7 Simple Clothing Fixes Anyone Can Do

by Shaunna Privratsky
DIY Landscaping for Less photo

Repair, don’t replace! The next time something goes wrong with your clothing, take a few minutes to fix it instead of tossing it. Your wallet will thank you!

Oh, no! A button just popped off of your favorite shirt. Do you pick up the button, put it aside to fix it, and then find it three years later? Or maybe you put it on the pile of stuff for the dry cleaners, knowing it will cost a few extra dollars. Or do you throw up your hands and toss the shirt, deciding it is easier to buy a new one?

In our time-crunched day, buying a new item is sometimes easier than trying to fix it, but it will always cost more money. With just a little know-how, you can accomplish these seven simple clothing fixes that will cost you little to no money, even if you don’t sew!

1. Replacing a button.

If you have the button, this is really easy to fix.

Thread a needle with a matching thread color and tie a double knot at the end. Then position the button in the correct spot and come from underneath so the knot won’t show. Simply crisscross the threads in the holes about six times and then tie a knot to secure it.

Find a fun, two-minute video here:

2. What if you can’t find the button?

Many items of clothing come with extra buttons attached to the tag. Keep these buttons, and you can find the exact match when you lose one. Also, some shirts have extra buttons sewn into the hem or collar. You can also take an extra button from the cuff or a side button that won’t show.

What if you lose the button on your favorite pair of pants? An easy replacement could be at your local thrift store. Look for the same brand and then go for the cheapest pair.

3. You notice the hem is loose on your skirt or pant leg.

You have no sewing skills whatsoever and no time. No problem! Buy some inexpensive hem tape.

You just place it between the garment and hem and iron it in place. It won’t show, and it will stay in place even through multiple washings.

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4. Oh no! You snag your clothes on a nail and there is a tiny hole!

This is a more difficult sewing job, but you can fix it!

Look for iron-on patches or an applique to cover the hole that would look decorative. You can add more on the other side to make it look like an intentional design.

5. What if you find a stain that regular washing doesn’t remove?

You can try a homemade paste of baking soda and Shout® or your regular detergent. Let it sit for a while, then gently rub it with an old toothbrush. You can add a touch of bleach if it is white.

6. What if you lose a lot of weight and your clothes don’t fit anymore, but you don’t want to replace your whole wardrobe?

First of all, congratulations!

You can take any skirt or pants down a size or two. This works best with elastic waists. Turn the garment inside out. Now sew a straight seam a few inches in from the existing seam, following the shape. You can cut off the excess fabric or leave it. Turn right-side out, and your clothing will fit much better!

7. If you feel you can’t fix your garment but can’t bear to part with it, call your dry cleaner.

They often offer sewing and alterations for a set price. It will still be cheaper than buying a whole new outfit, especially those one-of-a-kind pieces.

The next time something goes wrong with your clothing, take a few minutes to fix it instead of tossing it. Your budget will thank you!

Reviewed October 2023

About the Author

Shaunna Privratsky became an expert in personal finance out of necessity. Between writing, reading and gardening, she is always on the lookout for bargains. Visit her at The Discount Diva.

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