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).
One of the easiest ways to get started repairing clothing is by hemming pants, skirts or whatever is too long to wear comfortably.
I went through my closet and realized that all of my all of my longer skirts were much too long and that the extra length was causing a lot of unnecessary clumsiness.
To hem a skirt or pants for that matter all you need is: – a needle – thread – about 5 pins but less will work & that is it!
Start by trying the item of clothing on and mark either with a pin the length you would like it to be.
If you need to cut off the existing hem, or trim a little bit off the end, do so, but **be really careful to not cut off more than you need.**
When hemming clothes, it is important to fold the edge of the fabric twice – that is, fold the clothing about an inch then fold over that once more – this way all the loose threads are contained and can’t unravel. (See picture)
With the hem folded twice go ahead and pin that section of the fabric. Go around the entire skirt (or pant leg) folding and pinning in the most even fashion possible.
Once all pinned take a look at the hem and make sure that this is the desired length and make the necessary corrections before sewing.
As for thread, I like to pick a contrasting or noticeable color. This is #visiblemending after all!
Now it is sewing time. Sew with whatever stitch you like/is easy for you. Or use a sewing machine, whatever! If sewing by hand the project may take a while but just remember all the hours & hours you will be comfortably wearing this clothing without tripping or having to roll or hike up the waistband.
As for the supplies, you probably already have all of the materials listed above at home. If you are in need, I have several sewing kits with pins, needles, thread, scissors, patches and more in the Etsy shop I am a part of. Or, click here to go directly to the listing.