Repair clothing with these easy sewing techniques

June 25, 2015

Snagged a thread on your favourite sweater resulting in a tear? No need to toss it. Just follow these easy sewing techniques to restore it back to its original state.

Repair clothing with these easy sewing techniques

How to darn

1. Stitch over, then under the hole in the first undamaged row to form parallel threads running lengthwise.

2. Weave parallel threads running crosswise through the lengthwise threads until the hole is completely filled.

Repairing a seam

If you need to repair a seam, proceed as follows:

  • Press the folded seam with an iron and secure it with pins.
  • Sew the folded inner edge of the seam in a cross stitch pattern, from the back side to the top of the face fabric.
  • Keep your stitches small and neat to ensure that they're not visible on the outside of the fabric.
  • Avoid pulling the stitches too tight. This will keep the seam flexible and protect it from tearing out again.
  • Use an iron and a damp cloth to steam the seam.

Protect hems from wear and tear

Iron-on selvage is usually quite stiff and may prevent your pants or skirt from hanging properly. In order to protect the hems of good pants from wear and tear, sew on a selvage band as follows:

  • Try on the pants or skirt with the appropriate shoes. Mark the desired hem with chalk or straight pins, then lightly iron it in place.
  • Use a sewing machine to sew on the selvage band along the ironed edge so that about one millimetre protrudes beyond the hem.
  • Hand sew the hem like any other seam.

Quick help

Here are some extra sewing tips that will come in handy when you least expect it:

  • Thread easily by spraying the end of your thread with hairspray.
  • Stop runs in fabric before they get any worse by adding a little clear nail polish or a little glue. But keep in mind that you won't be able to sew them later, so use this technique only when you have no other options.
  • Rub sticky zippers with beeswax to get them gliding smoothly again.
  • Spray used zippers with starch and iron them smooth so they can be sewn in easily.
  • Lightly hit the head of a snap with a hammer to make it hold better.
  • Replace elastic bands by fastening the new band to the old one with a safety pin. As you pull the old one out, the new one is pulled in.
  • Make threads more durable by rubbing them with paraffin or wax.
  • You don't have the right-colorued thread? Always choose a shade darker than the original — never use a lighter colour.
  • Use some new shoelaces to make hanging loops for heavy jackets. Just cut them to the appropriate length and then attach them with strong thread inside the collar.
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