How to Fix a Hole in Leggings

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Leggings are comfortable, useful, and practical, yet they’re also prone to fraying and tearing due to friction or prolonged use. Once you learn how to fix a hole in leggings, there’s no need to throw your favorite pair right away.

How to Fix a Hole in Leggings

The best way to fix a hole in leggings depends on the size or severity of the hole. For large holes, hand stitching can easily solve the problem, while small tears may only require dabbing clear nail polish. In both cases, a sewing machine or a serger can fix hole problems. 

A woman holds black thread fixing a hole in black leggings beside a basket full of sewing tools

Repairing a Legging Hole Using a Sewing Machine

This is the easiest and best way to fix a hole in leggings if you own a sewing machine.  

  1. Turn the Leggings Inside Out: Start by turning the leggings inside out so that you can see the seams completely as you sew. 
  2. Set Up the Stitch: Choose a triple straight stitch or zigzag stitch to mend the fabric without busting through the stitches. Avoid using a regular straight stitch as it doesn’t provide enough support, and tends to pop out as soon as you stretch the leggings. Besides, leggings with elastic fabrics are harder to sew, so a regular straight seam will most likely break. 
  3. Sew to Cover the Hole: Start about an inch before the hole or ripped area. Sew along the seam to about 0.25 inch beyond the worn part, then sew back down to the seam. This way, you can follow the original seam while covering the hole. However, this would make the leggings a bit tighter. 

Fixing a Hole in Leggings With a Serger

Leggings have different kinds of fabrics, and sewing various kinds of material can be challenging to accomplish in a sewing machine at times. On the other hand, a Serger creates seams and finishes edges without stretching the fabric. 

If you have a serger, you can repair holey leggings with these steps: 

  1. Turn the leggings inside out: Since the inseam usually suffers from holes or fraying, go over the original seam of the fabric by serging up from the bottom of one leg, through the crotch, and down the other leg.
  2. Create a New Seam: Make sure to serge inward until you reach the intact fabric, and then cut away the excess part. In effect, you can remove around 0.25 inches of fabric, form a new seam, and cover the hole. 
  3. Remove the Serger Tails: After creating a new seam, serger tails will be hanging from the hems. Remove the tails by knotting them as close as possible to the fabric’s edge before threading the tail into a needle. Do an inch of backstitch through the current stitches then cut the remaining tail. 

Mending a Hole in Leggings by Hand

If you’re wondering how to fix a hole in leggings without using a machine, you can always rely on the old-school way of hand stitching.

  1. Prepare a Needle and Thread: Get a thin needle especially if your leggings use delicate material. Choose a thread in the same color as the leggings. 
  2. Cut at least 10 inches of thread: That way you can ensure you won’t run out of thread while sewing. The thicker the fabric, the more thread you’ll need. 
  3. Hold the thread between the thumb and index fingers: Pinch down until you can only see the tip, then bring the thread and eye of the needle together. After pushing the thread’s tip onto the needle eye, tie the thread so it won’t pass through the fabric each time you stitch. 
  4. Turn the leggings inside out to see the seams: Use your fingers to hold the fabric together and stitch along the existing seam line. Continue stitching along the current seam line by doing small and steady seams.
A basket of sewing tools is placed on a wooden table while a person holds a black thread fixing a hole in a black leggings

Fixing a Legging Hole Without Sewing

Now, what if you fear sewing machines or needles? Here’s another repair trick, although this only applies to small holes or tears. 

Put your finger behind the hole on the other side of the fabric. Pour a small amount of clear nail polish on the hole. Continue doing a teeny tiny dab and let it dry. Repeat the process once or twice while holding the hole closed. 

Do this on the other side of the fabric. Allow the leggings to sit for a few hours or overnight. 

The next day, get a nail file and gently file down dried nail polish, so nothing will poke your skin when you wear the leggings again. You can also spray some hair spray to harden the fabric surrounding the hole. 

Fixing a Hole in Leggings

Methods Action 1 Action 2 Action 3
Sewing machine Turn the leggings Set the stitch Sew
Serger Turn the leggings Create a seam Remove the nails
Hand Get a needle and thread Tie the thread Stitch
Nail polish Apply nail polish Let the polish dry File down

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Fix Holes in Leggings Using Fabric Glue?

You can fix holes in leggings using fabric glue. The glue is adhesive and will help to keep the leggings fabric together without ironing or stitching. Most of these adhesives are washable, so you won’t have issues washing your leggings.

How Can I Fix a Gaping Waistband in Leggings?

You can fix a gaping waistband in leggings by attaching an elastic band to your leggings’ waistband. Generally, you can attach it as a small piece around the back area of the leggings or insert it into the waistband.

What Causes Holes in Leggings?

In most cases, holes in leggings result from friction, especially when the fabric is excessively stretchy. Usually, these holes develop around the thigh area due to the high friction when walking or jogging, particularly if you have thick thighs.

How to wear leggings + how to find good quality ones ǀ Justine Leconte


Try restoring your leggings whenever you encounter frays, holes, and rips. With patience and the right materials, you can quickly make your leggings look good as new.