Published on july 15, 2019

3 Mending Tips Anyone Can Master

written by Team thredUP

Ever felt the horror of your pants ripping as you bend over? Or maybe you’ve twisted a little too fast in your favorite dress and tore it through the seams. Wardrobe mishaps happen but it’s not the end of the world (or your favorite dress!). In order to save the planet and our wallets, we need to make our clothes last longer (we just really hate landfills, guys).

These super easy sewing and clothing repair tips will make you and your clothes feel brand new. Read on to learn how to mend a seam that’s almost invisible, how to patch up holes and a super fun way to reinforce your jeans and look good doing it.

Rips? Seams Easy Enough

IMG_1739 2-Recovered


Forget missing buttons, there’s nothing worse than ripping your pants! Tears may seem like a sign to retire your favorite clothes, but these mending tips for torn seams will make them as good as new. The ladder stitch is one of many ways to bring two fabric edges together and it looks almost invisible!

Step 1: Measure the Seam
Figure out how much thread you’ll need to use by measuring the length of the torn seam, double it, and add a few extra inches.


Step 2: Fasten the Seam in Place
To keep the seam in place as you sew, hold the folds together and fasten it down with pins along the edge. Thread the needle and knot the end.


Step 3: Start Ladder Stitching

Choose one side of the seam and bring the needle up from the back, making sure the knot is tight against the fabric. Then take the needle inside along the fold of the other side (vertically), run it through and switch over to the original side and repeat. Tighten the thread along the way, but be sure not to scrunch up the fabric.


Step 4: Finish Up
Once you’ve closed the gap and the stitches are tight, create a final knot on the back by creating a loop and threading the needle through it. Repeat a few times and cut the loose thread.

Patching Things Up

Caring for your clothes doesn’t have to be a chore, it can be a great outlet for your creativity as well. Got huge holes that simply can’t be mended by seaming the edges together? Get creative with DIY patchwork!


Patchworking is a great method for refreshing clothes that don’t bring joy anymore. You can buy cute appliqués online that be sewn or ironed on or even re-use fabrics from clothes you no longer wear! We love patching up ripped jeans with a layer of plaid underneath and finished off with some decorative stitching.

Get Creative!


(Photo Credit: Creative Commons)

Some mending is meant to be seen — with all the blood, sweat, and tears you’ve put in, why wouldn’t you want to show off your work?

A recent obsession for some crafty members of our team, Sashiko stitching is a Japanese method of reinforcing clothes that is both decorative AND functional. It’s a bit like darning but more methodical (even relaxing!). You can choose from a vast array of intricate patterns or sew free-handed.

This method is perfect for mending torn jeans or jackets, or for simply adding a unique, one-of-a-kind pop to clothes that you’re falling out of love with. You can find some handy guides for Sashiko Stitching here.

Wanna learn how to sew on a button or the secret hack to getting rid of pilling? Check out our handy guide here.

Sometimes all clothes need is a little TLC to be as good as new! Whether you’re refreshing something old or selling lightly used items, treat them like you would an old friend and you’ll be happier for it.

Got any mending and clothing care tips? Let us know in the comments below.