Looking through my wardrobe I noticed a theme among my favorite pants. And so I decided to make a short tutorial on how to mend torn belt loops.
At first this isn’t a noticeable tear. But, with time a small hole will just grow & grow. Best to fix a little problem before it becomes even bigger. This mend took about 5 minutes in total and all I used was a patch of a similar weight to the garment (in this case jean), scissors, needle, and thread.
As you can see in one of the photos my mending kit came in handy for this project as I wasn’t at home when I made this tutorial. Most experience menders already have the tools they need to do such DIY projects. But, for those starting out a mending kit is super helpful. You can find one via the Calendula Craft EtsyCalendula Craft Etsy page.
Leggings may be one of the most notorious items of fast fashion but, they don’t have to be!
By repairing clothing, and giving garments a longer life, we can keep out of the cycle of buy & die. Because, let’s be honest here: giving away clothes is no guarantee that they won’t end up in the trash. The only guarantee is to mend & upcycle the garment ourselves!
The key here is to patch a small hole before it grows & grows. Really this is an easy fix and I wanted to share how it is done with just a few basic sewing supplies.
In this tutorial I used a lighter grey patch and silver thread so that the steps would be visible and easy to follow. Here I went with a visible mending look but, you may want to use a matching color of patch & thread so that the mend goes unnoticed.
And it really is as simple as that! I hope this short tutorial was useful to you and I am working of a follow up tutorial which will be posted here soon!
The mainstream fashion industry is not the most ecologically friendly and one of the main contributors to the piles of trash we have piled up all over this world. Fortunately not every aspect of fashion trashes the planet. In fact, thrifting and repairing clothing is one way to have a positive ecological impact. Upcycling clothing can actually reduce our impact by keeping clothes in working order longer and out of land fills.
Years ago I began making little bags with sewing supplies to assist me in my years of travel. My partner and I backpacked many years with everything we owned carried on our backs. Our clothes got a lot of wear and tear and my mending supplies aided me greatly in keeping my clothes in good condition longer.
So in this article I wanted to share a simple tutorial for fixing a whole in leggings:
These are photos from a recent mending project. A pair of socks and some soft grey leggings – both staples of my winter wardrobe – had holes that needed patching. The little fabric envelope is my personal mending kit! Patching clothing by hand doesn’t take much time or experience. They key is to cut out a circular patch that is about twice as big as the whole and of a similar type of fabric. And if you want the patch to be discrete, pick a similar color as well.
How to Patch a Hole
Place your patch on the inside of the whole and pin down. Begin sewing with a thick needle and an appropriate thread. First begin by circling around the patch to secure it to the clothing and then remove the pins. Then begin crisscrossing back and forth or sewing in a spiral formation. The goal here is to secure the patch with many seams.
Finally, tie up your thread and cut off any remaining corners or loose threads. Check the patch to see if it is carefully secured both inside and out. That’s it! Your pants are patched and will last many years more!
Visible mending has received some attention lately and many folks are getting back into ancestral crafts of doing things by hand. And as a result many kits have sold, I am busy making more!
The kit featured above is my personal kit that I made a couple of years ago. It has the most important supplies like patches, tiny scissors, needles, and pins and supports me in all my mending projects. I have been making these kits for a while and now they are also available for sale through a small online art shop called Staccarto, here is a link to their Etsy page if you are interested in purchasing a kit for yourself (or someone else).
In the past, before there were plastic bins and a variety of tins in which to store sewing supplies, needle books were a common way to organize all the needles a sewer owned. And for those of us who like to take our mending projects outside, a tiny organizer like this is very helpful.
For years now I have been making sewing kits ((which you can see in my previous posts & on my blog)) but now I think these little needle books are my favorite portable crafting tool. This blog post is a little gallery of the needle books I have made of late using only fabric from my scrap pile.
A needle book is much like a glossary of pins and needles. The book typically consists of a few pages, each page dedicated to a specific size or type of needle. As I aim to take my needle book with me everywhere and use it in my clothes mending tasks I also added a couple of pages with patch fabric as well as a pocket at the back for buttons and foldable thread scissors.
Online there are a lot of different tutorials on how to create a needle book. Many suggest using specific materials like felt for the pages but, personally I tend to go with the items I have on hand and that can be upcycled. So, instead of using felt I sewed together flannel and jean, or cotton quilting fabric to add some fun textures. In the future I plan to create a line of more standardized needle books made with new fabrics and off cuts from a local sewing supply shop, to be sold alongside the sewing kits I already offer on Etsy. And in the mean time I am having fun working with the materials overflowing from my craft box.
Here I leave you all with a few inspirational needle book pictures and tutorials from Pinterest:
As I create sewing kits, mend, and make clothing, little bits of fabric begin to accumulate and I wanted to do something useful with them. And by little bits, I really do mean little, tiny bits. I have a bag or two of tiny strips of fabric and oddly shaped squares. At one point I used them as kindling for our wood stove but, this wasn’t a definitive solution by any means. That is when I came across a online tutorial on turning fabric scraps into fabric twine! And here is the result:
I had come across this DIY project a while ago and only recently got the motivation to start making the twine. To my surprise it was much easier than I had imagined and also quite fun. This is the kind of activity that is great for doing while listening to a long talk or podcast, or while sitting by the fire on a cold night. Once you get the hang of spinning, you can even carry on conversations while making this upcycled craft!
Although I am quite proud of my work, I think it is important to link directly to the crafter I learned from, Cintia of My Poppet Makes. Here is the link to the how-to video as well as the blog post.
I truly hope you find this project useful or inspirational. And if you are interested in acquiring a sewing kit as featured in the photo I have several available in the Calendula Etsy Shop.
These purple shorts are probably my most worn item of clothing and have accompanied me during my years of traveling.
Recently they acquired a rip and needed to be fixed so, in this post I am going to go through step by step how to mend any kind of small tear using these shorts as an example::
✂️First, trim off any loose threads and turn the shorts (or whatever item of clothing you will be mending) inside out. Then cut out a patch from scrap materials you have already, in this example I used a piece of recycled jeans because I have so much of it.
✂️Personally I am a fan of visible mending and I tend to use thread and patches of different colors. But, if you don’t want to mend to be noticeable, pick a patch and thread that is similar in color to the clothing you will be fixing up.
✂️Secure the patch with pins and then sew (by hand) around the patch at least twice. You can use whichever stitch you know and be sure to tie knots to secure the fabric around each corner.
✂️Then, flip the shorts right side once again and do a final set of sewing around the rip(s) to be sure that they won’t unwind any further.
✂️And there, the rip is secured and these shorts will serve many years longer! By mending clothing we are making it possible to re-use and up-cycle the clothing we already have. And by doing so we are keeping unnecessary items out of the landfill. Donating torn clothing isn’t a guarantee that it will be re-furbished, so the best way to be sure is to mend yourself. This is something I am very passionate about and for that reason I started making mending kits which I sell on my Etsy page::