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Patch a Hole in a Piece of Clothing

Organizing Good Things 2005

With only a few sewing supplies and the most basic stitches, you can repair the hole on any garment. We used a denim shirt to demonstrate.

1. To make the hole easier to repair, cut around it with small scissors to make a neat square or rectangle; trim any loose threads. At each corner of the 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 iron flat. Measure, mark, and cut out a square from a matching piece of fabric (we used the back side of this shirt's pocket). Make sure the patch is 1/2-inch bigger all around than the hole you're repairing.

2. With shirt inside out, put patch on top of hole; match grain if necessary. Turn right side out, and pin patch in place. Slip-baste all around the patch. Remove pins.

3. Turn shirt inside out. Fold back 1/2-inch excess of fabric so it's flush with folded edge of hole, folding corners over each other. Insert needle through folded edge of patch; stitch up diagonally through folded edge of shirt, joining the two fabrics. Continue all around square. Remove basting thread.

4. Use a cross-stitch to finish edges of patch inside shirt. Cut off tips of patch's corners at 45- degree angles. Fold back each edge 1/4-inch. Cross-stitch the edges to the shirt, picking up only one or two threads with each stitch. Once the hole has been patched, iron patch in place before turning shirt right side out. Iron patch in place again if necessary.

Cross-Stitch -- Also called catch stitch, this technique holds the patch in place. Inserting the needle from right to left creates a series of tiny Xs.

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