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It’s a sad fact of life that every so often you will have to mend your clothes. Either that, or be so rich that you can afford to buy a whole new coat whenever a button happened to fall off your current one; not something most of us can do and besides, just imagine the waste!

button men

Sometimes the repair might be a relatively easy one, like a button falling off, but sometimes the problem is a little bigger. A (unintentional) tear in your jeans (fashion rips aside), a shirt that used to be white now covered in small spots of ink, a hole in your t-shirt; the list of possible mishaps is almost endless, but so are the possibilities for repair… So here are a few of our top tips for repairing your clothes with style!

Missing a button?

No problem. Why not go mis-matched and have a “feature button” that is purposefully different from the rest. Go for diamante or engraved metal for a real statement – just be sure that it’s not too big to go through your existing button hole. Or if you don’t fancy that option, use the lost button as an opportunity for an update and invest in a complete new set of buttons. It does take a bit of time replacing them all, but it’s surprising how rejuvenated last year’s coat can be just by doing this.
(Extra tip: Stitch a mini see-through button on the other side of the fabric from the outer button to prevent pulling a hole or straining the fabric.)

Torn jeans?

Well you could plausibly leave it as the current trend is for ripped jeans anyway, but if you don’t want to do that then you could;

  • Stitch a statement patch over the tear (also a popular Autumn/Winter 2016 fashion trend).
  • Stitch the rip shut using a metallic thread and some pretty embroidery stitches to make it a subtle feature (turn the trousers inside out and first stitch the rip shut from the inside with normal thread, then add the detail afterwards stitching from the right side).
  • If it’s a vertical rip, turn the rip into a pin-tuck and copy it on the other leg.
  • Turn the jeans into shorts, or if they’re flowing work trousers, into culottes (another big Autumn/Winter 2016 fashion trend). You can either do this yourself, or you could always give them to a professional repairer to do.

Irreversibly stained/ditched shirt?

Buy some dye and purposefully turn the shirt a different colour. Just bear in mind the colour wheel and remember that trying to dye a red shirt blue might result in a purple shirt by the end. Home-dyeing can be done in a sink, or with a dye you can put in the washing machine. But if you choose this method, don’t forget to rinse the machine out on an empty wash several times afterwards.

Even if you’re not sure how it will turn out it’s worth having a go at mending your clothes or sending them to a repairer before resorting to throwing them out. After all, if you try something and despite all your best efforts it doesn’t work, you haven’t lost anything and you could still use the fabric for something else in the future.

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