Beautifully!

teacher avatar Nina and Sonya Montenegro, The Far Woods

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Cutting the Patch


    • 4.



    • 5.

      Threading the Needle


    • 6.

      Whip Stitch


    • 7.

      Running Stitch


    • 8.



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About This Class

Class Description: 

In this class you will learn how to simply and beautifully fix a hole in the knee of your jeans by hand, with a few basic tools, in a few simple steps.  You do not need to know how to sew to take this class!  

Visible mending is a stunning way to give new life to your clothing. Learning to mend will save you money and lessen your impact of the environment as you will add more years to the lives of your well-worn clothing. Rebel against the throwaway culture and join the slow fashion movement!  

This class is also a great way to brush up on your hand-sewing skills and practice by completing a functional project.  If you don't have experience sewing, that is ok too!  In this class we will focus on getting you comfortable with two basic hand sewing stitches:  the whip stitch & running stitch.

If the knees of your jeans are all intact, you might choose to take this class to customize your clothing by learning to add a decorative patch to the jean leg.  After learning how to add a patch, you can personalize all of your clothing over time to create a wardrobe that is completely unique.  Become a part of a rich history of visible mending!

So glad you're here!

Find us online:

Follow us on Instagram: @thefarwoods

Meet Your Teacher

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Nina and Sonya Montenegro

The Far Woods


Nina and Sonya Montenegro are a sister design and maker team living on an organic farm outside of Portland. They run a creative studio called The Far Woods. Using local and environmentally friendly materials and practices whenever possible, the sisters strive to repurpose instead of buying new; believing that a well-made, hand-made, lovingly-made item is better than a shiny-new item. Committed to this ethos, they teach workshops in mending and radical homemaking.

