How To Fix A Torn Sweater

February 24, 2015





I know that there are a lot very proficient seamstresses, knitters and crochet experts who could fix this sweater in a jiffy. In real life, I know none of them. People are constantly asking me to do very small repairs, because they don't even know where to begin. I am always astonished, sewing is actually very easy, but I guess to some, it is very intimidating.


I used to be the costume mistress for a local children's theater group. I cannot make clothes, but I possessed enough rudimentary sewing skills to rework, refashion and alter items to make them into some pretty fabulous pieces for the shows.

Unfortunately, kids are not careful and small tears happened all the time. Trim fell off during dress rehearsals and basted seams got stepped on and torn. During tech week, I was sewing nonstop, because it was next to impossible to find someone, anyone who felt comfortable enough with a needle and thread to help out and repair their own kid's mess.

With this in mind, last night when I sat down to repair my daughter's sweater (a kid, not careful), I decided to document the steps in case someone could use the tutorial. Again, it is super basic and pretty self explanatory, but if you are terrified of the word sewing, maybe this will take a bit of the fright out of it. Maybe.




There's an obvious tear in the sleeve. Not good because it's torn, but good, because it's on the seam. Now I have no idea how to repair this with yarn. So I opted for a needle and thread. It is a tight enough weave that you will never see it. 




I matched the thread with some I had on hand. Do you see the size of that spool? Yeah, it was included in some tiny pack that I picked up years ago, proof that I am not an expert. This is what they give you in the complimentary hotel pack. No self respecting seamstress would work with this stuff. 

You can bet the thread isn't a great quality, but it's free and it matches and if my growing, fickle teenage daughter gets one more season out of it, I'm good.




Next, I threaded a fat needle with two strands and then I doubled them. I knotted the bottom with a pretty big loop. I essentially used four strands. I needed a thicker weight to hold the heavy yarn together. 

Now, I was ready to go and I just stitched the sleeve up. A basic stitch, up and down, moving along the tear from one opening to the other working on the inside of the cuff.  




As I moved along, every few stitches or so, I flipped to the right side of the sleeved and I used the back of the needle to tuck in any stray pieces of torn yarn. I wanted to make sure they were in the right place to get caught by my stitches.  When the hole was closed, I just knotted the thread and cut it.




That's it. That was the whole repair. It took me about ten minutes to complete. The repair is not noticeable at all and if it were, I could cut it away and start over. No harm, no foul. 

See. Not scary at all. 

Well, until I find it on the floor in the laundry pile tomorrow morning after it wasn't even worn. Then I may get scary! 

Do you sew? 


Sign up for email posts and follow the fun ~

Tips, Tricks, Crafts and Giggles delivered straight to you!





   

34 comments:

  1. That is some great sewing friend. Luckily for me I don't wear sweaters. It's two hot in Fl. LoL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Florida, huh? You lucky, lucky girl! I told my husband, let’s just drive far south enough to where I can take my coat off!! ;) ) Thanks for the comment, Vanessa!!

      Delete
  2. Nice job! You can't even tell it was ripped!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! It was so easy, Kimberly!

      Delete
  3. I possess "rudimentary" sewing skills as well. My problem is just breaking out the needle and thread and doing it. I have about four garments sitting on my sewing machine with various issues. The most memorable case I had recently of a garment that needed repaired - my son's friend was over visiting, and he and my son were wrestling, and he tore his crotch in his jeans. So... because it was in a bad place, I offered to stitch it up, and amazingly, was able to make it look pretty decent.

    Your tutorial was great... and I think it is awesome to share simple techniques like this, because sewing does seem to be a lost art!

    Oh - and I have a ton of those "cheap" threads as well.... lol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a funny story! I have that same issue...truth be told, that sweater sat around for weeks. My daughter finally prodded me into fixing it. I definitely needed a push!

      Delete
  4. Give me a sewing machine any day! You did an amazing job, Kim!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I sew and I now have my own craft room. I am looking for a dressmaker dummy that I can afford and is not a size 2. I like to buy things at consignment stores, Goodwill, etc. and do them over into what I want. I love the way you fixed that sweater, most people would throw it away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah... you are a real seamstress! I would love to learn how to make clothes. Good luck with your dummy search! That sounds silly! ;)

      Delete
  6. Hi Kim, you did a great job fixing your daughters sweater and a nice tutorial. I can sew basic things that need repairs like you did or a button! Enjoy the rest of the week and stay warm!
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie, you would probably know how to fix it the right way by knitting or crocheting! :)

      Delete
  7. Great tutorial. I agree with some of the other commenters about sewing being a lost art and that some would have thrown the sweater away instead of taking a few minutes to repair it.

