For a sustainable future it's vital that we revive important skills such as mending clothing and with this comes the valuing of textiles and clothing that have taken considerable resources to create. There is evidence that hand-stitching is associated with the release of serotonin in the brain so it is likely to make you feel good too.

Repairing hems by hand

Hemming skills will open up a whole new world for your fashion wardrobe especially when it comes to clothing swaps and op-shop finds. For woven fabrics finished with a seam or binding use blind stitch as this is relatively invisible from the right side of the fabric. You can also use iron-on strips of fusible webbing on some fabrics. Make sure you protect your iron-board and iron by using a piece of cotton fabric underneath and on top of the tear as you iron.

Using a fusible interfacing for a tear or cut within fabric

This is a good option to stabilise fabric that hasn't frayed excessively. If possible test on a hidden part of the garment first such as a seam allowance. Carefully iron the area to align the fabric and trim off any loose threads with a sharp pair of scissors. You may need to cut an extra 1 centimetre into each end to create a neat taper point. Protect your iron and ironing board by placing a piece of cotton fabric underneath and on top of the repair as you iron.

Machine-darn tear or cut within fabric

Using a sewing machine is a more visible way of mending your clothes. Cut out a light weight piece of matching fabric slightly larger than the torn area. Use Serpentine, honeycomb or multi-stitch zigzag stitch on the right side of the garment and ensure you catch both edges of the tear in your stitching. Turn over to the inside of the fabric and trim the piece of underlay. Some machines have a special darning foot with a free-hand straight stitch.