Man Skills

sewing tips for gentlemen

Chances are some of your closest male friends are not wearing anything mended by a skilled tailor. There is a better chance that these guys have not even mended their own clothes. Would any of your friends know how to fix a threadbare knee or maybe even a loose button on his shirt? Most men today will not take a slightly imperfect article of clothing into the tailor or fix it themselves.

That is not what a resourceful gentleman is. A resourceful gentleman should learn his way around a needle and thread. That way, these minor problems can be fixed before they require a professional tailor’s help. Maybe we relegate clothing alterations to a woman’s work or just a job better left to a professional. If this is your approach to minor problems, it is time to relearn that kind of mentality, and we’re here to help you with that.

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Since most wardrobe malfunctions begin with a missing button, let’s look into that.

STEP 1:
Gather your tools. We’re talking about fabric, button, small scissors, matching colored thread, hand sewing needle, and a marking tool. And the item you are mending the button of, of course.

STEP 2:
Thread the needle by looping the thread through the eye of the needle, then cut at the end so that there are two lengths of thread. Knot the ends of the two threads together.

STEP 3:
Start with a double-threaded needle. Bring the needle up through the wrong side of the fabric and one hole of the button.

STEP 4:
Bring the needle back down through an opposite hole. Repeat six times with the same two holes. Move on to the next pair, forming an equal sign. (If the holes on the other buttons of the garment are paired in an X pattern, match that instead.

STEP 5:
Tie a secure knot by passing the needle straight through the stitches on the wrong side of the fabric. Pull the thread through but stop short to form a loop. Insert the needle through the loop and pull tight. Repeat.
These directions can be used on shirt buttons, suit buttons, or trouser buttons. Hopefully you can put it to good use!

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RUNNING STITCHES:
While Running Stitches may seem simple, they can still be incredibly effective for repairing clothing. This stitch can be used to:
• Sew patches onto clothing (like when the knees go out in your pants)
• Repair a hem at the end of a pant leg or the arm of a jacket
• Re-attach a strap or other piece of fabric back to the main piece
All you need is a needle and some thread. Once you have your needle double threaded, be sure to knot the end and you’re ready to sew. When you’re done, a running stitch will have the same appearance on both sides of the joined fabrics.

THE BACK STITCH:
The Back Stitch is a very strong and flexible stitch for repairing areas of high wear and tear. A back stitch is ideal for:
• Re-attaching zippers where the seam has come undone
• Repairing tears or places where the fabric is starting to unravel
Generally, anywhere a Running Stitch would do the job, a Back Stitch can be used. It’s stronger and will probably last longer, but it takes longer to sew (especially if you’re new to sewing). With a back stitch, one side will look like a simple running stitch, but the other will have a line of overlapping stitches.

THE WHIP STITCH:
The Whip Stitch is a little more complicated but may be even more useful than the simple running stitch. It can be used to fix things like:
• Busted seams on pants, shirts, and jackets
• Pockets that have split open
• Hems that have split open at the bottom (not at the actual hem stitch)

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THE SLIP STITCH:
This can close up seams and holes just like a Whip Stitch, but the stitch itself won’t be visible. Unfortunately, it’s also the toughest stitch to master on this list.
This type of stitch is useful for repairing holes in more visible areas where the thread of a whip stitch would be too apparent. Keep in mind, however, that it’s also not going to be as strong as a Whip Stitch, so it should only be used to repair small holes and tears.

BEST PRACTICES FOR LASTING RESULTS
• Always carefully launder or dry clean a garment before mending-handling. A soiled garment can permanently work the soil into the fibers.
• Use a thread or yarn that matches the textile’s character and color. This ensures an invisible and balanced mend.
• Choose a patching fabric that is equal to or lighter in weight than the garment being repaired. The repair fabric should not fight or overwhelm the original fabric or it can cause more damage later.
• Ensure accuracy by basting the reinforcing fabric to the garment before beginning with the repair.

 

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