10 Ways to Mend and Repair Clothes Using Embroidery

heart with embroidered in jeans pocket
oat11 / Getty Images

A hole in your favorite sweater, jeans or tablecloth doesn't have to be a tragedy. Instead, turn that tear into something beautiful by mending it with embroidery. 

Covering up a hole or stain with an embroidered patch is one way to fix the damage, but you'll find that you can also use the embroidery itself to repair. And just as no two holes are the same, the solutions will differ as well. Look through this list of ideas and techniques to find your next visible mending method!

  • 01 of 10

    Use Traditional Darning to Repair With Embroidered Blocks

    Repairing textiles with stitching
    Sew Mama Sew

    Mending holes in a beautiful way isn't a new idea. In fact, it goes back for centuries! Learn about the history and techniques of pattern darning from Allison Dey Malacaria at Sew Mama Sew. Then try your hand at weaving patterns into your next repair project.

    How to Repair With Stitching from Sew Mama Sew

  • 02 of 10

    Freestyle Stitch Around Holes

    Transforming Holes Into Embroidered Decorations
    Pantsville Press

    While some visible mending covers up tears, Hunter Hammersen at Pantsville Press turned the holes in a favorite sweater into embroidery that shows off and accentuates those holes. She improvised, experimenting as she went, and shares a collection of posts showing the different areas of stitching so you get plenty of ideas from her experience. 

    Decorations, Not Holes  from Pantsville Press

  • 03 of 10

    Make Embroidered Wool Moths to Fix Moth Holes

    Mending moth holes with embroidered moths
    Nini Makes

    Moth holes in a beautiful wool sweater are so sad, but with this tutorial from Nini Makes, your favorite sweater will be smiling once more. Especially because patching those holes with embroidered moths will be your own inside joke. 

    Mending Moth Holes With Moths from Nini Makes

  • 04 of 10

    Add Color Patches to Cover and Fix Holes

    Colorful visible mending
    India Tresselt / Yarndance

    India Tresselt of Yarndance certainly knows how to bring color to her mending! The holes in these jeans are transformed into colorful patches made with woven embroidery stitches. Although her post doesn't walk you through the process, her photos of the different mended areas, both front, and back, will give you enough information to give this method a try.

    Visible Mending from Yarndance

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Create Bold Embroidered Flowers to Patch Areas

    Embroidery Embellished Clothing
    Jenny Blair

    Jenny Blair has a great video showing how to add embroidery to clothing using appliqué. The tutorial isn't specifically for mending, but the embroidered appliqué technique would be perfect for patching holes. And because the embroidery is worked on a separate piece of fabric, it's even a great way to use some existing embroidered bold florals you have sitting around!

    Embellish Your Clothes With Embroidery from Jenny Blair

  • 06 of 10

    Cover Stains With Beaded Embroidery

    Covering a Stain With Bead Embroidery

    Sometimes the repair your clothing needs isn't mending, but covering a permanent stain. Embroidery works for that too! Marysia at DaWanda shows how to cover a wine stain with beaded embroidery. The result looks like a beautifully sparkling spill!

    For more stain-covering inspiration, check out this floral skirt stitched by Two Butterflies.

    Cover a Stain on a Sweater With Embroidery from DaWanda

  • 07 of 10

    Stitch Jeans With Sashiko and Boro Repair

    Sashiko Denim Repair
    Honestly WTF

    The Japanese art of sashiko embroidery is commonly used for mending, often using a method called boro to patch fabric back together. Honestly, WTF teaches how to use these techniques to repair jeans. The result is a fashion piece that will make you want to wear out your clothes faster, just so you can mend them with sashiko!

    DIY Sashiko Denim Repair from Honestly WTF

  • 08 of 10

    Rescue a Favorite Sweater With Modern Spots of Satin Stitching

    Rescuing a Moth-Eaten Sweater
    Knitted Bliss

    This moth-eaten cashmere sweater takes on a whole new look when mended with tiny bits of colorful stitches. Knitted Bliss repaired the issues, then added a few extra areas of stitching so it looks more intentional and less like a patch. To use this method, start by sewing the hole together, then cover it with small blocks of satin stitch worked in different directions. 

    Rescuing a Moth-Eaten Sweater from Knitted Bliss

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Mend a Pocket With Embroidery That Strengthens and Embellishes

    Repairing and Embellishing a Torn Pocket
    Shiny Happy World

    Clothes often tend to wear more quickly in specific locations, and the area around back pockets can experience extra stress. When that happens, use this tutorial from Shiny Happy World for mending the tear, then reinforcing and decorating with hand embroidery. It's functional and so pretty!

    How to Mend a Tear Around a Pocket from Shiny Happy World

  • 10 of 10

    Patch With Colorful Fabric and Creative Stitching

    Patching Clothes With Visible Mending
    Design Mom

    In this post showing four methods for mending or patching clothes, Design Mom shows how an under patch can be extra strong, and extra cute. She starts with a strong, fusible bonding material, and then adds decorative embroidery stitches where you might normally sew with a sewing machine.  

    And the cross stitches aren't the only option for stitches here. Try adding lazy daisies, swirls or any little designs you like!

    4 Secrets to a Well-Mended Wardrobe from Design Mom