New This Month

Easy Ways to Fix a Sweater

Martha Stewart Living, January 2011

If you normally take your knits to a tailor to fix small holes or loose buttons, it's time to mend your ways. Making minor repairs to sweaters at home is easier than you might think, and can save time as well as money. With some basic stitchery, you can darn a hole, replace a button, reinforce a buttonhole, or fix a pulled thread. While you're at it, you can give the clothes you live in a pop of personality.

You might add some color to a plain cardigan with cheerful contrasting buttons. Or darn a moth-eaten sweater in bright yarn for unexpected charm. Facing frayed buttonholes? Take them from shabby to chic by stitching around the slits with vibrantly hued thread. And fixing a snag is a cinch if you have the right tools and advice (never snip loose threads!).

Now is the best time to repair your cozy clothes, since they're close at hand and on your mind. Come spring, you can pack away the fixed (and much more fun) knits and start looking forward to next year. Ready, set, stitch!

Quick Sewing Fixes

A Knitwear First-Aid Kit

1. A thin mohair yarn blends nicely when used to repair a fuzzy sweater. Tulips yarn, 100 percent mohair, in various colors,

2. It's good to have a sturdy darning yarn, such as this one, meant for sock repairs, in your tool kit. Laine St. Pierre darning yarn, wool-nylon blend, in various colors,

3. Stock up on buttons in a variety of colors and sizes; choose a two- or four-hole style, based on the sweater's previous closures. Assorted buttons,

4. This easy-to-hold tool supports fabric as you darn without stretching it. Mushroom darner,

5. Sewing thread, in cotton or an all-purpose blend, comes in endless colors; you can match your fabric or purposely contrast. Gutermann thread spool,

6. Keep a pair of small pointy scissors to clip threads.

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