THE LAB: Denim FLORAL Patch Tutorial

Image by Anjali Pinto Image by Anjali Pinto

Okay so I think last summer was the worst of my life. Just a series of horrible events, punctuated by what should have been wonderful experiences, but made shitty by airlines losing luggage and clients losing their minds, ETC. During that time, I helped move one of my closest friends to LA, and treated myself to a little shopping spree there, where I bought these Anine Bing jeans that were just EVERYTHING.

So perfectly high-waisted, button-flied, slightly worn, stretchy stretchiest so stretchy-stretch, but still so tight and so hot. I bought a size 24, which fit me perfectly. TWENTY FOUR. I wear a 27 without exception.


I should have been wearing a 27. THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG IF I’M WEARING A 24. And that “something” is lycra. Too. Much. Lycra. One day I was walking into work and felt a cool breeze on my ass. That was the feeling of the fibers in my jeans LITERALLY SHREDDING APART. I spent $230 on these jeans that I had worn for two months. TWO MONTHS. Longest story short, they’d only replace them if I sent the original ruined jeans back. Well let me tell you something – after THE WORST SUMMER OF MY LIFE, I could not send these jeans back. They were literally the only pair of jeans I had to wear for months while United Airlines looked for my bag, and I had weathered too many storms in this one pair of failing denim. Plus, the worst summer of one’s life obviously involves a rogue menstrual cycle.

AND they didn’t even have the original wash. I NEEDED THE ORIGINAL FADED WASH, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

So I kept them. And they continued to shred and shred and shred until I had to basically wear bike shorts underneath my damn jeans. Not my finest moment.

No, my friends, that couldn’t be my finest moment, because THIS is my finest moment:

Denim Floral Patch Tutorial


  • Bullshit pair of ripped up denim OR fashion denim in need of embellishment
  • Twill fabric remnants or patches
  • Floral patches
  • Iron or needle and thread
  • Sewing machine OR someone to sew for you


If your denim is indeed failing, you first need to reinforce it on the inside. I used two strips of heavy twill to cover the worst parts and then zigzagged and stitched like a crazy person over the entirety on the sewing machine. If the denim is mostly lycra (as in my case here), this is so super temporary, you don’t even know – you really need the exterior patches as well to keep everything in place. Once the interior is secure, you can move onto the fun part. I used four or five different floral patches – cutting and overlapping them into my desired shape. When you’re happy with your design, if your patches are fusible, temporarily place them with an iron (follow the patch instructions), if not fusible, tack down with a basting stitch or safety pins. To permanently secure, run over every edge with a zigzag stitch on the machine, or take to your local dry cleaner alterationist and have them run a machine over it.

Be aware – I had to sacrifice my back pockets for this embellishment, but it’s worth it.

Am I too old for this??

I’ve never once walked through a room, bar, club, restaurant in these jeans without a compliment. Not ever once. That’s literally not a single time without people looking at, appreciating and then commenting on my ass.


*not actually these jeans – something else with the patches, tho.

2 thoughts

    1. Thank you, Annie! I thought I was going to be a little embarrassed to wear so much color there, but not at all – I even wear them to preschool for morning drop-offs. You should try it! xoxo


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