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Basic sewing techniques everyone should know

These are the five sewing techniques everyone should know.

Basic sewing techniques everyone should know
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Sewing has somehow become a rare skill in the modern age of mass-produced clothing from China. But as our pockets keep shrinking, we have to look at other ways of lengthening the lives of our clothes, and this usually involves taking the item to a tailor for repairs.

Tailors do, however, tend to be on the costly side, depending on the type of repair that is needed, and though not as expensive as an entirely new shirt or pair of trousers, you can easily master some techniques at home to save you the trip.

Basic tools you need include pins, a needle, thread, a seam ripper, a bodkin, a measuring tape, and a good pair of scissors. You can purchase small sewing kits at most supermarkets.

Think about learning these basic techniques below to save you some cash:

1. Hand-sewing

Learning to sew by hand is possibly the most valuable skill you can learn if you own any clothes (and, admit it, you have lots of those!). Hand stitches are perfectly capable of patching holes, mending loose hems or seams, reattaching zips, repairing high-wear areas, and fixing broken seams, split pockets, or hemlines.


2. Sewing on a button

To sew on a button, thread your needle, make a knot at the end of your thread, stick your needle through the fabric and then through one of the holes on the button, through the other hole in the button and through the fabric again. Repeat until the button is secure and finish with a knot.


3. Replacing drawstrings

Drawstrings are the bane of many pajama wearers. This is where you will use your bodkin. Insert the drawstring into the bodkin, insert the bodkin into the casing, and slowly move the bodkin through the casing - it will pull the string along with it. Replacing elastic in a casing follows the same process, although you must open a small section of the seam with your seam ripper first and sew it closed again.

4. Hemming

Try the offending item on and mark the right length with a pin. If it’s only a little too long, you may have to loosen the hem first and iron it flat. Measure up to the pin from the bottom of the trousers and pin all around the trouser legs at the same distance. Line up a second set of pins at around 3cm below your first set of pins - this is the line along which you will cut. Press the fold at your first set of pins and stitch.

5. Darning

To darn those holey socks successfully, place a round object under the hole you wish to darn. Make rows of horizontal running stitches over the hole, reversing direction at the end of every row. Then weave columns of perpendicular stitches through the rows.

The techniques listed above are simple to learn, easily completed while binge-watching your favourite series, and will also save you a little extra at the end of the month. And who knows, perhaps you discover a new passion!

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