Repairing jeans pockets

Fixing jeans pockets
Dismantling the pockets

I just learned a lesson to always use good pocket lining materials for jeans. When I made these pair of jeans for my husband in 2011, I used quilting cotton for the pocket lining because I liked the print. They didn’t last the abuse that my husband put them through and torn apart after a year. I guess I forgot that men do use their pockets! Unlike me who occasionally put a coin in my coin pocket and put everthing else in my bag.

Before fixing the pockets, I have offered to make him another pair of jeans (wohoo because I love sewing jeans), but he kept wearing this pair. He said they are his favorite jeans and have become very comfortable.

Fixing jeans pockets
Pinning the new pocket piece

After his phone slide down his leg one day, I decided to face this matter seriously. I unpicked the waistband and side seams around the pockets and then dismantled the pockets completely. All the pieces were given a good press, then I cut a new pocket lining with suitable fabric. I also overlocked the pocket pieces as the edges were merely zigzagged. I still didn’t have a serger at that time.

The great thing about making the jeans yourself is that you still have the pattern pieces and can recall what kind of materials that you used. I happen to still have the topstitching threads in my stash. It also helped that I used bar tacks instead of rivets on these jeans.

Fixing jeans pockets
As good as new!

Everything is attached back together and it turned out to not taking as much time as I thought! Should have done it ages ago!

This experience got me interested to looking more for denim repair. I found this company website who does traditional denim repair. The gallery is full of beautiful images of handsewn denim repair! More on their Instagram account. Maybe I can try doing the same when my husband’s jeans has deteriorated some more.

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  • scooter

    Great looking repair! And I love the darning website, that’s really cool.

    Know what makes the awesomest, most durable pockets? Thrift store sheets. I look for the really good quality ones–they’re super-soft and wear like iron, and one sheet will make a billion pockets. 🙂

    • That’s a good idea! Thank you!

  • Oof! I would hate doing this- repairs are so tedious! But it’s so nice that you can extend the life of these jeans! They’re gorgeous!

    • Things you do for love! I had to do it though, otherwise my husband might lose his phone someday 😛

  • Your jeans are always amazing, so professional. Have you thought of using silesia/pocketing for the pockets? It’s very durable.

    • I’ve never heard of this term! Will be looking into it, thank you for the tip! 🙂
      The recent jeans that I made for my husband use thin canvas for the pocket.

  • Silvia

    You are a denim wizard. I can see how your attention to detail loves the denim construction. Those look great and I had to giggle when your poor husband felt his phone shimmy down his leg. Argh! Wonderful work!

    My denim skills are non existent but want to try this Alberta Street Pencil skirt in black denim. Do you use a jeans needle for the topstitching?

    • That is a lovely skirt! I use needle #16 and thread #20 on upper spool and #30 on bobbin. I don’t know if there is needle specialized for jeans though!

  • Shanna Dijkstra

    Those jeans look great! I’ve often thought about replacing the pockets in rtw jeans, which have way too thin pockets to start with, but never dared to start unpicking them. Perhaps I should try, they are already lost as is so it wouldn’t get any worse, I guess.

    The newest addition to man-abused-jeans are broken zippers. Definitely am not up to replacing those!

    • Ahh the zipper! My husband has asked me to replace broken zippers on his pants and wallet. Maybe someday…

  • Wonderful tip, thank you! I love images of creative mending, so I’ll be spending some time on those links you shared.

    • Glad that you like them! They’re so beautiful and give me lots of inspiration 🙂

  • lisa g

    props to you for replacing those pockets! it takes me forever to get around to mending things. my husband is very rough on his pockets as well and they’re always getting holes–so annoying! just checked out the mending website, very cool!

    • It took me almost a year to do this! There is still another pair of his pants that need the zipper replaced and I have no idea how to it… 😀