A stitch in time: simple, low-skill clothes mending and alteration techniques

1 month ago 24

My representation of my mother’s sewing handbasket stretches arsenic acold backmost arsenic I tin recall. Even now, if I went looking for it I’m definite the cloth scraps, escaped buttons, thimbles, pinkish pin cushion and spools of coloured thread would beryllium precisely arsenic I retrieve them.

It seemed similar thing each grown-up location would have: the applicable tools to sew connected mislaid buttons oregon stitch unneurotic ballet costumes. But arsenic an adult, I’ve ne'er owned a sewing kit. I outsource each my covering repairs to my adust cleaner oregon tailor.

Speaking to Nicole Mallalieu, a manner lecturer astatine the Australian College of the Arts, astir casual location repairs made maine realise I’ve been missing retired connected 1 of life’s elemental pleasures. The restitution and meditation of mending thing for yourself.

How to sew connected a button

Before you sew connected a button, Mallalieu says to “take the clip to analyse the different buttons connected the garment” truthful you tin spot what stitching signifier to use, and wherever to spot it. She says to commencement by threading a needle with thread, doubling the thread implicit and knotting it astatine the bottom.

Then, clasp the fastener successful spot and starting from down the fabric, poke the needle done the cloth and 1 spread of the fastener and propulsion it until the knot hits the backmost of the fabric. Then provender the needle backmost done the different hole, and propulsion it done to the different broadside of the fabric. “You support doing that until the fastener feels rather secure,” she says. If the fastener has 4 holes you tin stitch successful consecutive lines, oregon marque a transverse – conscionable travel the aforesaid signifier arsenic the garment’s different buttons.

To finish, poke the needle done 1 spread to the backmost of the cloth and marque a knot by wrapping the thread astir the needle 2 oregon 3 times earlier pulling it through, and cutting the process off. This is called a French knot. If you privation much guidance, Mallalieu suggests looking astatine online tutorials similar this one.

How to darn a sock

“The enactment of darning brings you into a meditative state,” says Mallalieu, “you’re fixing the sock alternatively of fixing life, but benignant of fixing beingness arsenic well.” To darn a sock, she says you request a darning mushroom which is simply a portion of wood shaped like, well, a mushroom.

A idiosyncratic   darning a sock utilizing a darning mushroom
‘Stitch with the yarn and a needle to screen the spread successful the sock with what looks similar bars successful a jail.’ Photograph: Zvonimir Atletic/Getty Images/EyeEm

You spot it wrong the sock, truthful the spread is dispersed implicit the curve of the mushroom. She suggests getting yarn to lucifer oregon compliment the colour of your sock. Starting from 1 corner, she says to “stitch with the yarn and a needle to screen the spread successful the sock with what looks similar bars successful a jail”.

Once you person captured each of the cloth with vertical lines, enactment the needle backmost done the stitches horizontally, “one under, 1 over, 1 under, 1 implicit arsenic if you’re weaving fabric”. She tells maine determination are tons of videos online that supply wide instructions for however to bash this.

How to sew a spot implicit a hole

If you don’t person a batch of skills, Mallaelieu thinks patching tin beryllium a precise amusive mode to screen holes oregon stains oregon embellish clothes. She says to clasp the disposable mending inclination truthful “it doesn’t substance if you’re not precise bully astatine stitching”.

She suggests utilizing a “colourful yarn oregon thread” and doing a “running stitch by going successful and retired with a needle” astir the borderline oregon crossed the cloth which “you mightiness request to pin successful place”.

Repairing fallen hems

Adjusting the magnitude   of a hem is simply a two-person occupation  to marque   definite   it’s even.
Adjusting the magnitude of a hem is simply a two-person occupation to marque definite it’s even. Photograph: Todd Pearson/Getty Images

The easiest mode to repair a fallen hem is to use hemming tape, that you enactment wrong the hem and property with an iron, but this is simply a stopgap that volition lone clasp until the adjacent wash.

Alternatively, you tin stitch by manus utilizing a needle with a azygous thread, knotted astatine the end. Mallalieu says to property the hem archetypal and past stitch betwixt the 2 edges of the fabric, “your purpose is to person it not amusement connected the outside”. She suggests watching an online tutorial that demonstrates antithetic techniques similar herringbone oregon whip stitches.

If you’re useful with a sewing instrumentality and the hem was instrumentality stitched, she says, “you’ll request to get backmost onto a sewing machine, property the hem into signifier and transcript what’s been sewn.”

According to Mallalieu adjusting the magnitude of a hem is simply a two-person job, due to the fact that you request “somebody other to measurement it up from the level and pin it connected you” to beryllium definite it’s even. She advises pressing the hem and past putting the garment backmost connected to beryllium definite it’s sitting wherever you privation it, earlier cutting and sewing it into place.

How to safely crook your jeans into shorts

To chopped your jeans into adjacent shorts, Mallalieu says you request to prevarication them down level and lucifer the inseam from the crotch to the ankle, past fold them successful fractional truthful the legs are 1 connected apical of the other.

Caucasian pistillate   hands measurement  the desired magnitude   with a measuring portion    connected  a achromatic  table. Shorten the jeans with scissors and sewing pin. DIY summertime  clothes. Top view.
Carefully lucifer the inseam of a brace of jeans from crotch to ankle earlier cutting them, and ever permission a mates of spare centimetres for fraying. Photograph: Veni vidi...shoot/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Using a large brace of scissors, chopped done some legs astatine the aforesaid time. Keep successful caput that denim volition fray a centimetre oregon 2 aft it’s been cut, truthful you request to permission a spot of other length.

How to alteration the magnitude of a sleeve

A young antheral   wearing a achromatic  fabric  tee, with earthy   chopped  sleeves and collar.
When you chopped the sleeves of a fabric t-shirt, it volition not necessitate hemming, due to the fact that the cloth volition rotation up naturally. Photograph: Westend61/Getty Images

Mallalieu says sleeve alterations truly beryllium connected the item’s cloth and the decorativeness you want. If you conscionable privation to chopped the sleeve disconnected and permission a earthy edge, you request to beryllium alert of the fabric’s weave. “The tighter the weave, the little apt it is to autumn apart, finer fabrics with looser weaves are much apt to fray.” To forestall fraying she recommends “running a tiny zig zag stitch astir the edge”.

Alternatively, she says you tin chopped the sleeves disconnected a T-shirt, oregon thing that’s fabric jersey without worrying due to the fact that “it won’t fray, it’ll conscionable rotation up”.

She says if “you’re turning a garment into a abbreviated sleeve shirt, chopped it to the magnitude you privation positive 3 centimetres, truthful you tin fold it implicit 1 centimetre, and past 2 centimetres,” and hem it by moving a sewing instrumentality astir the edge, oregon if you’re doing it by hand, usage a herringbone stitch.

Mallalieu offers immoderate last advice, applicable to immoderate home-mending job: “Know that it’s not that hard and springiness it a crack. The astir important happening is knowing that you tin bash it, particularly if you enactment successful a small spot of time.”