On the Mend: 4 Stitches to Repair Damaged Clothing

December 15, 2011 in Fiber Crafts, Tutorials by

originally posted at Crafting a Green World

Needle and thread for mending

One of the greenest things that you can do as a crafter is mend your things rather than replacing them, and clothing is no exception. Any time you buy something new, you’re contributing to all of the waste associated with that product’s supply chain. You might think that you have to be an expert seamstress to mend damaged clothes, but that’s not true at all! You don’t even need a sewing machine – just a needle, thread, and a bit of patience are all it takes to repair damaged clothing.

Whether you picked up a pair of pants at the thrift store that are too long or you need to mend rips and tears, having the right stitches in your sewing arsenal are key! Here are some of our favorite stitches to repair damaged clothing.

1. Simple Running Stitch – For sewing on patches or finishing hems, the running stitch is quick, easy, and effective. A running stitch is the most basic sewing stitch: knot your thread, push the needle up through the wrong side of the fabric, then push it back through about 1/8″ from where you pushed it up. Repeat, making 1/8″ stitches all the way around, knot your thread, and you’re done.

2. Back Stitch – This is perfect for things like zippers or seams that have unraveled rather than torn, where you want some extra strength. The back stitch is also good for hems or patches, if they’re in an area on the garment that’s going to get a lot of wear and tear. Here’s a great video on how to sew a back stitch:

3. Whip Stitch – For tears, busted seams, and separated pockets the whip stitch is your friend. We shared a video and details on how to mend your damaged clothes with the whip stitch over at Crafting a Green World. You can also use your whip stitch to repair an unraveled hem. Just choose a thread color that matches your pants or skirt, start sewing on the wrong side of the fabric, and whip your way around.

4. Sewing a Button – If you’re a beginning seamstress, sewing a button might seem too tricky, but it’s not at all! This quick video from Threadbanger not only shows you how to sew on a button but how to do a hidden knot, so your repair will be just as good as a pro:

Do any of you guys have stitches that you’ve found handy in mending your clothes? Let’s share more repair inspiration in the comments!

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by trekkyandy

 

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