The problem with fixing a hole in jeans due to wear, is that it's not long before the next hole appears, because most of the jeans are wearing thin. This has been happening with all the jeans I've been repairing and I'm discovering that the sashiko method of repairing is working out the best, because it's easy enough to extend the patterning, unlike with individual patching.
I've finally finished embroidering over the most worn areas of the jeans that I started with the circle sashiko pattern. I started extending on this pattern about 3.5 months ago, when new holes began to appear, so it's been slow and time consuming. I usually sew in the evenings when I watching tv with the family.
As most of my embroidery thread is salvaged from various other places, I rarely have enough of one colour to do a large area, so I decided to graduate it from yellow to red, extending up the front of the jeans, where there's the most wear.
I usually divide the embroidery thread into sets of three (most seem to come in 6s) and in order to make the change of colour gradual, I exchanged one thread at a time, easing a bit more of the new colour into each row, approximately. I wasn't too strict on the rows and generally finished and added in the next colour when I'd made the best use of what I was currently on, in order to waste as little as possible. I rather like the effect of this, because it makes for a more natural blend, rather than looking striped.
Because I was only marking out the outer circles and doing the rest freehand, I didn't realise until I reached the original stitching on the other leg that my stitches had been getting larger over time, as had the gaps between the circles.
It doesn't look too bad, though, so I see this as a lesson. The idea with sashiko is for it to be a faster way of mending large areas in a decorative manner. So really the fact that I'd adjusted my sewing in this way makes more sense than the tiny stiches I started with. Small stiching has its place, just not here so much. This way uses less thread, less time and achieves what it's meant to.
In case you were wondering, the reason that embroidery keeps the jeans together is via the patching it holds on the back of the fabric.
You can use just about anything you want, whatever you have on hand. I like a sturdy fabric for jeans and I've plenty of old denim anyway. It makes for double thickness, especially with the patches overlapping, so they are heavier weight jeans now. Great for winter, so naturally I finished them just in time for shorts weather!
I used a biro to draw out the circles, because it doesn't rub off while I'm working, like fabric pencil tends to do (although I also don't have a fabric pencil), but it does still wash out after a couple of washes.
Pen marks mostly faded after the first wash
When the cold weather returns I'll have have another pair of jeans back.