Keep working up from the bottom of the hole to the top.
Projects, Sewing

Common Clothing Repairs

A couple weeks ago I had a blog post about starting a sewing kit. Click here to read that post. So I thought that a good follow up to that would be a couple of simple and common repairs that you could use the kit to complete.

Some of the things that I find happen most often are small holes, hems unraveling, and buttons coming off. I’m not going to talk about buttons today, but in my Three Household Projects post I go through the process of sewing on buttons in the duvet cover project.

We’re going to repair three items, a t-shirt and a sock with holes and a tank top with the hem unraveling.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Needle
  • Thread – in the colour(s) of fabric you are repairing
  • Fabric scissors

I wear this Sailor Jerry t-shirt loads, so it’s no surprise it has a hole, but it’s always a sad discovery in a favourite item. The photo on the left shows the hole a bit better as I have just the front of the shirt laying on my white table.

To start I’m going to turn the shirt inside out and select the most matte black thread I have as something shiny will stand out more up against this fabric.

I tried to find the least shiny black thread and the thinnest needle. This will make the thread less obvious and the thin needle will leave smaller holes.

I have looped a piece of thread through the needle and tied off the ends at the bottom. I have also selected a thin needle to keep the repair holes as tiny as possible. Starting from the bottom edge of the hole you want to insert the needle into fabric just past the hole. The fabric right around the edges of the hole will have lost their integrity so we don’t want to sew through those as the stitches would be more likely to come out and make a hole again. We also want to try and keep the stitches to the back of the fabric as best we can to make the repair less visible from the front.

Keep working up from the bottom of the hole to the top.

Keep going in this manner until you have reached the top edge of the hole. Then you want place your needle close to the fabric and wrap the thread around a couple times then pull the needle and the thread through this will create a knot. Use your fingernail or fingertip to keep the knot close to the fabric as you pull everything through. Lastly, using your scissors cut off the access thread after both knots.

Once I'm done, I like to get the needle really close and wrap the tread around it a couple times. Then pull the needle through and you should have a knot very close to the fabric.

This left picture is a close up of the finished inside of the shirt and the right is from the front.

For the sock the repair will follow the same steps as with the t-shirt and below is the before on the left and the after on the right.

The last thing to tackle will be the hem repair.

The hem of this tank top is starting to unravel.

The first thing you want to do is to clean up the lose threads and tie of the ends on both sides of the unravel. This will keep things from coming apart further. You might have to use the stitch ripper to delicately unravel a few extra stitches in order to have enough thread to tie off the ends.

Since the edges of this cotton tank are prone to curling, depending on the material you are working with and the size of the repair, you might want to pop in a couple pins to keep things in place while you are working.

With the unraveling stopped, it's time to fix the hem.

Using some grey thread that has been looped through the needle and tied off at the end, starting on one side of the repair section I started a straight stitch going from the inside of the tank to the outside. I continued this to the other side of the repair section trying to keep the stitch length consistent with the original and making sure they line up. Since this tank has two lines of stitches I tied off the first and continued with the next following the same steps.

A couple of the stitches go a little sloppy on the left side, need a little more straight stitch practice.

The hem on the tank is now all fixed.

What kinds of repairs do your clothes need most? Is there something else you’d like me to cover?

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4 thoughts on “Common Clothing Repairs”

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