Urban Valet Blog

DIY Repairs and Alterations

Posted: July 21, 2023

Photo of home sewing machine

Have a tear or hole in your clothing that needs a quick fix? You can always drop your item off with our seamstress, Anne Marie, at our Orchard Park location! She works really hard to ensure that each customer gets their item back in a timely manner. However, if you need your clothing immediately, we have written out a list of instructions on how to do some repairs and alterations at home.

DIY repairs

To repair a small tear, use mending tape or a stabilizer on the back of the fabric. Most tears tend to either be straight or L shaped, therefore, a straight or zigzag stitch should do the trick. The quickest way to repair would be a hand stitch, but a sewing machine would ensure the most durability.

To repair a split seam, make sure your ripped edge hasn’t ripped beyond your seam allowance. If both edges are in good condition, a basic straight stitch along the existing seam line (starting and finishing slightly before and after the split) should make the garment as good as new!

Finally, for bigger holes along the seam or on the body of the garment, you will need to use patching materials. You can either use a patch that is an exact match to the existing garment, or you can buy fun design patches to build into the item. When stitching bigger holes, once again you will need to use mending tape or a stabilizer. If the hole is in the middle of the garment, you will need to use a seam ripper to cut into the side of the garment before repairing it.

DIY alterations

Learning how to do a basic hem can be a lifesaver when you’re short on time and need to shorten the length of your pants. Before you begin, you will need to do a proper fitting. Stand on a hard surface and wear shoes that you would normally wear with this item. Pin one pant leg at your desired length, then use chalk or a marker to draw a line at your new length. Before cutting, align the side seams of the pants and make a new mark about ¾ inches from the new length for seam allowance. Cut the pants at your seam allowance, fold the pants in twice, and give it a straight stitch. It will be much easier to stitch the pants using a sewing machine. To learn how to hem a shirt, a dress, or make pants into shorts, reference this video.

Learning how to mend your clothing will allow you to wear them for a longer period of time. Of course, we are always available to help! Make an appointment with our seamstress Anne Marie at 716-885-4351, extension 106! If you are a route customer just leave a note on the garment you need repaired, and our Valet’s will pass the message along!

Back to Blog