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Five Easy Garment Repairs You Can Do At Home


When it comes to life hacks and ways to be thrifty, one way you can save money is to learn how to fix clothing items yourself. We all have that favourite item of clothing, something that we always go back to but that one day will start to fall apart. Or that new jacket with the broken zipper, the trousers that need hemming or a dress with a busted seam. If this is you, then you might be surprised at how easy it is to perform simple repairs yourself. Not only will this save on the costs of replacing the items or paying for a tailoring service, but it can also lead to a nice little hobby for yourself or even be the start of a new business venture. Nowadays, people are a lot more aware of sustainability and rejecting the throw away culture of the past, so the ‘make do and mend’ culture is gaining popularity.

Here are some simple ways you can look after your clothing and effect simple repairs:

  1. Repair a bra underwire

We all have that old faithful lurking in our underwear drawer, the go-to bra that never lets us down. However, if it’s underwired, then a sharp dig in the ribs is usually the first sign that the wire has come through the fabric. However, don’t despair, according to plus size shapewear specialist Elle Courbee, this can easily be repaired by pushing the wire back through and stitching the tear. If the tear is too frayed, you can make a patch using moleskin– simply cut an inch-long length and secure it over the hole. For extra durability, the patch can be stitched onto the casing. Use some glue or clear nail varnish to seal down the ends of the thread, to prevent uncomfortable chaffing.

  1. Hemming trousers

Rather than rush to a seamstress or tailor, this is really easy to do at home. You only need scissors, pins, a measuring tape and ruler, an iron and a needle and thread. You don’t even need a sewing machine, although this would obviously expedite the process. Simply follow these steps:

  • Measure your trouser length carefully, making sure you have the correct length and that both trouser legs are cuffed to the exact same length.
  • Pin both cuffs in place
  • Use a hot iron to make a crease at the fold where the trousers are to be cuffed
  • Sew the hem in place using blind stitch – either by hand or using a sewing machine

If you’re using tape, cut the correct length and remove any backing. Place the tape, then press down on it to fuse the cuff in place. However, iron-on tape usually works better, and can simply be placed inside the fabric of the cuff and ironed on using a hot iron, with no steam. Make sure you place a thin cloth over the trouser leg while using the iron. After ironing a section, lift the cuff to ensure it’s held in place before moving on.

  1. Mend a hole or tear

Iron-on patches are the go-to haberdashery items for all busy Moms out there. These are great for speedy repairs of ripped and snagged clothing. Simply turn the garment inside out, cut the iron-on patch to cover the tear – allowing a few extra millimetres for bonding on to the fabric, and use an iron (without steam) to set the patch in place. Again, when using an iron to secure fixing tape/patches, make sure you protect the fabric using a thin cloth.

  1. Repairing a zipper

Let’s face it, zippers were an amazing invention. But when they break, as opposed to buttons that easily be sewn back on, most people won’t attempt a repair and the clothing gets thrown in the trash. Some items will require a whole zip replacement, which is possible at home, following these steps. However, if it’s simply a case that the slider’s stopped working, then the fix is actually fairly straightforward:

  • using pliers, remove the stop from the top of the zipper
  • remove the slider
  • replace with a new slider (parts can easily be sourced from Amazon)
  • attach a new stop using pliers
  1. How to repair a snag in knitwear

This is a really simple and straightforward repair, but must be done as soon as possible after the item has snagged, to prevent further damage to the garment:

  • pull a threaded needle through the loop of the snag
  • tie a knot through the loop of the snag
  • using a needle, push the snag through to the inside
  • turn the garment inside out
  • make sure the snag is pulled through completely
  • tie a double knot at the base of the snag
  • trim away excess thread

Hope this article has given you the confidence to have a go at some simple mending. It’s really not that hard, and can save you time and money, as well as lead to your own business opportunity in what is becoming a boom industry.


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