Buying clothes, new or used, can really add up. Repairing your existing jackets, pants, shirts, socks, shoes and accessories can save you big money in the long run. This is a guide about repairing clothing.
Solutions: Repairing Clothing
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I just bought a black sweater and the label's white threads were showing through at the neck line. I have short hair, so it was truly bugging me. I grabbed my permanent black marker and brushed over the exposed threads. They disappeared instantly. So grab your colored markers for all your threads that are exposed. I also did this to my black jeans that had a small bleach spot.
Two shirts with one problem: stains. One shirt with a special feature: decorative embroidery. Here's a simple solution to use what's left of the pair and create a cute "new" shirt in the process. Maybe you don't have two stained shirts. Maybe you have an outgrown shirt with a favorite decoration on it, and a shirt with staining or a hole, which is otherwise fine. Combining two shirts into one will give you a "new" shirt to wear, where you once had two hopeless cases. Satisfying and thrifty.
Align the problem areas of one shirt with the special feature of the other.
If there are multiple motifs you plan to use to cover a stain, cut the motifs and arrange them on the other shirt, until the alignment is pleasing and also covers the problem area.
Secure the arrangement with pins.
Stitch the layers together. A zig-zag stitch is a good choice to help prevent fraying.
As the queen of mending, here's another sneaky tip. If there are discolorations, such as bleach spots on your clothing, you can "mend" them by trying to fill in the bleached spot with various coloring methods. If the material is beige/tan, you can try applying hot tea/coffee with a Q-tip several times until you get the matching color. You can also use colored markers. (I just "dyed" a bra extender for a pink bra using pink highlighter + then water.)
If, on the other hand, you have a spot to be bleached out, you can apply regular bleach to the spot, which has been made wet, with a Q-tip and repeat until the spot disappears. (This gives you greater control over the process and only bleaches one area.) No is no need to buy pricey bleach pens! You can also use hydrogen peroxide as a bleach. This is much less harsh and you can try repeated applications with a cotton ball until the stain is gone. Or you can apply the same hydrogen peroxide and then, using a pressing cloth, iron the spot to heighten the bleaching strength of the peroxide. (In the old days, people used to use that method for any white cottons that had gotten scorched by ironing on too high a heat.)
I have found that iron-on patches can be very useful for mending and they come in all sorts of colors. Always round the corners of the iron-on patch, so they won't peel off. (You can also reinforce the patch with thread to make sure it stays on.) For lighter materials I have used iron-on facing material (it comes in black and white), which can mend a fine fabric without adding bulk to bring attention to the patch. You can also use material for patching and secure with iron-on webbing. Recently I also read an old-time housekeeping book and they suggested mending lace with spray on starch. I haven't tried that, though.
Often clothes at thrift shops end up there just because they need some tweaking. Got a lovely pair of GAP capris - but there as a knot of sorts where the stretchy material of the waistband met the front seam (which is why they got tossed, I bet.) It took 2 minutes for me to cut away the offending stitching - and voila! Great pants for $3. I also look for minor repairs I can do - torn seams, missing buttons, etc.
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Use "Fray No More" or "Fray Check". You can get it anywhere that sells sewing or quilting supplies. Useful for a lot of things. Just follow the directions on the bottle, but try to use just a little bit. Probably a good idea to practice on a tissue before you do your scarf.