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Getting Crafty: How to Mend or Alter Your Own Clothing

When it comes altering and mending clothing, we’ll admit that we could use some practice. We’re no seamstresses just yet, but that certainly doesn’t mean we don’t try! We find that being able to patch up holes, fix zippers and seams, and make simple alterations makes our clothes last a lot longer and stops us from buying new things unnecessarily. That’s why we’ve always got our eyes peeled for fantastic tutorials that will help us learn how to do it all even better!

Just in case you’re as interested in learning how to properly mend and alter your own clothing as we were, if not more, here are 15 of the very best tutorials and guides that we’ve come across so far in our search for inspiration.

1. How to sew a basic hand seam


Even if you’ve already mastered threading and working on a sewing machine to some level, hand stitching is still a skill you’ll always need. That’s why we thought this tutorial, which starts right down at the basics and teaches you the simple foundations of sewing, was such a good one to hang onto! Learn more about how it’s done if you’re a beginner too on Wonder How To.

2. How to hem dress pants


Depending on your body’s proportions, sometimes finding the perfect fit in stores is next to impossible. That’s why learning how to do simple alterations like hemming is so important! This way, you can stop your pants from dragging on the ground under your heels even if you were slightly too tall for one size and slightly to short for the next size up. Get the full details from Summers Acres.

3. How to hem jeans but keep the original hemline


Dress pants aren’t the only thing you can learn how to hem! It can be difficult to find the perfect length in jeans too, but not everyone loves how their pants look when that classic original hemline you always see in denim pants disappears and you can tell they’ve been hemmed. That’s why LW Vogue is here to give you full guidance on how to hem your pants while keeping that hemline so no one can tell!

4. How to shorten cuffed sleeves


Perhaps the length of your pants is okay but it’s your shirt sleeves that you’re finding a little too long in the size that fits everywhere else? Well, luckily for all of us, there’s a way to shorten cuffed sleeves very subtly indeed as well! Threading My Way guides you step by step through the process of doing just that but in a way that almost nobody will ever notice.

5. How to alter a bra band


Just like pants or shirts can fit in some places but not in others no matter what sizing combination you try on, so can bras! Instead of settling for something that just doesn’t feel quite right, buy the closest, most comfortable fit you can find in the cup sized and then take a look at how Walking With Dancers altered the bra’s band to sit much more comfortably.

6. How to take in a pencil skirt


Sometimes the hardest things to find the right fit in are those that hug your curves in different places. After all, not everyone’s curves are shaped the same! That’s why we were so pleased to come across this tutorial from It’s Always Autumn that teaches you how to take a pencil skirt in just right so that it hugs you a little better in place that maybe it didn’t when you originally bought it.

7. How to patch and lengthen children’s pants


In our house, we find that the clothes in stores fit our kids quite well initially, but they just grow so fast that we can hardly keep up! Until they really need new ones, we’ve started making the ones they have last a little bit longer than usual by using this tutorial from Sew is Me to add bright, find patches to damaged knees and lengthen cuffs after growth spurts.

8. How to make DIY maternity pants


Sure, you might need entirely elastic waist pants (or no jeans at all, if you’re like us) once you’ve reached your final few months or pregnancy but, until then, there are actually several very simple alterations you can make to pants you already have and don’t mind transforming in order to account for your new belly! Get the full details for adding stretch panels to the sides on Whats Up Moms.

9. How to make a fitted maxi skirt from trousers


Did we really catch your attention when we started talking about fitted skirts but you’re just not a short hemline kind of person and you’ve much prefer a longer style? Well, we know those are only sold in stores during some seasons, so we were quite pleased indeed to come across this tutorial from Cotton and Curls that shows you all the steps for making a fitted maxi skirt from a pair of pants!

10.  How to refashion a sweater into a cardigan


Have you ever owned a sweater that you absolutely adored the colour and pattern of but something about the way it fit you around the front just never sat well with you? In that case, we think you’ll get a real kick out of the way Shannon Sews transformed their pullover into a cardigan instead! This frees up a bit of space and loosens things without being too difficult to do.

11. How to sew quickly by hand without using a machine


Did you appreciate the basic hand stitching tutorial we showed you earlier but you feel as though, despite the fact that you absolutely still want to work on your hand stitching, your skills are a bit beyond that and you’d like some tips for speed and evenness now instead? In that case, we think perhaps Wonder How To has precisely what you’re looking for.

12. How to make a lace dress from a t-shirt top


Maybe rather than taking things apart to make what is essentially a whole new garment, you’d rather put pieces together in order to create something lovely from basic, easy things? If that’s where your mind is wandering as you scroll then we’re convinced that this tutorial from All Day Chic that shows you how to make a lovely dress from some lace and a simple shirt will be right up your alley.

13. How to take in the waistband of jeans


Are you actually having the opposite problem to what we were talking about before and you need to take your jeans in a little rather than adding panels to let them out? Well, we’re pleased to report that this process is actually a lot simpler than it sounds! Get the full details in a set of neat and clear instructions from Sewing Rabbit.

14. How to replace a broken jeans zipper


More than once, we’ve felt like we had to give up a pair of jeans because the zipper broke before they were worn out or we were ready to stop wearing them. Thanks to this fantastic tutorial from The Spruce Crafts, however, we can simply replace the zipper and fix the jeans right up next time instead of part with our favourite pair and spending money replacing them!

15. How to repair broken seams


Besides zippers, probably the most recurring problem we’ve had with pants is seams that have given out. Once again, we’re happy to have found a tutorial that will help us fix that so we’re getting rid of less clothing before its time is really up! This guide from Love Your Tailor outlines each step for repairing the seam quite- no pun intended- seamlessly indeed.