17 Beginner Sewing Techniques That Will Make Your Clothes Last A Lifetime

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The ripped jeans look is so three years ago.

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You’ll get far in life just knowing these four basic hand stitches and what they’re used for.


Running stitch: The simplest, easiest stitch you can use for basic seams and quilting.

Back Stitch: Basically a much sturdier version of the running stitch.

Whip Stitch: Use this one to attach two pieces of fabric to one another.

Slip Stitch: An invisible stitch that doesn’t leave thread showing — great for hems or closing the sides of a pillowcase or pouch.


Repair the holes in a moth-eaten sweater.


You can close pretty much any hole using a technique called “darning,” and you can also use it to fix a hole in your sock.


If a piece of clothing you own has come apart at the seams, the ladder stitch is the one hand-sewing stitch you need to know.

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It’s actually super easy, and pins + an iron will be crucially helpful here. The video in this tutorial is very helpful in explaining what the stitch looks like.

Instructions: How to Sew a Ladder Stitch

It’s also sometimes known as a slip stitch.


Pockets tend to give out way sooner than your jeans do. Repair a hole in a pocket by cutting off the hole, flipping inside out, and sewing around the perimeter.


You’re basically removing fabric in the back to make the neckline a little tighter. Great for too-big t-shirts that make you feel overexposed when bending down.

Instructions: How to Raise a Neckline


If your baby’s getting too big for her favorite onesie, you can use the fabric and snaps of a too-small onesie to extend the life of another. All you need are scissors, needle, and thread — no sewing machine necessary. You can also purchase one from Etsy for $12.55.

Instructions: Extending the Life of a Onesie


Let out the hem on a pair of jeans that are too short.


Repair a hole in your jeans by hand using Wonder Tape (or any kind of double-sided tape), a similar-fabric patch, and similar-colored thread.


If a buttonhole on your jeans tears and becomes loose, you can tighten it up using a buttonhole purl stitch.


Reattach a lining using the fell stitch.


The fell stitch is a sturdy hand stitch that is visible, so it’s ideal for hidden places like the inside of a jacket or skirt.

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