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Fabric patches are really useful to keep in your sewing kit. If you don’t already have a sewing kit or a style SOS kit (see below) then I highly recommend that you curate one pronto! You never know when a button might pop off your shirt, when your shoes might need a quick polish, or when the sizing of a garment requires alterations. I picked up a couple of packs of fabric patches a couple of months ago, while still completing my “Year-Long-No-Shopping-Project”. Since experimenting with them, I have found that they are really useful for a variety of simple sewing projects. The difference with adhesive fabric patches is that you don’t have to be a budding seamstress or know your “backstitches” from your “chain stitches”. Provided that you own a pair of scissors and either a clothes iron or hair straightening iron, you can undertake a few different clothing alterations in just minutes!
Garment SOS Kit
Save yourself from wardrobe malfunctions with these quick style fixing tools.
- Mini sewing kit (although many hotels do provide these)
- Fabric patches
- Fabric pens - disguise stains, bleach marks and other discolouration
- Fabric adhesive tape (the no-sew solution for wardrobe emergencies)
- Wet wipes (for freshening up garments on the go, for polishing shoes, and cleaning bags/luggage. Of course, they can also be used as a hand wipe and for removing make-up)
- Foldable shoes (small, lightweight flats that you can easily slip into at any time)
- Garment guards (protect your modesty and your garments from sweat patches on your clothes when in hot climates) – STYLE SECRET: these are a favourite among the attendees of red carpet events!
- A waterproof cape to protect you from the rain is also a very small and convenient essential!
4 Ways to Repair Clothes with Fabric Patches
Here are 4 ways to repair clothes with fabric patches – (methods I’ve came up with so far!)
- Fix holes, i.e. in denim etc.
Place the fabric patch over the hole and cover up holes in the fabric.
- Cover stains
Have an ugly stain on your clothing that can’t be disguised using fabric pens? Use fabric patches instead. Scroll down to see my tutorial.
- Revive ripped/distressed jeans and start again
Distressed jeans are great until you put your foot through one of the rips, which then turns into a hole. If you’re not a fan of the overly distressed look, where your jeans contain huge holes rather than subtle tears, patching them up and starting over might appeal to you.
- Adjust the size of the garment - taking something in or out. Cutting open a garment and inserting a fabric swatch is a quick and easy method of taking out an items of clothing that is too small. On the other hand, pinching fabric together to take a garment in, securing the two sides with an ironed-on fabric patch will make your clothing item smaller instantly.
How to Repair Clothes with Fabric Patches & Remove Stains
A couple of years ago I bought these lovely pair of chinos. Shortly afterwards, I sat down on a newly varnished bench, not knowing that the bench wasn’t completely dry. The damage could have been worse, but I was still very annoyed to find that some of the wet varnish had transferred on to the back of my trousers. I tried every suggested stain removal hack but nothing seemed to work, so I left it and still continued to wear them. Last week when I wore them for the first time this year, I decided to attempt to remove the stains again. I had a brilliant (read: stupid) idea to apply bleach to the affected areas using a cotton bud for more accurate precision. Instead of removing the orangey-brown varnish marks, the bleach instead left pink bleach batches all over the beige chino trousers. Hastily, I slapped on a load of coconut oil (yeah, what was I thinking?!) to see if that would remove the bleach marks because you know, coconut oil is such a great cure for most things. But sadly, no. Not only did the coconut oil not remove the bleach, it left unsightly oil stains all over the trousers! Knowing how terrible grease stains are to remove, I cannot believe I purposefully created them! Anyway, the grease stains were easier to remove, thanks to a little dish washing liquid. So instead, I decided to cover up the varnish and bleach marks with fabric patches.