Whilst reworking, repairing and repurposing is beneficial for the environment, it offers the opportunity to breathe new life into our wardrobe favourites so that they can be enjoyed for many years to come.
By following these basic tips, that require neither a sewing machine nor previous skill, you can save your most loved garments.
1) How to fix a sticky zip
A stuck zip is a common (and seriously annoying) problem. The zip might get stuck if it is rusted or if debris has become stuck in the teeth. Using the correct technique you can ensure you don’t do any further damage. If the zip is broken, you’ll need a professional to fix it (hint: the repairs services offered by Clothes Doctor). In the meantime, here are some handy tips for loosening a stuck zip:
• Assess the garment to check that the surrounding fabric isn’t caught in the teeth. It is also worth checking for snags, folds, tangles. If you find that the surrounding fabric is caught, gently pull it away from the zip, either by hand or with tweezers, to ensure you do not tear the material
• If you find that the zip continues to stick, find pencil…yes a pencil! Just make sure it’s a classic graphite one. Rub the pencil tip on both sides of the teeth, focusing on the centre where the teeth intersect, whilst holding the zip together with one hand. Next, test the zip to see if it glides smoothly. If it does, wipe off any remaining graphite
• If the zip continues to stick, you’ll need to use a product with more lubrication. Common household products such as soap, window cleaner, or lip balm, will do the trick
• Add the product directly to the teeth. Gradually pull the zip down, applying more product, and continue to do so until the zip comes all the way down. Try to keep the product on the zip, rather than the surrounding fabric, to prevent discolouration or staining
• If the zip continues to stick, take it to Clothes Doctor to have it repaired or replaced
Darning is a quick and simple technique. It is better to darn garments when you first notice any damage, as bigger holes are more challenging to repair.
• Find the following equipment: darning needle, yarn in a matching colour and the same thickness as the surrounding material, a darning mushroom (or an equivalent – anything with a rounded side)
• Place the darning mushroom under the hole and pull the garment over so that the hole is centred
• Sew a few stitches in the undamaged surrounding fabric to secure the thread
• Stitch across the hole horizontally starting and ending close to the circle of running stitches
• Next weave a series of stitches going perpendicular, working the thread over and under your stitches
• Continue this up and down weaving until you have created a grid that completely covers the hole
• Make sure that you leave a long end on the thread when you are finished so that you can weave it into the repair, rather than securing it with a knot. If you would like to secure it with a knot, ensure that you do not pull on the thread or it may end up puckering
3) How to repair a fallen hem with hemming web
Iron-on adhesive tape allows you to bond two pieces of fabric together without the hassle of a needle and thread and is cheap and readily available. You’ll be able to hem your trousers with these easy tips.
• To ensure the fusing attaches properly to the fabric, make sure the garment is clean.
• Turn the garment inside out and flatten it out.
• If you have a delicate garment, you will need to use a tea towel for extra protection.
• Cut a strip of hemming web to the size of the area where the hem stitching has come loose.
• Place the double-sided strip between the two pieces of fabric and check that no hemming tape is sticking out. Tuck any loose threads inside too.
• Place a damp cloth over the garment and press with a very hot iron for about 30 seconds
• The main downside to hemming web is that it can leave a residue. In addition, whilst hemming tape is a great solution for a quick fix (when you’re desperate to wear your favourite dress to a party that evening!), bear in mind it’s only a short-term solution as it will lose its stick after a while. For a more permanent solution, check out the hem repair service offered by Clothes Doctor.
Need help with a more complex repair or alteration? Clothes Doctor offer a vast range of services, from repairing holes and seams, shortening sleeves and trousers, to reworking and transform your garments into something new.