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Mending Basics: 4 Simple Techniques to Repair Damaged Clothes

I added a heart applique to this sweater to hide a small hole. This is machine stitched, but you can also sew your applique by hand.

Whether it’s a snag on your sweater or a rip in your favorite skirt, you may be able to use an applique to fix things right up. “Applique” is sort of a fancy word for “patch.”What I love about an applique is that not only does it cover an unsightly tear but it adds a totally unique little detail to your clothing. Have fun with choosing your applique fabric and shape!

Here’s how to sew a basic applique:

1. Measure the tear you need to cover.

2. Choose coordinating or contrasting fabric – your choice! Have fun with this! Once you choose your fabric, cut a shape out to use for your repair. I like to use hearts, because they’re simple to cut and sew, but you can cut whatever shape you like.

3. If you have a sewing machine, pin the applique to your garment and use the machine’s zigzag stitch to sew all the way around the outside edges. If you’re sewing by hand, use a small whip stitch to sew your applique down. You want your needle to come up through the applique and go back down right outside the edge of where the applique ends. This will secure your patch and also prevent fraying.

Do you have a favorite mending method that we missed here? Let’s talk clothing repair in the comments!

Written by Becky Striepe

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

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