Decorating DIY Home Decor Fabric & Paper Projects How to Use Visible Mending to Customize Clothing As You Repair It Turn a hole in a well-loved jacket or duvet from a bummer to a style opportunity and revitalize your treasured pieces with some mending artistry. By Miranda Crowell Miranda Crowell Website As the West Coast Editor, Gardens, Miranda Crowell oversees all garden content for Better Homes & Gardens print magazine. She has more than 20 years of experience creating lifestyle content for national magazines, including Martha Stewart Living, Elle Decor, and Cookie. Learn about BHG's Editorial Process Updated on March 24, 2023 Share Tweet Pin Email In This Article View All In This Article Visible Mending Stitches How to Patch Holes in Denim Jackets or Jeans How to Appliqué Patch How to Darn a Sock Project Overview Working Time: 2 hours Total Time: 2 hours Skill Level: Beginner Estimated Cost: $10 In antique shops, you'll often find vintage tablecloths patched by hand, a charming sign of the item's long, happy life. If you're living a more sustainable lifestyle, consider visible mending and making things stand out with high-impact patches and stitches. You won't be without company—more than 166,000 Instagram posts are tagged #visiblemending. With the techniques here, you not only extend the usefulness of a piece but also give it a custom look. Learning how to use visible mending requires just a few inexpensive materials and basic embroidery stitches. Inspired by the Japanese art of Sashiko mending with visible stitches, these bold ideas will help you repair your clothes and linens in a truly beautiful way. 19 Beginner Crafts to Try This Weekend What You'll Need Equipment / Tools Patching Holes in Denim Jackets or Jeans Scissors Fabric glue stick Straight pins Needles Embroidery Floss Appliqué Patching Freezer Paper Scissors Iron Fabric glue stick Needle Thread Tweezers Darning a Sock Cotton crochet thread, embroidery floss, or wool yarn Needle Darning egg or darning mushroom Materials Patching Holes in Denim Jackets or Jeans Item to Mend Fabric Appliqué Patching Fabric Darning a Sock Sock for mending Instructions Carson Downing Visible Mending Stitches As you mend, don't worry about every stitch being identical. Freestyling will result in a handmade effect. Use these stitches to create unique and interesting designs. Illustration by Rachel King Birch Running Stitch This stitch is so easy that you may have learned it as a kid. Poke a needle through the fabric from back to front then down again about 1/4-inch away; repeat in a straight (or straightish) line. Illustration by Rachel King Birch Crossed Straight-Stitch Not to be mistaken with cross-stitch, this is a series of horizontal running stitches covered by vertical running stitches. Illustration by Rachel King Birch Seed Stitch This is a series of running stitches going in random directions rather than a straight line. Carson Downing How to Patch Holes in Denim Jackets or Jeans Prepare Patch Patch holes in a denim jacket or jeans with fabrics that reflect your style. Extending decorative stitching beyond the patch makes it stand out. To begin, clean up any messy strings around the hole using scissors. Next, cut a fabric patch ½-inch larger on all sides than the hole. Turn the jacket or jeans inside out. Attach Patch Attach the patch to the hole using a fabric glue stick ($4, Joann). Reinforce the patch with sewing pins ($3, Walmart) and ensure the right side of the fabric faces out through the hole. Turn the item right side out. Add Decorative Stitches Thread a regular sewing needle ($6 for a five-pack, Walmart) with embroidery floss and knot at one end. Start on the backside of the fabric with a series of horizontal running stitches. Create a new stitch every ¼ inch. Overlap the hole by a few inches on each side. Repeat the process with a series of vertical running stitches, so the visible threads create small plus signs. Knot thread when finished. The Beginner's Guide to Sewing So You Can Stitch with Confidence Carson Downing How to Appliqué Patch Prepare Patch To cover and reinforce holes, try an appliqué method for a seamless appearance. Iron a circle of freezer paper ($5, Target) shiny side down to the wrong side of patch fabric; cut out fabric, leaving ¼-inch allowance around freezer paper. Dab a fabric glue stick onto freezer paper; press over the hole. Stitch Patch Working around the circle, fold fabric's ¼-inch allowance under the paper and whipstitch the outer edge of the circle to what you are mending. (Try not to stitch through paper.) When there's ½-inch left unsewn, pull out the paper with tweezers. Sew up hole. 11 Genius Storage Ideas for the Sewing Room Carson Downing How to Darn a Sock Sew Vertical Stitches Trim the hole to remove excess threads. Place a wood-darning egg ($10, Etsy), a wood-darning mushroom ($13, Etsy), or even a tennis ball inside the sock behind the hole. This helps maintain the sock's shape as you mend. Thread needle with yarn, embroidery floss, or thread. For wool socks, use wool yarn. For cotton ones, cotton crochet thread or embroidery floss works. Sew rows of vertical running stitches back and forth at least ½-inch beyond hole on all sides, taking long stitches over the hole. Repeat Horizontally Repeat the process horizontally, weaving the thread over and under the long stitches until you've completely covered the hole. Weave in ends of yarn and trim.