How To Mend Kids Clothes
One of the 5R’s of a zero waste wardrobe is Repair. When it comes to kids’ clothes especially, mending makes a huge impact! Instead of throwing away old clothes, a minor repair here and there extends the life of garments and saves lots of money in the process.
In general, kids put more wear on their clothes. In our house, we have lots of socks with holes, holes in pant knees, and more. Personally, I believe mending clothes makes a statement—it shows how much we value our clothes, and believe it or not, mending is something I enjoy. I’ve even been teaching the kids how to do it themselves, and they love it too!
I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t always known how to mend clothes. Luckily, the internet is packed with tutorials—it’s easy to learn with a bit of grit and research!
Let’s begin with what you need to start mending kid’s clothes:
Needles: You will need various sizes of needles. It’s best to buy a multi-size pack.
Threads: Get a variety of colors and thicknesses of threads, and be sure to invest in some neutral-colored threads.
Pins and pincushion: Pins help hold fabrics in place, and a pincushion helps keep track of the pins and makes it easier to get hold of a pin. My kids made their own pincushions using this easy pincushion tutorial.
Sewing scissors: Having a pair of high-quality, sharp sewing scissors for cutting thread and fabrics is essential.
Embroidery hoop: It’s not necessary to have one, but I have found it helpful in keeping the material straight when working on mending a hole.
Scraps of fabric: You will need scrap fabrics for covering holes and more. I bought some inexpensive scrap fabrics, but you could alternatively use old clothes.
It’s time to start mending!
Holes in socks—I used to throw away what felt like a million socks with holes in the toes until I learned to mend them. Now, my kids will actually mend their own socks! Woohoo! Take a look at this video on how to fix holes in socks. A tip is to use a tennis ball or even a rock in the sock to stretch the fabric while fixing the hole.
Holes in knees—I swear my kids must be crawling around on their knees at school all day long because it doesn’t take long for holes to wear there. The easiest way to fix holes in the knees doesn’t require any sewing. Instead, you can use iron-on patches. I found mine on ETSY. These are super easy to use—just… well, iron them on the hole to cover it. The other way is to sew on a patch. Enjoy this tutorial on sewing a patch if you want to go that route.
Holes in a shirt or stains—If the hole is small, you can easily fix it this way. If it’s a larger hole or a stain, you can cover it with a patch. This is a time when your embroidery hoop will come in handy. Here are some creative ways to cover a hole or stain.
Loose button—My husband always has loose buttons on his shirts. Luckily, fixing a loose button is not very challenging. Here’s a quick video on button sewing.
Learn more about zero waste clothes in this post
And learn here what to do with old socks and underwear when you can’t repair them anymore.