Hand Sewing You Can Do At Home July 12, 2018 16:42 1 Comment

I was recently quite shocked to hear that many friends simply discard a shirt if a button pops off, or will throw out a dress if the hem is no longer on trend.

These are such simple things to fix, and getting rid of a perfectly good blouse seems excessive if there's just a button missing.

So in the spirit of reducing waste and making things last, here is a quick tutorial.

Stitching A Button

You'll need:



Small pair of scissors

Of course if you can save the original button, that would be ideal. Otherwise you'll have to get one of the same size and similar in colour and style to the others, just to avoid replacing all the buttons. I suggest taking along the shirt to a fabric store or haberdashery and test that the button fits comfortably through the button hole.

Unroll about 30-40cm of thread in a matching colour to the thread used for the other buttons. If it's too long it may get tangled and knotted, and then you'll have to start from the beginning again.

Thread it through the eye of the needle and join the two ends, making a knot. 

Stick the needle through from the back of the fabric and through the button hole. If there are 2 holes you'l go up through one, and down through the other. Keep sticking the needle through the fabric and the holes in the button about 5-6 times. 

Wind the thread around the bottom of the button about 3 times, catch a few fibres of the fabric and pull the needle through most of the way, but leaving a loop of thread big enough to put the needle through. This creates a knot. Pull the thread tight and repeat.

Trim off the excess and you're done!


Taking Up A Hem

You'll need:




Measure to exactly where you want the hem to fall. It's best to ask someone to help you with this as if you bend forward to mark it off, it'll end up way too short when you stand up straight again.

Measure from the bottom up and drop about 3 cm lower that you actually want it to be. This leaves room for the hem allowance.

Measure it ALL around the hem line very carefully before cutting it off. It's best to use sharp fabric scissors for this.

Working with the garment inside out,  fold up 1cm from the bottom and press it between your fingers. Then using your hair straightener you can iron it flat all the way around. 

Keeping that crease, fold it up a further 2cm and iron it flat.

Cut off 30-40cm of thread in a colour that matches the fabric, and thread it through the needle, tying a knot.

Stick the needle into the first crease you made so the knot is buried in the hem allowance and pull through.

Catch 1-2 fibres from the fabric, then stick the needle into the hem allowance fold, exiting it about 5mm further on. 

Keep repeating this slip stitch till the whole hem has been stitched. Finish it off by making a double knot, the same as when you finished off the button.

You should barely be able to see the stitches from the front if you're using matching thread.