Most of us have a few favorite items of clothing that, if ruined, would make us miserable from the loss. Repairing clothing is something many people simply don’t do. They either take the outfit to the alterations shop and pay a bundle to have it fixed or they simply toss the garment with a sad sigh.
Any number of things can happen to ruin clothing but there are lots of techniques for covering the damaged places and making the garment seem new again. Stains, tears, rips, punctures, fading, bleach marks and other nasty things can be fixed practically in the blink of an eye.
One thing that is very easy to use is fabric glue. It’s a lifesaver when it comes to rescuing your favorite blouse from the trash. The glue can be found at most places that sell cloth and is inexpensive. After 24 hours the garment is washable and the glue will stay intact. For stains, punctures, small tears or bleach marks simply cut a design from any coordinating fabric and glue it onto the garment. The design can be a heart, circle, diamond shape or any other design. In fact, many fabrics nowadays have fabulous prints that would look good on an outfit, such as wolves, lighthouses, birds, rainbows, cartoon characters and more. Simply cut around the design and glue it to the damaged portion of the clothing. The glue is available in washable and non-washable types so be sure and read the label before buying.
After you’ve attached a design or shape to the damaged area allow the glue to dry well. When dry, use fabric paints to outline the design and give it dimension. The paints can be found at most fabric or craft supply stores. It comes in a variety of colors and types like day-glow, metallic, pearl-tone, glitters and puffy. Each paint will give you a different look. The puffy paints swell up as they dry making them appear to be large, dimensional letters or designs. The glitter paints are perfect for holiday designs. Pearl tones give an elegant look to blouses whereas metallic paints are great for jeans, belts and purses. Use stencils to make the design you desire then allow paints to dry for 24 hours. Or just freehand your name, initials or a simple design.
Another perfect way to cover up any number of damages to an outfit is an applique or patch. Although they were originally made to be sewn into place appliques, patches and crests are easily affixed with fabric glue. And, since most appliques are already outlined with embroidery or impressive threading there’s no need to use fabric paints and other notions for outlining. Appliques are available in tiny to huge sizes, in fabrics from lace to leather and in patterns from Americana to farm animals. Appliques cost from a dollar or so on up, depending upon the size. A couple of bucks is a small price to pay to save your favorite jeans.
Ribbons can sometimes cover up linear damage to an outfit. If a child drips chocolate down a white blouse, but the spots land in a linear formation, simply glue satin ribbon, in many choices of width and color, down the blouse. Attach small satin bows and the blouse will look as though it were manufactured that way. Strips of leather can do the same job but only look good on certain clothing styles.
Fake jewels look really nice on certain clothes and they’re available in all shapes and shades. Pink diamonds, sapphire ovals and topaz stars are just some of the choices. These can also be easily affixed simply by placing a dot of glue onto the back of the jewel then pressing it into place on the garment. For jewels that have the adhesive backing simply remove the adhesive covering, place the drop of glue, and affix to the outfit. For narrow places like around collars and cuffs purchase the type of jewels that are linear and have a fabric backing. This allows you to keep the jewels aligned while covering linear areas such as around a hem or down the side of a pair of jeans.
When working with fabric glue it’s important to use enough to hold the patch or other design but not so much that it oozes out from underneath the notions. The glue will be noticeable – but barely – if it oozes from behind the notion. Even wiping it off immediately will not help although you can sometimes hurry and launder the garment. If you do that, though, any notions you’ve attached within the last few hours will come undone in the wash. Learn to repair rather than replace your clothing and you can keep your old favorites – and your money – rather than throw it away.