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Visibly Mend and Embellish your Ripped Jeans

2018 April 13

Last September I thought I’d up my jeans game. I have a pair that was getting very ripped and torn. Though I love this style, I don’t love that my pasty-white (and honestly, under-moisturized, #sorrynotsorrry) skin shows through so much.

Move forward about seven months (eep!) and I finally got back around to the project this week. Thankfully it is also very slowly becoming spring here in Toronto, and wearing these pants is becoming more viable by the day due to the climb in temperature!

This post is sponsored by Janome Canada.

Ripped and Torn Embellished Jeans with Visible Mending

Embellish Jeans with Embroidered Lace

I recently discovered a thing called water-soluble stabilizer, and since Janome Canada was nice enough to loan me a Skyline S9 with embroidery capabilities (part of their Artisan program, in fall of 2016) I was in a position to use it to produce fun embroidered lace. Perfect to cover up, but not cover up, that skin!

It has become trendy – and I think, necessary – to mend and re-use clothing more often than purchasing new, and this is a great way to do it. I wrote about using visible mending to spruce up my favorite jeans a few years ago. And I’ve been trying to be more careful with my garment projects, so I produce things I’ll actually wear – in fabrics that will last over time.

How to Visibly Mend and Embellish your Ripped Jeans

My main focus here was to use the fun water-soluble stabilizer and a Janome Skyline S9 embroidery machine to show you what it can do. (#spoileralert) It can do a lot!

Hold on… if you don’t have an embroidery machine… you can still fix up your jeans! I’ve also added fabric, lace and hand embroidery to embellish the jeans even more… You can also reference my quick how-to jeans visible mending overview for more ideas.

Machine Embroidered Lace, Janome, Skyline S9

How to make Embroidered Lace in 6 Steps:

Step 1: Press your Pants!

Press your Jeans
Measure the Torn Area
Press the area on your jeans that you’d like to fill to flatten any stray threads. Use a ruler and measure the general size of the hole. This is the size your embroidery needs to be. (TIP: Try the jeans on if they are stretchy, to ensure you have the hole the correct size.)

Step 2: Choose your Embroidery Design

Choose and Edit an Embroidery Design, AcuDesign
My final design was part of a much larger file that came with the Janome Skyline S9. You will need a “Water Soluble Lace” specific file or the threads will not hold together when you remove the stabilizer.
I used Janome’s AcuDesign app to edit the file and make it a bit smaller. It was so easy to edit it! Though it did take a while to delete all the unnecessary points.

Geeky aside: I sent the file back to the Skyline S9 over the my WIFI connection. So easy! And it makes my techie brain happy.Send the Design to the Sewing Machine over Wifi, Skyline S9, Janome, AcuDesign

Step 3: Prep your Stabilizer

Prepare your Stabilizer, Solvy
Press Layers of Stabilizer, Solvy
My Solvy stabilizer said to press a few sheets together between a press cloth to make a thick enough stabilizer. Follow your water soluble stabilizer manufacturer’s directions. Make the piece large enough to fit in your machine’s embroidery hoop!

Step 4: Choose your Thread

Choose Thread and Wind a Bobbin, Janome, Skyline S9
I chose to make this entire embroidery file in cream coloured thread. Make up a bobbin and thread your machine.

TIP: The bobbin and thread should be the same colour, since the back may show on the final lace!

Step 5: Embroider

Use the AcuSetter App to position your embroidery, Janome
Embroider your Lace Design, Janome, Skyline S9
Embroidering Lace on the Skyline S9, Janome
I positioned my file using the uber-easy and accurate AcuSetter app on my loaned iPad mini. It is free and makes it so simple to put your embroidery where you want it. (More on how to use the AcuSetter app here.) In this case, I moved the design to the side so I could embroider a few more things in the valuable left-over space.
Start the machine and embroider your lace.

Step 6: Wash out the Stabilizer

Finished Embroidered Lace
Wash the stabilizer out of your lace with some warm water and lay it flat to dry. You can see a video of me removing the stabilizer on Instagram.

As a side note, more playing around with the water-soluble stabilizer led me to make these butterflies for my littles. The embroidery file is included with the Skyline S9 – and the girls love them.

Embroidered Lace Butterflies

How to Embellish Your Jeans in 4 Steps:

Step 1: Gather your supplies

Jean Embellishing Supplies, visible mending

Gather your supplies. I wanted these jeans to have a neutral colour scheme – so I selected lots of cream from my stash. You could use coloured fabric of course, including all of your favorite hoarded scraps.

  • ripped jeans
  • embroidered lace
  • pretty fabric scraps (prewashed/preshrunk)
  • hand-sewing needle and thread
  • sewing machine and your usual sewing supplies

Step 2: Put your jeans on!

Put on your jeans
If your jeans are stretchy, you will need to pin the fabric on while the jeans are stretched and on your body. That way they’ll fit when you are finished. #nobrainer

Step 3: Pin on the Fabric and Embroidery

Pin Embroidered Lace to your Jeans
With your jeans ON, pin the embroidered lace over and/or under the appropriate rip(s).
Measure the hole in your jeans
Pin a lace patch to your jeans
Pinned Jean Patches and Embroidered Lace
Measure, cut and pin additional pieces of fabric that fit over the other ripped portions of your jeans. Place them under the holes, flatten them out and pin them on carefully – watch out for your skin! (P.S. If this seems like a terrible idea, ie: OUCH!, pin the fabric on flat, then try the jeans on to make sure they still fit.)

TIP: If you are using a woven fabric, it is a good idea to take a second to zig-zag, overlock or use pinking shears on the edges so they will not fray. I finished these edges using the Overedge foot M and an overcasting stitch on the Skyline S9.Finish woven edges with an overcasting stitch

Finished woven fabric edges

Step 4: Stitch on the Embellishments

Embellished Ripped Jeans

Hand-stitching: Chose a thread that matches or contrasts your jeans and stitch away – with the jeans off! You can use a thicker thread or even embroidery floss. Be creative! I chose to secure the embroidered with invisible thread to make sure the stitches couldn’t be seen.
Hand Stitch a patch, Visible Mending
Machine Stitching: I removed the extension table and inserted my pant leg onto the free arm. Then I chose a decorative stitch (Quilt Stitch #11) and moved the pants around to stitch it. The ruler stitch is a fun nod to sewing! You could do many stitches across the entire patch and back again. Or just use a matching thread and straight stitch.
Machine stitch a patch, visible mending
Hand Embroidery:
Use embroidery floss to cover stains or small rips. I decided a nice set of daisies was a great embellishment to cover a small paint stain on these jeans.

Hand Embroider, jeans, cover a stain, visible mending, lazy daisy

I hope you love the result as much as I do! It’s fun to wear something unique that you love and put time into.

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3 Responses leave one →
  1. April 14, 2018

    Sherri, you must be clairvoyant. Two days ago, I pulled out 2 pairs of jeans my mom asked me to repair (3 years ago). And here you are, giving me inspiration to get them done and make them pretty. I just have to get extra creative about filling in the gaps because I don’t have a lovely lace-making toy like your Janome.

    • April 30, 2018

      Hooray Marsha! I’m so excited :) These are my new favorites! You can get lace like this on Etsy or in your local box store too.

  2. Mirjam permalink
    April 15, 2018

    Great job the jeans look like new

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