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Repairing Clothing

Category Clothing
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.
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By 6 found this helpful
April 23, 2012

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.

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  1. Align the problem areas of one shirt with the special feature of the other.
  2. 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.
  3. Secure the arrangement with pins.
  4. Stitch the layers together. A zig-zag stitch is a good choice to help prevent fraying.

Presto, new shirt!

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By Kirsten from Logan, UT

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By 8 found this helpful
September 29, 2011

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.

By Kathy from Harrisonburg, VA

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October 7, 2011

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.)

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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.)

By Pam from Los Angeles, CA

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October 5, 2011

Those selections of various colored threads you can get with mending kits are very handy. More often than not, using the right color of thread will help to make your mending blend into the background.

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If you do find yourself with just white thread, you can always touch up your mending (very carefully!) with a colored marker or even use eyeshadow (or other makeup) in a matching color to mask a spot.

By Pam from Los Angeles, CA

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October 6, 2011

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.

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By Pam from Los Angeles, CA

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February 11, 20050 found this helpful

Use the ribbed part of socks as replacement cuffs on jackets, rather than purchasing new ones from the fabric store. By Syd

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January 16, 20050 found this helpful

My husband works in an office environment and wears long-sleeved shirts every day. When the cuffs start getting frayed, but the rest of the shirt is still fine I make a short-sleeved shirt by cutting off the bottom part of the sleeve and hemming it up on my sewing machine. By Betty

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October 10, 2006

Repairing Clothing from Thrift Shops. 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.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

November 6, 20140 found this helpful

I have a shirt with long sheer sleeves with a run in it, like stocking material; how do I repair it? The seamstress said it can not be sewn. Should I use clear nail polish to prevent tearing?

By Cindy

Answers

November 7, 20140 found this helpful

Clear fingernail polish will leave a shiny mark and will be hard. I was a tailor for many years - your seamstress is correct in saying that it can't be sewn, but if it's in a suitable spot perhaps an applique or braid can be sewn over the run and then be matched on the other sleeve. Or try to find the same shade of fabric and have a new sleeve made (actually, I would replace both so that they match.

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January 13, 20140 found this helpful

How do you repair holes in nylon sweatpants? My son has a dime-sized hole in a couple pairs of Under Armour sweatpants. I really don't want to throw them since they're expensive, but I'd like to find a way to patch them. I'm guessing traditional patches will melt the material with the heat. Any suggestions?

By mkb

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January 17, 20140 found this helpful

If I wished to patch these, I would sew a patch on with my sewing machine. You need a small piece of the same or very similar fabric, in the same color. Pin it to the inside of the pants, and sew around the edge, then back and forth. A zigzag stich works well for the back and forth. If you do not understand these instructions, or do not have a sewing machine, then perhaps you should find someone else to help you do the job. Do you have a friend who sews?

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November 19, 20130 found this helpful

I had a spot on a white lace dress. I scrubbed the spot with bleach and the spot came out, but now I have a bigger yellow spot. The dress is white so I tried washing the whole thing in bleach, but it didn't help. Any suggestions?

By Nancy

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November 21, 20130 found this helpful

I would recommend washing the garment to remove residual bleach. Perhaps more than once. Then try an overnight soak in Oxy Clean. Then rinse the garment several times. That is what we do to clean antique quilts.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 11, 2013

I was cleaning my tub out and I was using bleach. I spayed it and it got on my green shirt and now I have yellow bleach stains on my shirt. How do I get them out? Please help me solve this.

By Meara

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November 11, 20130 found this helpful

Bleach doesn't come out. It strips out the color. You can either die it, or splatter more on it to change the look.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 10, 2012

How can I fix a snag and tiny hole in new polyester scarf? It is a little stronger than silk material. Thank you.

By flower51

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January 16, 20120 found this helpful

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.

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April 1, 20150 found this helpful

I have a denim jacket that has that shiny copper looking stitching. How do I take the shine off so it doesn't glow so much?

By Andrea

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