How to Mend Holes on Your Clothes

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May 4, 2017 by jdflores2018

By: John Dave Flores [Inglewood, CA]

One of the worst things that can happen to your clothes is a hole popping up. While recent trends call for random holes on your clothes, the best thing you can do to lengthen a garment’s lifetime is to mend it.

Closing a Small Hole Using the Ladder/Slip Stitch

This method is useful for knit (very stretchy) fabric.


  • a piece of clothing that has a hole
  • sewing needle
  • thread (same color as the fabric)
  • an iron
  • scissors

Step 1: Insert the thread (no longer than 5 inches) into the needle hole, then tie the end to secure it. Reminder: do not tie the thread on to the actual needle.

knit 2

Step 2 (

Step 2: From the inside of the garment, position the needle beside the hole and come up with your needle completely. To make sure all of the thread is out, gently tug at it with your needle.

Step 3: With the point of your needle, pick up a single thread of the fabric just below the entry of the needle. Then proceed with the ladder stitch (also called the slip stitch). Repeat this until the hole is completely covered in ladder stitches.

To make a ladder stitch, start by making a small running stitch along one side of the hole then another on the other side of the hole.


Step 3 The thread is in another color to clearly demonstrate the stich. (

Step 4: Close the hole by gently pulling the thread.

Step 5: Push the needle back to the inside of the garment. Secure the stitch by weaving the needle through the pulled up fabric. Then cut the thread.

Step 6: Iron the area of the stitch to flatten it.

Mending With a Patch

This method is used mainly for woven (stiff)  fabrics or holes that are too large to fix with the previous method.


  • small fabric scissors
  • sewing needle
  • thread (same color as the fabric)
  • an iron
  • a ruler
  • a pen
  • pins
  • piece of fabric
  • Piece of clothing that has a hole

Make sure the piece of fabric and the thread you have is as close to the color of your garment as possible. You want to make sure that the patch is unnoticeable.

Step 1: Preparing the Hole

With your small fabric scissors, cut around the hole to make a neat square, or rectangle depending on the size of the hole. Next, at each corner of the square make a quarter inch (1/4 inch) diagonal incision. Flip your garment inside out, then iron the flaps flat. Cutting out flaps and folding them creates a cleaner finish.

patch 1

Step 1 (

Step 2: Preparing the Patch

With your ruler, measure the length and width of the square hole. Next mark the dimensions of the hole on the separate piece of matching fabric. The patch should be half an inch bigger than the dimensions of the hole.

Step 3: Joining the Patch

First place the patch on top of the hole when the garment is inside out. Be sure that the right side of the fabric is showing. Turn the shirt right-side-out and pin the patch in place. Slip baste all around the patch, but do not secure the thread.

To sew slip basting, start by inserting the needle on top of the patch’s seam allowance (the 1/2 in excess fabric). Then, catch an eighth of an inch of the seam allowance from the top fabric. Repeat all around the patch. When you are finished remove the pins.

Next, flip the garment inside out. Second, fold the 1/2 inch excess fabric back then diagonally stitch the edges together. After, remove the basting thread.

patch 2

Step 3 (

patch 5

Step 4 (


Step 4: The Finish (Optional but recommended)

Cut the edges of the half inch excess fabric at a 45 degree angle and fold them back a quarter inch. When sewing work from left to right. With a threaded needle, come up from the middle of the folded fabric. Next catch a small piece of the folded edge and come up from the left of that entry. then, make go down diagonally to the middle of the fold. Repeat until all edges are sewn.

If you are confused with the sewing, go to this page for more detailed instructions.

Step 5: Iron the Patch Flat

When it comes to sewing, there are many ways to do things. I chose these methods as it  requires materials most people have already. Tell me how you did in comments!

Do you fix your clothes or do you buy brand new ones when they rip?

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