The beginning of a knee hole mending journey

I try to mend my clothes if they still have some life left in them and if the repair ends up almost invisible. Items can be left on the mending pile for quite a while though because creating something new generally appears far more exciting than mending something that is already there.

I’ll have to change my tactics though. My daughter currently crawls faster than her shadow and as a result the knees of her trousers get a good workout. A couple of weeks ago she came home from daycare with her first hole in a pair of trousers. Since she’s still growing quite quickly, leaving something on the mending pile for say, a year, isn’t really an option if I still want her to wear it afterwards.


The offending hole.

I debated whether it would be worth to try to fix these trousers and last weekend I gave it a try. I didn’t think I’d be able to mend a hole this size in a knit fabric invisibly so I went for a patch. I don’t really like to use patches on the outside of my own clothes, but for kids clothing I think it can be fun.

I cut a heart shaped patch from a scrap of red jersey fabric that was attached using a running stitch using a very strong Gütermann upholstery thread. It didn’t take long to create this patch and she has already gotten one extra wear out of these trousers. I have no idea how durable this method of mending is.


I considered adding a patch to the other knee as well but that would have more than doubled the repair time since I would have had to carefully place it in exactly the same spot on the other leg.

So, my knee hole fixing journey has started. I expect there will be many more repairs to come in the next couple of years. I plan to try different methods of mending to see which methods work best and to keep things interesting for myself. Do you have any tips for durable mending methods?


Inside view of the repair. The edge of the patch is a bit closer to the hole than I would have liked, I think the fabric shifted when I sewed it on.

May 12, 2018

Emmely Treffers

About Emmely

I am a sewing enthusiast from the Netherlands. I live in the Leiden area with my husband and two daughters and I am currently working as a senior researcher in molecular virology. With my quilting patterns and sewing blog I want to infect as many people as possible with my love for sewing.

read more

You may also like...

Completed: Marlin backpack

Completed: Marlin backpack

My oldest daughter wanted a new backpack. I made her one three years ago and while it is still in pretty good...

Completed: mittens

Completed: mittens

Do your hands get cold in winter? Mine do and it bothers me more than it used to. Especially when I am riding my bike....


  1. Helen Garvey


  2. katechiconi

    When I was her age, my mother made all my clothes, and she created my little trousers and dungarees with double-thickness knee pads built in! You could maybe use denim patches on the knees as they’d be more durable than jersey, and if they weren’t too large they wouldn’t affect the stretch too much.

    • Emmely

      Oh, that is clever! I don’t have enough time right now to make a lot of clothes for her but that’s something I’ll have to remember. I do question the durability of the jersey but chose it because it’s sort of similar to the main fabric.

  3. dezertsuz

    I patch my own clothes that I wear around the house all the time. No one will see me, and if they do, their tough luck. LOL It always happens that my favorite things wear out first! Patching knees in the method of your choosing certainly makes sense when they grow so fast! Maybe for summer, if you get another pair, you can turn them into shorts!

    • Emmely

      I don’t really make a difference between work and house clothes so everything needs to look at leasr somewhat representative. I am lucky that my work environment is quite informal but I like my clothes to look simple and patches don’t really fit in. I did think about making shorts out of them after I had already patched them. If they wear out too soon I think I’ll do that. It’s almost summertime after all!

  4. EmmaSperling

    Thanks for these ideas, the comments were helpful too, thanks everyone

    • Emmely

      Glad you found it useful!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.