Friday, September 7, 2012

Fix holes in gauze or lightweight fabric

How to fix holes in gauze or other lightweight fabricA friend of mine asked me if I could fix a couple of her skirts. The first one had a ripped lining. Simple to take in a 1/2 inch and sew it right up. The other? I had my work cut out for me.

The gauze-like material had ripped away from the trim, creating holes all over the skirt. Yowza!


I'll admit, it hurt my brain a little, but I discovered a method to fixing holes in lightweight fabric like this woven gauze-type material, that actually seemed to work.



Materials:
Lightweight Cut-away permanent stabilizer
Lightweight Stitch Witchery hem tape
Scissors
Iron
Damp cloth
Parchment paper

Fix rips in lightweight material using hem tape and stabilizer

In case you aren't familiar with stitch witchery, it is a fabric adhesive. The web-like material adheres fabrics together by using the heat of an iron and the steam created from the protective damp cloth. It is also called hem tape because it is a quick way to hem pants. Turn them under and heat seal the seam. Sticky magic.

Permanent Stabilizer is lightweight, textured, non-woven nylon. It provides stability to stitching on lightweight knits and woven fabrics so they won't stretch out or sag. You may have seen stabilizer on the inside of a shirt that has embroidery on it. It's soft and flexible.

Alrighty then...To cover each hole, I cut a piece of stitch witchery to cover the length of the trim, including the ripped section, and a piece of stabilizer bigger than the hem tape.

Fix rips in lightweight fabric with stitch witchery and cut-away stabilizer


I put a big piece of parchment paper under the hole so the stitch witchery wouldn't adhere to the ironing board, and re-used it as I fixed each hole.

It was a little tricky, but with my fingers I carefully maneuvered the remaining gauze strands to cover the hole, trying my best to match the existing weave pattern.

Next, I carefully placed the hem tape across the hole and along the trim line, and the piece of stabilizer went on top of that. I used stabilizer in hopes to secure the gauze to something that would help it maintain its place against the trim.

With a damp cloth placed carefully on top of the hem tape and stabilizer, I pressed down the hot iron on the damp cloth for like 11-12 seconds.

fix tears in sheer fabric by layering hem tape and stabilizer

It took some time, but the results were surprisingly good. Hem tape is so sheer and stabilizer is so light-weight that you can't even see it through the fabric. With the gauze fabric against the inner cotton lining, the "fixes" seemed to disappear. 

fabric coming away from the trim can be fixed with stitch witchery

Needless to say, my friend was thrilled with the results. I'm hoping her skirt continues to hold up for her and they have many more happy years together! xo



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32 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I was surprised at how well it worked. I was so glad since I told her I'd fix it and then saw what I was up against!!

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  2. Beautiful repair!! I will know what to do when that comes up - thanks for the tutorial.

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    1. Thanks Vicki! :) Hope it will come in handy. I appreciate you stopping by!

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  3. Wow, thanks! Great tutorial...

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    1. Thanks so much Kim! I really appreciate it! :)

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I appreciate you stopping by!

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  5. Thank the Lord, we are never too old to learn new things! thank you so much for enlightening me!!

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    1. Thanks so much Sande! I couldn't agree with you more because I've got a whole lot more to learn! :)

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  6. Nice repair. Thank you for the tutorial. Adding this to my favorites.

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    1. Thank you Maxine! I really appreciate you taking the time to let me know! :)

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  7. This is just marvelous and how ingenious! Wonderful tutorial and a blessing to keep for later when I need it.

    Thanks a million,
    Peg

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  8. I have a tiny rip in a sheer shirt and I'm most certain that stitching it up will make it much more visible. I definitely want to try this but are there any specific tips you have for that material?

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    1. What type of sheer fabric is it? If it isn't cotton, you have to be really careful that the hot iron doesn't melt it. I haven't tried this method on anything other than cotton. Let me know if you have any specific questions. I'm happy to try to help!

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  9. I have a small kind of "run" rip in a very expensive cotton dress. It starts at the seam and runs down approx. 1/2 inch.

    1. Is "stitch witchery" another name for hem tape?
    2. does stabilizer work on 100% cotton?

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    Replies
    1. Stitch witchery is like a glue for fabrics, so it is not the same as hem tape. Stabilizer should work on 100% cotton. Be sure to read the instructions on the package you buy. Good luck!!

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  10. I'm going to try this on a synthetic (100%) polyester tunic...very sheer (with a pattern), that has a 1 inch x 1 inch tear. I guess I have nothing to lose at this point. Will let you know how it turned out. Finger crossed. It is one of my favorite summer pieces.

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    1. I hope it worked for you and didn't melt. It's tricky to use an iron on polyester because the stitch witchery needs to be good and hot. Did you have success??

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  11. will this work on a 2 inch tear on a sheer fabric on a gown? It was a gown borrowed from a neighbor, and it'll be embarrassing to give it back all teared up :)

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    1. Hi Aileen,
      I think it could work to a degree, but may still be noticeable. Sheer fabric can be tricky. Let me know if you tried it and how it worked!

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  12. This is exactly what I needed! I have a skirt made of similar material that has developed holes at many of its seams after just a couple of wears. It was inexpensive, but it's so pretty that I didn't want to give up on it just yet. Thanks so much for sharing! I'm going to fix the holes and proactively reinforce the seams with some of that stabilizer.

    By the way, have you had any updates on how well your friend's skirt has held up?

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    1. Hi! Sorry to say my friend moved and I haven't been in touch with her for a while. If I am, I'll try to remember to ask her for an update on her skirt. :) Hope you were able to save your skirt!!

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  13. You make me have goose bump when see your tutorial. You've just saved 3 expensive pieces that I nearly cried out when they're ripped. Can't say thank you enough, definitely I will try xx

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    1. I hope so much this procedure helped fix your rips! It's even more awful when it's expensive clothing! Fingers crossed for you!! :)

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  14. This wonderful post just saved the bottom of my wedding dress! It had a 2 inch vertical tear. Looks perfect now!! Thank you<3

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    1. Yay! I'm so glad this tip worked for you Samantha, and on something as important as a wedding dress! Makes me happy! :)

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  15. Thoughts on this working on a colored skirt? I have the same problem with a skirt, but it's a coral color. Do the stabilizer and stitch witchery become clear?

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    1. Hi Karen,
      The stitch witchery melts into the weave of the fabric and becomes clear, but the stabilizer doesn't. I tried this same process on a sheer aqua linen top and the stabilizer seemed pretty much invisible from the outside of the top. The stabilizer's very sheer and although it doesn't melt away, you may not be able to tell. Best of luck to you!! If you try it, I'd love to hear how it works on your coral skirt!

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  16. I have a big hole in my knit dress made of 100% modal rayon. It is a wine color and I am going to attempt to mend the hole. Do you think your method will possibly work or would you happen to have any other suggestions. Thanks for this video!

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  17. what would you have done if the hole you had to repair in your friends skirt was down further, not near a hem line?

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I'd love to hear what you have to say! Thanks so much for your comments! ♥

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