Here is the rip when I began.
I started on the inside portion of the seat and it was really hard to get the needle through the seat and then back up to pull the thread through. I ended up using a spoon to help push the needle back up. For each stitch, I pushed the needle through the denim and seat. Then, with the spoon providing some backing, I was able to push the needle back up through the seat and pull the thread through. Not an easy task!
When I finally got to the end of the seat, I folded the denim under and started sewing along the seat seam. I had to push the needle through a lot of layers and had to use a needle nose pliers to push and pull the needle through.
We plan on putting something along the seam to ensure the thread doesn't get ripped. For now though, the original rip shouldn't get any bigger. And my sewing abilities have gone up a few notches in Aaron's opinion :) Mission accomplished!