I got my Bachelor's in Environmental Policy, a field in which class conversations often centered around environmentally conscious practices. Inevitably somebody in the room would argue that only the rich could afford to be environmentalists.
I never really agreed with that particular argument, although it has its merits like any other. It seems to me that many green decisions are as good for the wallet as they are for the Earth. Take, for instance, buying in bulk, shopping at local farmers' markets, and reusing jars and food containers.
Learning how to make a good, solid mend is yet another way to cut back on spending and waste. These kinds of repairs aren't meant for formal clothes or even aesthetics. They're just meant to make your, in this case, favorite pair of cutoffs last another two years.
I like to begin by pinning some fabric right side up under the tear. Some cut away the middle of the tear to showcase the fabric. I tend to skip this bit, as it results in a weaker repair, and I have actually had to patch such patches after a year or so.
After the fabric is pinned, sew the fabric to your garment, tracing the tear with your stitches:
For the purposes of visibility in this tutorial I have used black thread. I'd suggest that you use a brighter, more fun color.
Cut away excess fabric after your patch is anchored, being careful not to cut too close to the seam:
Some stop here, but I tend to reinforce the patch further by stitching in a zig zagging pattern across the patch:
The above example isn't the prettiest, but it's serviceable and sturdy. A prettier example from the same shorts (perhaps I really should give up and replace them!) utilizes a cleaned up tear to showcase the patch and bright yellow thread. Sorry it's a wee bit blurry:
There are, of course, other effective mending methods. Most, I have found, don't hold up as well as this. Iron on patches tend to curl and peel off after several washings, and surface patches like these are attractive but tend to get holes of their own after a season's wear.