Make It New: Repairing Holes and Tears


   Today I’m going to share a couple ways I’ve done some simple fixes to make a couple tops wearable again! While I use embroidery floss for both fixes, you don’t need to have much skill in embroidery to do either of these fixes. My primary background with embroidery floss is friendship bracelets from camp. Far from legit. Embroidery is still a craft category that I am just scratching the surface of, but hope to learn more because it can be such a beautiful way to improve any piece of clothing. It can make things look so whimsical! Love me some occasional whimsy.

First fix: Denim top with a tear along the sleeve

I fell in love with this top at the thrift store and I didn’t even see a tear. It fits a little tight, and is not the kind of comfy flexy chambray that has much give, so any small tear it may have had quickly spread the length of my forearm. But, not a deal-breaker at all.

All you need is a little embroidery floss to match or compliment the top (1 little bundle was more than enough for this project), and a sturdy embroidery needle. Both are easy to find at your local craft store, or keep an eye out at garage sales and thrift stores. I see some good supplies pop up there as well.


I went with white, as I wanted the fix to look intentional and “rustic”, but not necessarily a focal point.

This type of embroidery is simple, just tie your knots on the inside of the shirt and then go in and out, over and under. Keep it nice and dense with your stitches so frays from the fabric underneath stay contained. No need to pull the thread super tight, as that might just pull away from the fabric even more, causing additional holes along the new seam line.

While it is simple, it isn’t necessarily easy or fast. This type of mending is great for some Netflix binging.

3If you know some more embroidery stitches, feel free to spice up your fix and decorate it, but on this shirt I’m leaving mine nice and simple.  And I’m so glad I get to wear it again!



The second fix I have for you today is also QUITE simple and easy. In this case I got a sweater for $1 at an end-of-season thrift store sale. Loved the color and the diagonal knit look, but it did have a small hole in the “name-tage” region. So, a pretty noticeable spot, but also, conveniently, a typical brooch location.

(When shopping deep discounts, I regularly think through if something might be fixable:  would it look good after the crafty fix, do I like it enough that I want to put the effort in to fix it, am I just looking to try something new… Don’t go buying everything holey piece of cute clothing if you’re not willing to put in the effort!)



All you need: Embroidery thread (I suggest matching your sweater in this case), embroidery needle, and a brooch large enough to cover your hole. I found this lovely guy at a garage sale. A little less “bling” than many brooches, and a little more “earthy”, both things that made me want it. (Don’t get me wrong, I love a vintage gem-filled brooch, but haven’t committed to buying one yet.)


You could easily skip the embroidery step and cover the hole with a brooch. Since this hole is a little larger I wanted to cover it to keep it from continuing to grow, and to help the brooch have a little more to hold on to. I also prefer embroidery floss for this instead of needle and thread as it’s thicker and covers more.

Do some simple stitch trying not to pull too tight so that the knit doesn’t pucker. It doesn’t have to look amazing, but it’s worth keeping it neat just in case the brooch isn’t in place and someone sees your work. What’s more embarrassing that bad embroidery work, amiright?


Once you feel the hole is sufficiently covered and secured, slap on that brooch and take your classy self out on the town to show it off! When you are complimented to wearing a brooch, they’ll have no idea it’s serving a helpful purpose. Unles you’re like me and inevitably tell them because you aren’t good at taking compliments. Don’t be like me. Just take the compliments.



Thanks for reading, let me know what you’ve been mending!


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