One part of consuming less is to fix garments that break down, that's a goal I've set up for myself and even though I'm still in the progress of putting together a wardrobe that really suits me there's other members in the family who already chose their base wardrobe long ago. My hubby basicly use jeans or work pants. He has his favorite pairs and you can almost see when they start to get really comfortable because that's when they start getting worn.
That's also when they usually end up on my desk to be mended.
I use a sewing machine when I mend jeans and it was my mother-in-law who mended jeans by sewing straight stitching across the hole and attach a patch to the inside of the jeans.
I cut out a patch that are larger than the hole, quite often the fabric is worn around the hole so then I make a patch large enough to cover the worn areas. This was a small hole, but I still cut a piece that is a little bit bigger because it's easier to cover the area I want to mend and reenforce. I simply cut of the excess when I'm done sewing.
I place the patch inside the pants and pin along the edge of the patch from the top so that I can see where the patch is when I'm sewing. It's easier to avoid the corners from folding when sewing, but it still happens to me even if I've mended like this for a long time.
If I have an area so close to any seams I usually sew along the old seam to attach the patch instead of sewing straight stitch back and forth as I do where the hole is.
I sew straight stitches to cover the hole and over the edge of the patch to attach it to the area that may be worn. Always start sewing from the middle and sew over the edge of the patch to avoid it from folding on the back. I run straight stitches using a stronger needle for the sewing machine, I often use lighter threads and when I sew I reverse to go back and forward over and over again.
Here I've pinned a larger patch that goes up behind the pocket. I pin all the way along the edge of the patch, even behind the pocket. Then I attach the patch by sewing along the seams on the pocket and cut off the excess that goes up behind the pocket. That keeps me from sewing through the pocket too.
That's it. The pants are ready to be washed and used again.
It's better to repair the garments before they are washed as holes can be thorn up even more in the washing machine.
This is the easiest solution for everyday jeans for me, but there are so many other ways to mend clothes. I came across a Japanese embroidery, Sashiko, I've seen how it's used to mend jeans and I think it looks so nice.
Below are some links to more decorative repairs and more about sashiko embroidery. Click on the pictures to get to the articles.