Instagram: @thefarwoods

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1. Introduction: Hey, I'm Nina and I'm Sonya. We run a creative studio here in Portland called the Far Woods. We live on a small farm outside of the city where we make prints, illustrations and so quilts, dolls and clothing. Our work is often centered on themes of environmental and social justice. A few years back, we made the pledge not to buy any new clothing for one year. This was a direct response to the disposable fashion industry, which we all know uses cheap materials horrendously unfair labor. We learned that America sends 10.5 million tons of clothing toe landfills every year, So we set about making our own clothes and mending where we already had. What started as a one year experiment without new clothes became too, and is now three. It hasn't been hard. Surprisingly, we've learned to become better sewers, and we saved a ton of money along the way. By choosing to MIT to mend your own clothes, you, too, will lengthen the lives of your garments, make your wardrobe more unique unless in your environmental impact, we're so excited that you've joined us today to learn our favorite way to amend the hole in the me of a pair of jeans In this class, you'll learn to men visibly by putting the patch on the outside of your jeans to accentuate the fabric of your choosing and the stitching. You'll breathe new life into your jeans and make them more beautiful at the same time. We will also briefly explore the rich tradition of Japanese Yoshiko and burrow for design inspiration. You do not need to know how to. So to take this course, we will cover basic stitches. Only a few simple materials will be necessary to get you started, and most of the materials you may have laying around the house already. It doesn't take long to men. You could even bring your project on your morning commute or while waiting for an appointment to go grab that pair of jeans that's been laying in the bottom of your dresser drawer and let's get started 2. Materials: here are the materials you'll need to gather to begin to amending. Project a pair of buster jeans, a pair of scissors, a ruler, straight pens, an iron and ironing board. Or you can use a towel on the table tap. Instead of an ironing board, you'll need thread. This could be an all purpose thread, a button and carpet thread or in embroidery flasks. Keep in mind the heavier embroidery, flats and button and carpet thread will be more visible than the all purpose thread. It's totally up to you what color thread you choose. We like to show off our stitches, so we usually choose a white or light colored thread that really contrasts with most Dunham's. You'll need a needle. If you are using a button and carpet thread or embroidery floss, you'll need a needle that has a large I. You'll need a piece of repair cloth that is twice as big as the hole in your genes. A note. Unsuitable fabrics choose a fabric that you like a lot because it will be on the outside of your pants and very visible. We recommend you choose a woven fabric that has a similar weight to the fabric your pants are made of. A good way to tell if a fabric is woven is to do the stretch test structure fabric in both directions, and if there's no stretch to it, it's likely it's a woven, and it's great for your mending project. We don't recommend using a shear or a knit fabric. Here's an example of a net that's very stretchy. When I do the stretch test, it moves a lot and probably is not a good idea for your mending project. We also don't recommend lacy fabric or anything that just feels too light and won't be very strong on Let me of your pants. 3. Cutting the Patch: cutting and ironing the patch. First, you will measure the tearing your genes. Ours is about five inches wide and measure the height of the tear. Ours is about two inches tall. This is your area you'll mend. Ours is two inches by five inches. Next, you want to add an inch to all sides. This accommodates the fold over that you will do on all sides of your patch. The new area total is the size you'll cut your patch. Ours is four inches by seven inches. Now you're ready to cut first iron your repair fabric so that it is flat. Next, you'll measure out your area to cut for the patch. Are the seven inches wide by four inches tall. You can make small marks with a pencil toe. Help You know where to cut and you can connect these dots with a line. Go ahead and cut along the line. Perfection is not necessary. This is all a one approximation. Now you have your patch. Next will be ironing. Fold over the edge is about 1/2 a niche and press to make a crisp fold again. This is just a approximation. You can use the ruler to first measure the fold, and then you can eyeball the rest. You're going to do this for all sides of your patch. Fold over about 1/2 an inch and press flat. Press the whole thing over again on both sides to make sure that your edges are very crisp. Now you have your patch ready to, so do your genes. 4. Pinning: Now we're going to pin the patch to your jeans leg first, I'm gonna want to put my hand inside the leg of the genes. It's easier if I roll the pant leg up to make it shorter and then keeping everything very flat. I'm going to put my hand inside and place the patch over my whole my hand inside allows me to make sure that the pin is going all the way through both fabrics. So I'm gonna start on one edge and I can feel that the pin went through and it pops back out to the front. Next I could do a corner. I can feel that the pen went through. Pop it back out to the front, and I'll just do this all the way around the edge. The pins can be about an inch apart. As I go along, I can use my I can lift up the patch and use that hand inside the jeans leg to make sure that everything is flat and nothing is puckering or bulging and that everything is pinned securely together. Jump back over to this side in the last pen. Here, everything is secure 5. Threading the Needle: threading the needle. First, you will need to measure out the length of threat you need. We like to use about three feet. Cut your threat on an angle. Oh, and now thread your needle and pull the thread through to double it. If you're using button and carpet thread or embroidery floss, you do not need to double it for all purpose thread, doubling it makes it stronger. 