Embroidery is a great way to personalize your clothes, but it can also mend and repair some holes. Check out this video tutorial to see how to do it.
Hey y’all, today I’m going to show you how to repair holes with embroidery. This is a decorative way to fix holes in your clothes. I made the dress below from my Catalina pattern and added embroidery to the bodice. For the fabric I used a thrifted dress.
However sustainable that choice was to remake a thrifted dress, it may not have been a wise one. Unfortunately, little frayed holes have started to appear all over my dress, and I can only blame the fabric. The tag says it’s 100% rayon, but I’ve never had rayon behave like this. It makes me wonder what kind of washing chemicals the original dress might have been exposed to to make it wear like this.
They’re almost like moth holes, but not quite as clean and as far as I know moths don’t eat rayon. And if they were the cause I would expect a lot more of my clothes to have similar holes because I have a lot of rayon challis in my wardrobe.
Because I spent so much time embroidering the top and I really like the fit of this dress, I didn’t want to just turn it into rags like I do with other clothes I don’t want to repair. So I decided to start adding small bits of embroidery to cover the holes as they appear. Essentially this is a thread patch covering the hole. Much like this pair of mended jeans, I hope the small embroidered additions add character to this dress over time.
Supplies Needed to Embroider Over a Hole or Stain
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Here are the DIY supplies (affiliate links) I used to fix the holes in my dress; I also used a washable marker (not pictured) to draw my design:
- Embroidery floss (thread)
- Embroidery needle
- Lightweight fusible interfacing
- 3 inch embroidery hoop
- Embroidery scissors
I didn’t use a sewing machine at all for this project. If you’d like to see about using an embroidery machine on your garments, check out this post to see on one in action.
How to Repair a Hole with Embroidery
Here’s a short video showing how I repaired this hole, which you can also watch on YouTube here.
If you need more guidance on how to sew hand embroidery stitches, check out this post. I have a more detailed video as well as close up still photos in that post.
Time needed: 30 minutes
How to fix a hole in clothes with embroidery
- Fuse lightweight interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric
- Put a hoop around the area you’re going to add decorative stitching to. Pull the edges of the fabric so that the grain is even and there is tension on the fabric to support the embroidery stitching.
- Draw or trace the embroidery design onto the right side of the fabric over the hole. I did this freehand, taking inspiration from the design on the bodice.
- Thread your needle with embroidery thread, then use embroidery stitches (I used a satin stitch and a backstitch) to embroider the design.
More Mending Ideas
Here are some more ideas to help you get through your mending pile or using visible stitching to add character to clothing repairs. One post helps you find motivation to mend (which is always my issue) and the other has visible mending techniques.