    We all have different skills and interests and what is old hat to one might strike terror in the hearts of others. In your tutorial you seemed to assume that your reader has no knowledge and that is a great place to start. A person with no skills (yet) may come to realize that it is easier than they thought and even a person who has those skills might be inspired to actually tackle the sewing projects sitting next to the sewing machine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are a ton of people who hear the word sew and cringe, Lorri. I definitely was targeting those individuals and was hoping to empower them to pick up that needle! :)

      Delete
  8. Hi Kim! That's definitely one skill my mom made sure I learned. I used to sew my own clothes, then I sewed a lot of my kids' clothes and doll clothes...so much cheaper. I mostly just sew home decor stuff now. It's a handy skill to have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I learned the basics when I was young too, Cecilia. My grandmother, mother and aunt all sewed, out of necessity I think. I also learned in Home Ec in junior high. I am not even sure they offer that class anymore, but they should!

      Delete
  9. That looks absolutely perfect, Kim. Sounds like you must be very creative if you were able to alter and redesign costumes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Susan! It was an easy fix. The costume work was fun to do, it involved a lot of trial and error! I definitely got better at it over the years! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      Delete
  10. Hi Kim,
    How fun to have worked with a Theater group. :-))
    You are very creative to do that for sure. And to keep your cool.

    I do sew, but I always appreciate pointers. I am not a professional at all, I still make silly mistakes. This was well done, Thank You!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The theater work was so much fun, Carla. I loved it. It fed my creative need. I also love kids, so it was a win win. :)

      Delete
  11. What's funny is that if you DO sew, people think that you can just sew anything. It made sense to me when my DIL asked me to do a repair on my grandson's coat...in the hood area. I did that by hand But on another day she wondered if I could repair a tote bag belonging to one of the girls. Now this was a plastic bag probably purchased at the Dollar Store. I didn't have a needle strong enough...probably buying supplies to attempt this would be more expensive than the bag so I bowed out of that one :)

    It sounds like fun, working in a theatre group ! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so true, Deb! When people saw me stitching up a seam or reworking a dress, they wanted to know how much I would charge to reupholster their couch! Um...that is one job would have no idea how to do or where to start! ;)

      Theater was fun...the ball gowns were the best!

      Delete
  12. Thank you! This will me some serious money!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true, Cari...even the dry cleaner charges a ton for alterations!

      Delete
  13. This is a great step by step for a simple fix. Love it. Cathy

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's sad how many people don't know the basic skills. I known how to sew repairs for a long time with a needle and thread. You have to know how when you wear vintage clothing. I learned how to use a sewing machine about 3 years ago and now that I know how, I don't know why I was so worried about it. Of course it's a Singer treadle, but hey, it works for me ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, a Singer treadle, huh? Somehow Rue, I couldn't picture you using anything else. You, my friend, are the real deal. Very cool!

      Delete
  15. Nicely mended! It is a good reminder how a little bit of stitching can easily rescue pieces of clothing in this way!
    Happy weekend.
    Helen xox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Helen! I just couldn’t throw this away.

      Delete
  16. Great repair job, Kim. I do sew, as you know, but mainly quilting and home decor. And the occasional clothing repair job. I did hem two new pairs of jeans for Dennis several months ago. He was very impressed and strutted around showing anyone who would look how his wife hemmed his jeans for him. It was better than the press-on adhesive tape he originally used to hem them because he didn't want to bother me with the task. Of course, the first time I washed them the hems started to come out. Silly man! xo ~ Nancy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! My husband has “repaired” some of his own garments, too...with duct tape! Granted they were just his outside work clothes, but still. He makes me look like a pro! ;)

      Delete
  17. I just repaired my daughter's bunny finger puppet. She has a whole set and I've nearly mended every one of them. My biggest complaint is how poorly they were made.....I'm not the greatest sewer in the world but I can sew enough to get the job done. Looks like you did a great job on that sweater!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rhonda. I would say that I had the same issue with my sweater…poorly made! I bet your daughter’s bunny puppets look great and are ready for play again! :)

      Delete

Hey~ before you go, let me know what you think! I love comments and respond to them all. Thanks so much for visiting! *Please note that if your comment contains a hyperlink it will not be published.