Some things are funny. A busted seam at a wedding is not. Despite the glamour of wardrobe malfunctions, there is some serious Facebook blackmail to be held against you if you aren’t prepared.
Here at iFixit we are all about being prepared. We’ve got a thirsty bag for your aquaphilic phone, we’ve got the fix for your gaming death stare, and now we even have sewing supplies—including Tenacious Tape and the Sweater Stone—to keep the textiles in your life together.
So how can you repair your well-used and much loved clothing? Here’s our list of the top five sewing repairs you should know, or face the consequences.
1. Sew a button. It’s simple—just four holes. But many people don’t know how to sew a button. A missing button can lead to a disastrous peek-a-boo. Fortunately, this can all be taken care of with nothing more than a needle and thread.
2. Hem pants. Finding pants that fit is a challenge. Finding pants that fit and are the right length is nearly impossible (well, for me it is anyways). Hemming pants is a quick and easy way to make pants shopping less painful—all you have to do is find pants that fit and you can make the length work. Save yourself some money and learn how to do it yourself.
3. Sew a seam. It could be a busted seam in your pants, it could be the flap of your tent, or it could be a busted stuffed toy. There are dozens of repairs that only require sewing a simple seam. But when your strap breaks just before the wedding, you’ll be glad you can.
4. Patch jeans. Jeans are all purpose pants: We play in them, work in them, and inevitably wear them out. There are several ways to patch jeans, from a simple iron-on patch, to trendy zig-zag stitching. Now that worn jeans are in, there is no better time learn how to patch them yourself.
5. Zipper maintenance. Zippers are everywhere—on our jeans, jackets, and jumpers. Zippers are easy-to-use, but when things go wrong, zippers can be tricky. Regular zipper maintenance, such as lubricating your zipper, can extend the life of your zipper considerably. That annoying thing where you zip up your zipper and the bottom pops open? Usually means you didn’t get the zipper into the box the whole way. We’ve got lots of support for identifying, diagnosing, and repairing zippers.
Brittany McCrigler is the Director of Education Services at iFixit. She also teaches technical writing, creates resources for the technical communication classroom, and is on the teardown team. Brittany has a background in physics and astrophysics. She is a pluviophile, a patron of many local coffee retailers, and loves everything DIY from power tools to puppet-making.
Repair is noble.