When I wrote about dressing sustainably, one tip I gave was about clothing repairs. The longer we use a piece of clothing, the lower its carbon footprint.
“Just by doubling the time we use an item of clothing from one year to two years reduces its emissions by 24%.”1 Million Women
One way to make your clothes last longer is to repair them. Some repairs need special skills and it is best to find a professional. They will be a useful resource if you need or want to alter your clothes too. For many small mending jobs, it is easy to learn the skills to do them for yourself. YouTube is your friend and here I have pulled together links to videos teaching some of the essential skills.
Sew on Buttons
This YouTube video by Treasurie shows how to sew on three types of buttons.
Fix Jeans Worn Out at the Crotch
This method, by Judith Turner on YouTube, is how I mend jeans, and other pants, that have worn out between the thighs.
Patch a Hole in Jeans
Whether you take the ‘visible mending’ approach with a fun contrast fabric or use a scrap piece of denim, this method by Creating with misp on YouTube shows you how to patch a hole in your jeans (if the draft is getting too much!)
Mend or Take Up a Hem
If the pants you bought are too long (a common problem for 5’3″ me!) or the hem of your dress has started to come down, this video by JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores on YouTube gives you three ways to stitch a hem.
Stitch Up a Torn Seam
When a seam opens up, sometimes there is no damage to the fabric. All that is needed is for the thread to be replaced. This video by Martha Stewart shows how to hand-stitch a seam back together. No sewing machine required.
Shorten Jeans Retaining Original Hem
There is an easy method to take up jeans that keeps the original hem. Sewway on YouTube shows you how.
Repair a Small Hole in a Knitted Garment
You don’t have to throw out a jumper, sweater or cardigan if it has a small hole. Professor Pincushion shows you how to fix it on YouTube. Catch small holes before they become big problems! You know the saying… “A stitch in time…”!
Darn a Sock
Professor Pincushion strikes again! This is a great YouTube video explaining the art of darning – socks or other knits.
Fix a Zipper
Zippers – can’t live with them, can’t live without them! It is so frustrating with a zipper ‘goes’. There are some things that can be fixed though. This YouTube video by Downtown Cobbler gives you a few tips and tricks for zips.
I hope that this collection of videos helps you with your clothing repairs so you can make your clothes last longer. A simple sewing kit and some basic skills and you’re on your way to a more sustainable wardrobe.