Repairing Jeans

Category Clothing
Whether you are repairing a tear, replacing a missing button, shortening, or making other repairs and modifications to your jeans there are creative and best practices available. Read on for some common solutions.


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March 16, 2015

When you lose the metal button for your jeans, use a metal sewing bobbin. It is the same size and the shank is perfect for the thicker denim.

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November 5, 2010

I have worn jeans all my life. After having a baby I went from a size 10 to a 12. After a lengthy illness, I lost a lot of weight. Now after gaining my weight back, my jeans no longer fit. I kinda got caught in the middle age spread :{

As all of us do, I was so upset over the fact my jeans were way too small in the waist, but fit everywhere else. So I decided to tailor them to fit my figure :}. I bought a yard of stretch denim, cut the sides of my jeans about 4 inches down from the waist, cut the denim 4 inches wide and 6 inches long. Sewed the piece into the splits I had made in the sides of my jeans expanding the waist 1 inch on each side.


I left the seams raw. After washing, they frayed a lot and do a good job of hiding the extension that I put in them. Now my jeans fit again, it cost me only for the stretch denim, and boy, are they comfy.

By Betty from East TX

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

Can anyone tell me how to shrink denim jeans? I have 2 pairs of jeans that are too big. They cost $100.00 a piece, so throwing them out is not an option. I've tried washing and drying on the highest setting (over and over), and I've also boiled them to no avail. I love these jeans! Please help!


Annie from Camp Humpfries, South Korea


By Mary (Guest Post)
March 27, 20060 found this helpful
Best Answer

I'm afraid you may be out of luck. Not many clothes shrink these days. It seems fabrics are pre-shrunk before making the garments. If you have gone as far as boiling them, they are not going to shrink. Do you have a friend who could wear the jeans? Then at least they won't go to waste.

Another idea is to have them altered. I don't know about Korea, but my husband visited the Phillipines often while in the military. The seamstresses there were hugely talented, top-notch, and were not hugely expensive. I'm sure you can find good seamstresses in Korea too.

Good luck!

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By claudia-MD (Guest Post)
March 28, 20060 found this helpful
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If you can't return or exchange for a smaller size, have you thought about having them altered by a tailor? This would be costly for most jeans, but you have an investment in these andlove them, so with altering, you could at least wear them and get some benefit from your investment.


The tailor could also preserve the unique jean seaming.

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By Denim_Devil (Guest Post)
March 30, 20060 found this helpful
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Wear them for a week straight without washing, make sure they feel less firm than when washed, then wash in hot - repeat as desired.

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December 12, 20090 found this helpful
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If you'll take them to the cleaners, have them starched and pressed they will shrink in size (34" waist-will be a 33") . I will take 5 or 6 times to see any results. The heavier starch the better. It's a Texas thing, starched jeans and boots. Ive been doing it for years.

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September 29, 2011

I have some jeans that are well worn and the back pockets are starting to loosen from the jean or starting to make a hole. How can I fix this?



By mindy from Terrebonne, OR


September 30, 20110 found this helpful
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I have used iron on patches for this problem. Put it on the inside then, with needle and thread, sew the pocket down where it has ripped away from the jeans.

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April 2, 2015

Am getting white shades in my pure black cotton jeans. It looks awkward when I wear them. I washed it so many times, but I couldn't get any positive results.

By Gowri


April 2, 20150 found this helpful
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From your description, it appears that your jeans are losing their black color in some areas. If so, further washing will only make the problem worse as the spots are not stains but lost dye areas.


You can try a home dye product to redye your jeans, however, even if the pants take the dye, the white areas may still be lighter than the rest of the material.

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April 24, 2019

Oftentimes, jeans need to be altered to fit correctly but this could leave a discolored or creased hem line. This is a page about removing a hem line from jeans.

Repairing Faded Hemline When Lengthening Jeans

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