Hi I’m Parker Johnston, an intern with Green Venture. I love fashion and the environment – with the expectations of fast-fashion in our society these traits may seem to conflict, but for me they go hand in hand. I love thrifting, patchwork, and finding out how to make something new out of what I already have. Keeping clothes out of the landfill shouldn’t be a battle. By buying clothes you know you’ll like for a while and learning how to repair them you can combat the excess of fabric waste. Clothing modification is my way of keeping things new without having to buy new. In this post I’m going to walk you through my process for repairing and patching.
For this tutorial we’re starting out with some pretty torn up jean shorts. I don’t mind some strategically placed rips in my jeans but these can’t be worn without some serious repairs.
I’m creating patches using scrap fabric from previous projects. If you get into clothing modification I recommend keeping everything. You’ll always find a place for scrap fabric. I sew with embroidery thread as it’s thicker and leaves behind visible stitches.
Now that we’ve got supplies we can start. Pick a tear and cut a patch to fit it. This fabric is from a t-shirt and I decided to cut a piece with the hem still attached for some interesting texture. The patch doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to cover the tear (or other imperfection you’re covering).
I decided to take the stitches out of the belt loop and leather label to sew them back on over the patch. This keeps the belt loops functional and makes the patchwork more interesting.
At this point it’s just down to sewing it on! Any areas I think will be difficult to work with I pin down. I keep my stitches big and a bit messy because I think it looks cool, but you can do neat uniform stitches for a more put together look.
Then we’re done with the first patch! I added the label on with red thread for some nice contrast. Now you can repeat this process for any other patches. In my opinion the more patches there are the better!
After this project these shorts are wearable again and better than new! I think adding patches to clothes is a great way to admire the wear and tear of life and show off your style. I love to mix and match different colours and patterns. Now these shorts have gone from something destined for the landfill to a statement piece in my wardrobe. By modifying clothing I keep from adding to the abundance of fabric waste and I get something new without having to go shopping.