How do I reinforce seams in my children’s play clothes to keep them from tearing?
Anywhere you need extra durability–like in the crotch seam of pants for active children–sew two lines of stitching about 1/8″ apart. Use a short stitch length, and then zigzag or serge the cut edges of the seamline together. Topstitching a seam also adds durability, and you can topstitch either on one or both sides of a sewn seam, depending on how the garment is constructed.
If you’re sewing the garment from scratch, use flat fell seams for added durability. They’re double or triple stitched to keep even the most active kid challenged for ripping.
To reinforce knees in pants and jeans, iron lightweight interfacing knee patches to the wrong side of the pant legs. The extra reinforcement should go from inseam to outseam in the area just below to just above the child’s knee.
If it’s too late for the inside knee reinforcement, and they’ve already torn, create some colorful appliques for the outside to repair. Let the child pick the fabric and iron them in place with fusible web between the pant and patch layer.