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No need to go to a tailor when wardrobe malfunctions happen! Just follow these steps from Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook.
How to Fix a Pulled Hem: Step 1
Just above the hem, insert needle through the fabric from right to left. Make the smallest possible stitch; it will show on the right side of the fabric. Bring the thread back down and to the right on the diagonal, and make a stitch in the hem, piercing only the top layer o f fabric, again pushing the needle from right to left. Inserting the needle from right to left will create tiny Xs. Repeat.
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How to Fix a Pulled Hem: Step 2
Continue stitching up and down the hemline until the rip is closed. As you sew, keep the tension of the thread slightly loose; pulling it too tight could break it or pucker the fabric. Secure your work with a short backstitch, as at the start.
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With small scissors, cut the hole into a clean square or rectangle. This will make the repair neater and easier. Trim any loose threads. At each corner of the square hole, cut a 1⁄4-inch notch at a 45-degree angle. Turn material inside out, fold square’s 1⁄4-inch edges onto material’s wrong side, and press them flat.
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How to Patch a Hole in a Shirt: Step 1
With the larger scissors, cut out the patch material; this patch was cut from the back of the shirt’s pocket (the hole left behind can be patched later with another material, since it won’t be visible). Measure, mark, and cut out a square that’s 1⁄2 inch bigger all around than the hole you’re repairing.
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How to Patch a Hole in a Shirt: Step 2
With the shirt still inside out, position the patch on top of the hole, right (front) side down. If using a material with obvious grain, like denim, be sure to match up the patch and shirt so the grains run the same way. Turn the material right side out, and pin the patch in place. Now slip-baste the patch from the outside of the shirt: Starting anywhere on the square, make a 1⁄4-inch stitch down through the patch; push the needle up and out, catching the folded edge of the hole. Continue all around the hole, and remove pins.
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How to Patch a Hole in a Shirt: Step 3
Turn the shirt inside out. Next, perform the overhand stitch, simply a tighter version of the overcast stitch described on page 000: Fold back the 1⁄2 inch excess of patch fabric, so it’s flush with the folded edge of the hole. Insert the needle down through the folded edge of the patch (only one layer of fabric) and then stitch up diagonally through the folded edge of the shirt, joining the two fabrics. Continue this stitch in a uniform manner all around the square. Make several short backstitches at each corner to further secure the patch to the fabric. The overcast stitch will be slightly visible on the front of the shirt. Snip and pull out the basting thread.
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To finish the edges of the patch inside the shirt, use the catch stitch described on page 000. Cut off the tips of the four cor- ners of the patch at 45-degree angles. Fold back each edge 1⁄4 inch. Catch stitch the edges to the shirt, picking up only one or two threads with each stitch. Press the patch when finished.
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How to Mend a Ripped Seam: Step 1
Turn the shirt inside out. Tie off the loose machine- stitched threads around the tear. To follow the original stitch line, draw a guideline with a marking pencil. To secure the thread, make a short backstitch about 1⁄2 inch before the rip, as de-scribed in Fixing a Pulled Hem on page 000. This time, take the stitch through both layers of fabric.
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How to Mend a Ripped Seam: Step 2
Follow the backstitch instructions on page 000 to close the rip. With right (front) sides of the fabric together, bring the needle through the two layers of fabric. Insert the needle back down through the fabric about 1⁄8 inch to the right; bring it back up 1⁄8 inch to the left of where you started (so each stitch will overlap the last by 1⁄8 inch). Repeat.
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Turn the pant leg inside out. Start and end your repair about 1⁄2 inch on either side of the rip. You don’t have to knot your thread for this task; to secure it in the fabric, use a short backstitch: Pierc-ing only the folded inner edge of the fabric, insert the needle in the hem, below the seam, and pull it out to make an 1⁄8-inch stitch. Reinsert the needle through the same stitch, and repeat once more to secure.