Simple tips for repairing your own clothes

Does your favourite sweater have a hole in it? Discover some useful sewing tips and tricks for repairing your clothing to make it last longer. 

sewing machine repairing a jacket

Learning to repair well-worn clothing is a win-win for both you and your wallet. If your jacket is ripped or some stitching has come apart, a little basic repair know-how can make all the difference between throwing the item out or wearing it again. Taking a crafty approach is both economical and ecological!

Replace a button

It’s never too late (or too early) to learn how to sew on a button. A useful skill for life!

Sew on a button
Prerequisite: Comfort with a needle and thread.


1. Cut about 60 cm of thread and fold it in half.
2. Tie a knot (on the end with two threads), then thread the needle using the folded end.
3. Stitch from the inside to the outside of the material where the button will go.
4. Thread the button onto the needle, then pass the needle back through the hole opposite the first.
5. Continue sewing until the button is solidly attached (about five crosses). Don't overtighten: remember to leave a small space between the button and fabric for easier buttoning.
6. Tie off the thread on the inside of the material, then cut off the excess thread.

Estimated time: 5 minutes

How to replace a button?
person repairing a garment

Threading a needle

Do you have trouble passing a thread through the tiny eye of a needle? Here’s a trick: with one hand, hold the end of the thread firmly between your thumb and index finger letting only one millimetre stick out (yes, as little as that!). Instead of trying to insert the thread into the needle, lower the needle onto the thread. You’ll have better control and avoid possible fraying of your thread (and your patience!).

Repair woven fabric

If you have a loose thread: first and foremost, resist the urge to pull the thread out! Pulling the thread could create an even larger hole. Instead of cutting the loose thread, thread it onto a needle and pass it back through the woven fabric. Then, tie a knot on the inside of the article of clothing.


If there’s a hole: you have two choices. Either repair the hole with a needle and thread, or apply an iron-on interfacing.

Darning by hand (must know how to sew a button)
Using an appliqué (must know how to use an iron)

Repair a down jacket

If it’s ripped: learn how to fix your down jacket to prevent a tear from getting any worse and losing its down or synthetic fibres.

Darning by hand (not recommended for beginners)
Applying a self-adhesive repair patch

Réparer un vêtement ou un sac imperméable

En cas d’accroc : pour maintenir l’imperméabilité du produit, ne pas le recoudre ou utiliser un entoilage thermocollant. Comme pour les doudounes, votre meilleur allié sera une pièce de réparation adhésive.

How to repair a waterproof jacket or bag?

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