FIVE COMMON STYLE REPAIRS AND HOW TO FIX THEM
Let’s face it, we have probably all ditched a former wardrobe favorite in favor of something new. Perhaps it didn’t fit anymore, or had been victimized by a cruel, seemingly immovable stain. But, in the spirit of finding more eco-friendly ways to enjoy fashion, the idea of expanding the lifespan of our clothes is more appealing than ever.
There are so many ways of reducing fashion waste, whether you choose to resell your pre-loved pieces or simply by being more considered about the items that you invest in. There is another option – to repair any tired-looking treasures and restore them to their former glory. By showing your closet some TLC, you’ll get more wear out of the pieces you love, while also feeling virtuous in the process.
To mark the launch of THE OUTNET’s collaboration with the repair and alterations service The Seam, which connects users to trusted local experts, we’ve come up with five common wardrobe repair scenarios and asked its ‘Makers’ to talk us through how they’d go about reviving them. From moth-ravaged knitwear to dresses that feel a little too tight, The Seam’s team has you covered.
MOTHS HAVE BEEN FEASTING ON MY FAVORITE JUMPER. CAN IT BE SAVED?
“Although moth holes are always disappointing to come across, they can be invisibly mended so that you’d never know the damage was done. We can either remove some yarn from an inside pocket or seam of the jumper or try and find as close a match as possible in a different yarn. Loose fibres and cut yarns are removed from the site of the hole, and the loops of the knit structure are held in place with pins or a contrast thread. The new yarn is secured on the reverse of the garment, and the rows of knitting are recreated with what is sometimes called duplicate stitch, until the hole in the garment is eliminated.”
Alex B, repair specialist and textile designer
MY HANDBAG LOOKS TIRED AND IS COVERED IN STAINS. CAN YOU HELP?
“The type of treatment and solution for the bag will depend on the permanence and type of stains. A regular, deep cleaning with solutions that are designed for leather surfaces should be a regular practice for handbag maintenance. Some marks and stains will disappear altogether from an initial cleaning. Other, more permanent marks can be tackled by matching a pigment to the surface of the bag and applying paint to cover the stains. First, we finely sand the finish from the surface and then apply a few layers of pigment until the bag is looking new again.”
Shaf I, leather restoration specialist
IS THERE A WAY OF REVITALIZING THEM?
“We restore trainers through both deep cleaning and further restoration where cleaning alone can’t do the job. First, laces and insoles are removed from the shoes and soaked in a stain solution. The under-sole of each shoe is cleaned with a hard brush to remove dirt and then more finely cleaned with a microfibre cloth. The upper of the sneaker, where most signs of wear typically emerge, is brushed and shampooed up to two times depending on the extent of the dirt. In particularly stubborn cases, leather uppers and rubber midsoles can be touched up with pigment to cover any remaining stains. We emphasize the use of sustainable cleaning products and tailor the choice of soaps to the color of the sneaker.”
Caera N, sneaker cleaner
HOW CAN I REMOVE AN INK STAIN FROM A SHIRT?
“If you’ve already exhausted DIY stain removal techniques as well as specialist cleaners in efforts to remove a stain, taking a creative approach can offer an even better solution. Embroidering over stains and marks combines repair with personalizing your shirt to make it even more yours. If you’re after a subtle fix, matching the colour of the embroidery thread to the shirt’s fabric creates a simple feature without impacting the garment’s overall aesthetic. On the other hand, vibrant, complicated designs can refresh a well-worn item, giving it a completely new look, from botanical designs to graphic lettering.”
Rosie B, embroidery artist
MY FAVORITE DRESS FEELS A LITTLE TIGHT, BUT I DON’T WANT TO LET IT GO. IS IT POSSIBLE TO MAKE IT WEARABLE AGAIN?
“Making garments a little larger is unfortunately more complicated than making them smaller. That said, there is always a creative solution to be put forward to ensure that shifting sizes doesn’t make garments obsolete. If the dress is only fitted at a few points throughout the style, the waistband or bust area can sometimes be made a little larger simply by letting out the seams. In other cases, solutions include adding contrast panelling to side seams, creating an adjustable corset laced backing (as pictured) or removing a little material from the hem length to add in elsewhere and create more room.”
Sarah H, designer and bridal specialist