6. Whip Stitch: Now we're ready to secure our patch to the pants leg using the whip stitch Whip. Stitching around the perimeter of your patch will reinforce it. Once again, I'm going to stick my hand inside the pant leg and come to one corner, and now we're going to teach you a trick that we like to secure thread before we start sewing. This is kind of a beginner's trick. Instead of tying and not at the end of the thread, we do a few whips, stitches in place, very close to the corner. I'm going to take my first stitch and leave a little tail here, not pulling it all the way through. And then in the same spot, I'm going to do a few more stitches. Three's a good number. Now we can cut that tail very close to the fabric, and I can start my Web stitch. Take away that pin and your first stitch will be coming up through the corner of the patch and then dip your thread back down into the jeans and come back up in the patch right next to your last stitch. Now dip your needle down on the gene side and come back up on the patch side right next to your last stitch. Dip your needle down across in the gene side and up on the patch side, and you're gonna want to just repeat this little stitch all along the edge of the patch. Trying to keep your stitches is small and close together. It's possible this will make a really strong beginning to your mend. I'm about halfway through my whip stitching around my patch and I can see that my threat is getting short and I'm not gonna make it all the way around. So before things get too short, I'm going to want to stop and do a few stitches in the same place, just a few shallow stitches right in the same spot. And that should be good enough to secure my thread right there so it doesn't come undone. Then I want to hide the end of my thread. This Aiken do by pushing my needle through pretty far underneath the patch between the jeans and the patch. I don't need to go all the way through to where my hand feels it on the other side, just under the patch, and it pops out a little distance away and I can pull it through, and then I can take my scissors. Just cut that thread very close to my fabric so that it's totally invisible. This is exactly what you're gonna want to do when you reach. When you stitch all the way around and you reach the other end where you started before and you're gonna want to tie off again, you'll stitch a few times in the same place and then you'll tuck the threat in. Cut it and it will be invisible and you'll be done. 7. Running Stitch: The next step is to further attach your patch to your genes using the running stitch. For this step, we've chosen to use dark embroidery thread so that you'll be able to see it better in this video. If you choose to use embroidery thread as well, you will need to re thread your needle and tie a new. Not once again I'm going to reach inside the pant leg. But this time I'm going to bring the needle with me. Since we like our stitching, too, flow past the patch, it just looks cool. I'm going to start sewing about an inch away from the side of the patch, so I'm going to poke my needle through and pull it with my right hand. This way, the knot is totally invisible, and then I can start sewing. I'm gonna so with my running stitch from right to left, going parallel to one far edge of the patch. First I'm going to poke in my needle, and the distance between the needle and my thread is going to be the width of my stitch. You can make your stitches as bigger a small issue want. Just keep in mind the bigger stitches will be more visible. So pushing needle through and using your hand inside your let your pant leg guide the needle back out, push it out, then dip your needle back down into the jeans and then push it back out to the top. Dip it down into the leg, push it back out into the patch material. When you've got about 1 to 3 stitches on your needle, go ahead and pull the needle and the thread through. Make sure that it doesn't pucker and you can repeat those steps. Push your needle through, dip it back up, pushing, you know, through bring it back up, pushing, you know, through Bring it back up. I've got three stitches on the needle and I'm going to pull it through, sometimes with the bigger needle in the bigger thread, it's tough to pull it through. You've just gotta wiggle it, and we're starting to get her first line. Dip the needle down, push it back up. Dip the needle down, push it back up, pull it through, dip the needle down, push it back up, dip the needle down, push it back up, dip it down, push it back up here. We are going beyond the patch on the other side. And now we've got our first line and I'm ready to turn around to turn around. I'm going to flip my project so that I'm able to put my hand inside the leg on the other side. Coming from the top of the genes, this is a lot easier to. So since I'm able to continue to so from right toe left to start out, I'm going to want to dip my needle back in right next to my last stitch, and then I'm going to push my needle back out, going this direction so that I'm ready to start sowing my next row right parallel to my last row. See, here was my last stitch. This is the beginning of my next stitch. And again dip my needle back down, push it up, dip it down and so forth. Once your patch is covered in running stitches, you're almost done. You just need to tie off. You can tie off the same way that you started where you just do a couple of running stitches in the same place and then you can bury the end of your thread by going through, and you can end by cutting off either on this side. Or you could pull your thread through to the inside and cut it off very close to the fabric there and you're done. I'm going to turn it inside out so that you can see how it looks on the other side. We could take a look at how secure it is. Every stitch went through both the patch and the jeans, and it's like you re created that piece of cloth right there where he had a tear. 8. Inspiration: more inspiration. This way of visible mending is inspired by the beautiful Japanese traditions of Sachiko and borrow. So she goes a type of decorative functional embroidery used to repair tears and strengthen worn out areas. There are lots of different, so she go stitch patterns. You can search on Pinterest for an incredible array of examples and tutorials. Don't be afraid to play with different stitches and color. Try brightly colored threads, layering fabrics or mixing different stitches on the same mending project for an interesting look. Borough is a type of Japanese textiles that have been mended or patched together. Borrow arose out of necessity and coincidence without the means to buy something new. People repaired what they had, using pieces of other fabric, often repairing over and over over time, resulting in a beautiful mixture of patterns and stitches. Again, Pinterest is a great place to find out more about borough and get inspired. There are endless ways you can go beyond the basics you've learned here. We're looking forward to seeing your mending projects