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DIY: How To Sew Your Own Repairs

Have you ever bought a set of beautiful curtains, only to find out they are too long for you window? Did you recently discover a hole in your best tablecloth? If so, then you probably wished you had the skill and talent it takes to do these simple sewing repairs. Well, you do! All you need is a needle and thread and a little persistence and you too can complete your own sewing repairs. Here is some advice to start you off on the most common sewing repair projects.


How To Hem Curtains

There is nothing more frustrating that buying a set of curtains for your house only to find out that they are too long. But don’t take those curtains back! Here is a fast and easy way to hem your own curtains. The materials you will need include:


  • water soluble marker
  • measuring tape
  • sewing needle
  • matching thread
  • iron
  • scissors


How To Start:


  • Begin by taking a good look at the existing hem on your curtains. Measure the depth of this hem. Use this measurement for your new hem length.
  • With your water soluble marker, mark exactly 1 ½ inches above the place where your new curtain hem will fall.
  • Using the blade of your scissors, break the stitches holding the sides of the curtain together. Break these stitches about 5 inches above where the new hem line will be. This will make it easier for you to fold your new hem.
  • There are two pieces of fabric to work with when hemming curtains: the curtain itself and the curtain lining. Both will need to be hemmed individually, and then the two hems will need to be sewn together. Trim off any excess fabric from both the curtain and lining before you turn up your hem. If your curtain is made up of particularly light fabric, you may want to double the hem, so leave excess fabric for this step.
  • Fold the curtain up to form your hem. Use your measuring tape to ensure that the hem is even all the way across the bottom of the curtain. If you want a double hem, fold the hem over itself again. Press the hem with your iron and stitch the hem in place using your slipstitch.
  • Fold the lining up to form a hem. The lining’s hem should be half the size of your curtain’s hem (for instance, if your curtain’s hem is 4" wide, make your lining’s hem 2" wide). Press the hem with your iron and sew into place, using your slipstitch.
  • Iron the lining and the curtain together, smoothing all wrinkles. Fold the curtain up over the hem of the lining and press the crease with your iron. Sew into place with your slipstitch.
  • Hang and enjoy!



Making a Simple Hem

Now that you know how to hem a curtain, you can use the same skills to hem your pants, skirts, and shorts too! In order to make a professional looking hem you will need:


  • thread (that matches the color of your fabric)
  • a few straight pins
  • a measuring tape
  • a sewing needle
  • a pair of scissors
  • an iron and ironing board


If you have access to a sewing machine, you can use this to sew your hem.

How To Start:


  • Using the back of one of the blades on your scissors, carefully rip out the stitches in the existing hem.
  • Using your measuring tape, determine the length that you want your pant legs to be. Carefully fold up the excess fabric at the bottom of the pants inside each pant leg. This excess fabric will help form your hem. Hold this fold in place with a straight pin.
  • Turn your pants inside out, being careful not to knock the straight pins out of place. Again, measure the length of the inseam on each pant leg to ensure that you have the appropriate length.
  • Carefully straighten out your hem so that it is even all the way around leg. (The hem can be any width you want, from one inch to four inches or more).
  • Using your iron, flatten the crease formed by the pant hem.
  • Begin sewing your hem. Use a running stitch or slip stitch to hold the hem in place.



Fixing a Hole in A Tablecloth

There's nothing worse than discovering that your favorite tablecloth has a hole in it, especially when you're expecting dinner company. Well, here is a fast way to for you repair your tablecloth using simple sewing skills! All you need to get you started is:



  • a darning needle
  • silk thread
  • a fabric in a contrasting color to your tablecloth
  • straight pins


How To Start:

  • Locate the area of the table cloth with the hole in it. Place the hole right side up.
  • Get a piece of contrasting-color material, such as black or white felt, and place it directly behind the hole in the tablecloth. Pin the tablecloth to this piece of fabric. This will allow you to see the hole better.
  • Thread your darning needle with your silk thread.
  • Begin sewing approximately 1 ½ inches from the left or right side margins of the hole. Use your running stitch.
  • As you get closer to the hole, sew more and more stitches, tightly together.
  • When you reach the hole, use your sewing thread to form a bridge across the hole. This bridge should extend at least one inch above and below the hole in the table cloth.
  • Turn your fabric and begin sewing in the opposite direction across the hole (sew lightly through the stitches that you have already sewn).
  • Once the hole is completed, you can place it back on your table and get ready to serve!