When mending a hole in clothing, the right stitching technique goes a long way.
Using the wrong stitch can stiffen stretchy fabric or create a lumpy seam, which is why Instagrammer Patty-Joy White (@soxtherapist) recommends a “parachute stitch.”
White’s viral Instagram Reel shows why a parachute stitch is the ideal choice when you have a narrow tear in an otherwise sturdy piece of fabric.
This technique joins the two fabric edges side by side without any overlap.
In White’s video, she uses a straight sewing needle and thread that is color-matched to the cloth. Instead of creating a chunky hem with a whip stitch, she alternates between the right and left sides of the tear, poking the needle through the hole between every stitch so that each one comes up from the back side of the fabric.
“Pull just until the edges meet,” White instructs. “What you end up with is a flat, practically invisible seam that even has stretch.” She proves that claim by stretching her current sewing project a few times.
How it’s helping
For anyone who wants to spend less on their wardrobe, easy, effective clothing repair techniques like the parachute stitch are a must.
It’s much more affordable to fix an existing piece of clothing than to buy a new one — and when you factor in the time it takes to shop for new clothes, it can even be faster to spend a few minutes on mending. Plus, repairing clothes allows owners to keep using their favorites longer instead of throwing them out.
It’s also good for the planet because it keeps more clothing out of landfills. And if you’re going to mend your own clothing, then knowing the right stitch for each situation means you’ll get longer-lasting, better-looking results.
What everyone’s saying
Commenters were eager for tips that they could use to mend their own items.
“Can you do this on a tablecloth? Do do you need a lock stitch?” asks one user.
“How do you close the seam? Could u make a video,” another adds.
Others shared stories about learning this technique themselves.
“This is how my mom taught me to sew up the holes at the seams in my teddy bear as a kid,” writes another commenter.
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