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How to Mend Clothes

How to Mend Clothes - FRANC

I imagine we’ve all been in the spot where you pull out your favourite shirt and notice a small hole. Or you pull on a pair of jeans and it tears at the knee (or worse, right at the crotch). Wear and tear are inevitable when it comes to clothing. Even top-notch clothing will eventually need some extra love. But a tear, missing button, or even a stain shouldn’t be the end for your clothes. There are many ways you can mend your clothing at home.  

If you don’t know how to sew (but you have the time and determination), now is a great time to learn. All you’ll need is a needle and some thread . . . and a pair of scissors and some patience. As with any new skill, it takes time to get the hang of sewing by hand. The process is rewarding. Not only will you save yourself money, but you’ll also keep clothing out of the landfill.

Stitching. Tiny holes and tears along the seam are a simple fix and a good place to start if you’re wanting to try your hand at sewing. There are many different types of stitches and different techniques to try out. With practice, you’ll develop a go-to that will become second-nature. You can test out different stitches on scrap fabric while you build up your confidence. Most of the time, if you have some matching thread, you won’t be able to tell the hole was there in the first place. 

Patches are great to use to mend large tears in jeans, cover up stains, or add a touch of personal styles to your clothes. Sewing on a patch is a great way to practice basic hand stitching skills.

Buttons. If you lose a button, there’s usually an extra one sewn into the side tag of your shirt. If not, there are plenty of places to look for a matching button (... local craft store, Etsy, your grandma’s house...). Sewing on a button isn’t as difficult as it seems. If you know how to sew a basic stitch, you can absolutely do it!

Cover it up! Stubborn stains that won’t come out are the worst. The internet is full of creative ideas on how to rejuvenate stained clothing.

Too damaged? If your clothing is damaged beyond repair, you might be able to upcycle it. There are many ways to repurpose old clothing and extend its life into the after-wear life. Every city has a different way to recycle old textiles. Check-in with your city to see what they recommend before you toss any clothing into the trash. Textile waste is a growing issue. It is up to all wearers of clothing to do their best to keep clothes out of the landfill. (If you’re not a wearer of clothes, I applaud you for your noble effort of breaking the stigma over nudity and hope you are reading this from a very warm place where you won’t freeze your buns off this winter. ;))

Have a favourite way to mend your clothes or some tips to share? Hop in on the comment section below!


Jade is a freelance writer and copy editor, living in a sleepy town in Northern Ontario. She loves growing plants, playing with dirt, and staying cozy. 

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