No Clothes Challenge!, Really Useful-Mending

How to Patch 5 Ways

Both of my pairs of jeans currently have holes in them, and given that I am nearly 3 months into my new challenge, to buy no new clothes (new or secondhand) for a year, I need to get patching…
I’ve been doing some research into different techniques (procrastinating? Me?!) and thought a round-up might be useful to share.

Here are five ways to patch those holes:

How to Patch

1) By hand

If you don’t have access to a sewing machine, it is still possible to make a sturdy patch.

Image from Viola & Pearl

2) Exterior Patch

This is a piece I wrote for the Guardian’s How to Mend series, that runs through the basic technique.
But there are some very funky and fun takes on the basic patch:

-You can use cookie cutters to cut out fabric shapes, like these stars.

Image from Vera-Luna

Hearts and flowers also work well, depending on the gender of the wearer!

Monster Patch
This is a fun one for kid’s trousers, but I think it would also work pretty well for grown ups too!

Image from Brassy Apple

Pockets Patch
I think this is one of my favourites!

Image from Fun in the Making

3) Interior patches

If you are aiming for an invisible mend, then an interior patch of the same colour as your trousers, and some careful machine darning might be the way to go.
If you’re like me, and love a visible mend, then how about a spot of ‘reverse applique’?

Image from Hammer and Thread

You can also use more delicate fabrics like lace for a really pretty effect. Do make sure if you are going to use this on knees, that you back the lace with a sturdier face though!

Image from The Forge

PRO-TIP: If you have a pair of very small, or very skinny jeans and it’s difficult to access the area that needs patching with your sewing machine, you can unpick one of the side seams, do your patching, and then sew it up again when you’re done. It sounds like a faff, but might save you a lot of frustration (and swearing at your machine)!

4) Darning

Again, you can go for an invisible mend:

Image from Freshly Picked

Or a very visible mend, like my jeans..!

5) Boro and Sashiko

Boro is the Japanese term for clothes that have been mended and patched up again and again, and Sashiko is a form of decorative reinforcement stitching, again from Japan.
Pinterest informs me they are very much ‘on trend’ at the moment, and it’s a great way to keep a favourite pair of jeans going.

Here’s a Sashiko ‘how to’ from The Purl Bee:

Image from The Purl Bee

And here’s a couple of examples of it used for patching:

Image from Design Mom

Image from Sarah Divi

I hope that’s inspired you to get patching..!



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1 Comment

  • Reply Visible Mending on Kids Clothes - Try Something New Every Month - Swoodson Says May 31, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    […] projects in this post, but I still found a few inspirational things when I was researching. I liked this round-up of patching ideas from My Make Do and Mend Life. I also learned something new, about ‘kaketsugi‘ – […]

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