How to save favorite stained, ripped or torn garments

I am famous for wearing what I eat, right on the middle of my shirt. I have clothes I have purchased that never quite fit right or felt good. I have other clothes that somehow shrink in the closet. I am all about getting rid of those items. I go through my closet twice a year and fill bags with donations.

But there are a few other cherished pieces of clothing that I just can’t stand to part with. I have a few tips for how to save favorite stained, ripped or torn garments that may help you. Please share your ideas with me.



Sometimes you can add a jacket or a sweater in order to continue wearing a beloved top. If you look at this picture from 25 years ago you will notice a pin on my sweater. It was purchased and positioned for a reason.

I loved this whole outfit and my daughter loved me. One day I came to pick her up and she ran up to me with greasy stained lips and kissed my sweater! And it left a donut shaped stain.

I went to the store and tried various pins until I found one that completely covered the stain. It allowed me to keep this as one of my favorite outfits. I was even able to wear it to celebrate my youngest daughter’s citizenship day!

I continued to wear it until it got smaller. I mean, it must have because a couple of years later, it didn’t fit anymore. A mystery to this day and one for which I do not have a tip!

Simple repairs


Zara was wearing a beloved dress and was dismayed to discover a hole in the pocket. I felt the hole and told her I would fix it. In a pocket there are tons of ways to make it right.

I turned it inside out and found that the manufacturer had not completed the seam. Easy peasy! I sewed it and Z’s treasures are safe in her pocket once more.

If a rip is in a seam, it is a snap to fix. You can take it to the dry cleaners, sew it by machine or sew it by hand. Never despair over a split seam unless it’s because it shrunk. (See above paragraph.)

Holes and tears – oh my

A while back I wrote a post about buying a nightgown that I simply adored. 2017-04-05-013I loved sleeping in it so I did all the time. I washed it every week.

I was sick when I pulled it on one night and felt my fingers go through the fabric. 2017-04-05-014Apparently constant washing and wearing wears out fabric. What?

I am not the kind of person who hangs onto worn out clothing. But this nightgown was different, it was special!

I found a tiny piece of cool blue fabric. I ironed all four sides in and applied a2017-04-05-016 temporary fabric adhesive. I placed it over the blasted hole.

I blanket stitched all around the patch embellishment. On the 2017-04-05-018reverse side I zig zagged the actual rip. I flipped it over and ta da!

A nifty addition to my favorite nightgown. But I had to get serious, this nightgown was just moments away from another rip or tear. The fabric was so thin. I was not happy and this brings me to my final tip.

Hedge your bet

If you really love something and realize it in time, buy more of that item.2017-04-05-019 When I was in the throes of post eye surgery my husband went online and found my favorite nightgown. He ordered me two more!

The original nightgown looks a bit bedraggled on the left. It is well loved as will be the newer additions. I will have these nightgowns for years!

Wait, only years? Is it too late to buy a dozen?

Sew happy!

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I have written about repairs before. Click here.

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