The Stitch In Time

A stitch in time now saves you extra work and money in the future and the need to buy new. Spending a day sewing on buttons and mending clothes will leave you far more satisfied than shopping up and down the highstreet and your wardrobe will thank you for it!

Reinforce weak places like elbows, the crutch of trousers, and any other part which bears a lot of strain or gets rubbed. Clothes reinforced in this way will last much longer. Any fairly light-weight material will do for this.

Always sew on buttons immediately to stop them from getting lost or collect them in a little box.

Save all ribbons, pieces of elastic, hooks, buttons, and trimmings etc from old clothes that have gone too far to be renovated. 

If you can´t match the material of the garment make a decorative darn or patch in the places that show. In hidden places never mind what colour it is as long as it is mended.

Binding for Frayed edges:


Frayed edges can be repaired with bias binding. Place the right edge of the binding to the right edge of the frayed part. Machine or back stitch above frayed edge. Turn over the binding onto the wrong side and slip-hem with upright stitches close enough to grip both materials firmly.

Frayed Trouser Legs 


Unpick the hem inside the leg and turn down. Iron flat and make a new crease about 1/4 inch above the old one which formed the top of the turn-up. Turn the hem up on the inside so as to make the turn-up the same depth as before. Iron flat. More or less depth must be allowed according to the depth of the frayed part.

Restich a pulled hem:


On a garment with a machined hem, restitch in the same way. If it is blind-hemmed, restitch it by hand as shown above. Use single thread, lift the edge of the hem and catch-stitch, picking up just one thread of the fabric on the garment and then a thread or two in the hem. Sew the stitches about 1cm apart and keep them loose to prevent puckering. For a non-stitch quick-fix, use hemming web to fuse the hem in place.

Repair a broken zip:


If the runner slips off the teeth it should ideally be replaced but it also can be repaired:

Pull the runner down to the bottom. About 1cm above the bottom, cut the zip tape between the teeth on the disengaged side.

Pull the runner up past the cut in the tape, working the teeth into the runner above the cut. just above the cut, sew overcaststitches to hold the two sides together and form a new bottom stop.

Mend a torn seam:


When it´s just a case of the stitching having come undone, simply restitch the seam from the wrong side either by hand or by machine, making sure the new stitching overlaps the ends of the old stitching, and fasten the end threads securely. 

If the fabric has ripped you need to mend it first. Sew small overcast stitches to hold the edges together, then restitch the seam as described above. Or,If there is plenty of room in the garment, the seam can be restitched inside the original stitching line to hide any fabric damage completely.

How to:

Sew on a button/replace a button:

Thread a needle with a double  length of thread and tie a knot at the end. Start underneath the button and make a small stitch to secure the knot. Poke the thread through one of the button holes and either cross stitch or use a parallel stitch, matching the other buttons. Repeat the stitches several times to ensure it is strong. Wrap the thread around the thread between the button and the material to reinforce the shank you have created. Push the needle back down through the material. Finish the stitching securly on the wrong side of the garment, making a double stitch and cut the thread close to the stitch.

Pin before sewing:


Pin fabric down before sewing to help keep the fabric in place

Iron seams and hems:


Iron fabric before and after sewing for flat hems

Clean finish sew:


Sew inside-out putting the right sides face to face. After sewing turn right side out so that raw edges remain inside

Make eyelets:


Draw a dotted line, slightly larger than the diameter if the button taht you want to use. Zig zag stitck around taht line, making an opening with sharp scissors between the stitches.



Fabric is gathered by making tiny folds in the fabric and sewing over the folds with small stitches.

Do closed darts:


Pinch a triangle of fabric and sew the edges of the triangle together, then iron flat in a downwards direction.

Do open darts:


Cut a triangle into the fabric and sew edges of the triangle together. Iron remaining raw edges flat.

Flattern a crotch:


you have to do this when turning pants into a skirt.

cut the legs open on the inseams. Cut along the crotch seam until the beginning of the fly, then overlap fork and top stitch closed. cut off excess material on the inside. Repeat in back.

Stitch on beads:


stitch normally but add a small bead to every stitch.