I do not know whether patchwork jeans are a thing nowadays – but considering the cyclic nature of fashion, and the way we all love to play with jeans, distressing it and changing its surface to suit our streetwear sensibilities, it could be tomorrow or the very next day. You can be prepared to do patchwork on your jeans – with scissors and clothing patches. Are you ready?
Different types of patchwork jeans
A fully patchworked jeans involve assembling the whole jeans or a major part of it with patchwork fabric. The patches that make up the jeans could be from other fabrics or other jeans. Dark and lighter shaded denim work well when patched like that.
Or it could be partially patched jeans. Patches are sewn on some areas for a rough and work-weary look.
So what do we patch jeans with?
Patches refers to small pieces of material used to cover up something. Like patching over a hole on your jeans. But in a patchwork jeans the patching is all about decoration.
You can use readymade patches with the edges neatly sewn, for this or cut up old clothes to make your Patchwork jeans.
If you are cutting your fabric for this, follow these stipulations.
Cut the patch on the same grain as the denim. This is especially useful if you have the same colored denim fabric to cut the patches from. Different shades of indigo blue denim fabric cut out from other jeans. The diagonal grain of the twill woven denim is very much obvious, so if you want a seamless look, follow the grain.
Cut out the patches with pinking shears if you do not want to turn the edges to the inside.
Related post: Grainline of a fabric.
What to use for making the patches other than the denim? Usually, subtle colored or earthy toned fabrics are used for this. It goes with the edgy clothing style of those who wear it.
The checkered plaid is always a favorite. The plaid pattern consists of horizontal and vertical lines crisscrossing each other – it has a subtle coloring and a fuzzy look which is great when used as patches – rugged and weatherbeaten as the denim. Striped fabrics look nice too.
How many patches to put on the jeans? This is a personal choice. If you just want to hide a previously made ripped hole or two, use enough to cover them.
If you are looking for a totally eclectic style, use as many patches as you want in as many patterns and colors as you like.
Sewing machine or hand stitching?
If you stitch the patch with sewing machine stitches, you have a guarantee – they are the strongest. But if the patch is to be applied on the knee area / or anywhere on the leg, you may have to be a contortionist to reach this space. You may even stitch the whole pant, front and back, together, if you do it wrong.
First, baste the patch with running stitches, and then
Start bunching up the leg and then flatten the area. Ensure that you are not sewing anywhere else and that the patch and pantlegs are not sewn together.
Hand sewing the patches
Backstitch is a hand sewing stitch that closely resembles a sewing machine stitch. If sewing with a backstitch is not appealing, use blanket stitch – the quintessential applique stitches.
It creates a nice border along the outside – it is very conspicuous, especially if you are using contrasting thread. Ensure that this kind of patching is the look you are aiming for. It has a very bohemian DIY-ed look.
A whip stitch is used to sew ready made patches.
You can also use satin stitches to stitch the edges so that the frayed edges wouldnot be visible.
Full Patchwork jeans
To make a fully patchworked jeans cut out the leg portion; create your patchworked fabric and cut this in the pattern of your cut-jeans leg. Do not forget to add seam allowances.
Join them all together. (Use pant patterns from lounge pants patterns like this)
You can also add back leg of other jeans – do not forget to add extra allowances for seams ;otherwise your jeans would end up too short.
I have joined them with the cut edges to the outside so that the edges frays on the outside.
Snip the seam allowance a few inches or so with scissors. After washing and drying in the washing machine the cut edges will fray nicely.
What are some ways to wear patchwork jeans?
Patchwork jeans are a typical streetwear style. It is a casual look. So do not even think of wearing it as office wear (unless you work in an office where casual wear is approved). Other than that, it is your choice.
Because of the eye-catching nature of the patchwork jeans, I would wear them with a simple top. But this is a personal choice as to what kind of fashion style you prefer in your clothing.