On The Mend

The UVE Guide to Garment Care

A brilliant way to reduce your garment consumption is to mend, alter or customize clothing you already own (or picked up second-hand). This page is dedicated to the most basic sewing techniques which you can master in no time!

How To:

Remove a Stain

Sew on a Button

Mend a Small Hole (Sew and No-Sew techniques)

UVE Basic Sewing Supplies

  • Needles (a small assortment of lengths will do)
  • Straight pins
  • Pin cushion (fabric or magnetic)
  • Sharp scissors
  • Thread (matching the color of the garment you are working on)
  • Fusible bonding web or lightweight interfacing
  • Hot iron and board

UVE General Sewing Tips

  1. Always sew, alter or mend in good lighting.
  2. Be conscious of which side of the fabric you are using (mending should generally be done on the wrong side of the fabric).
  3. Ensure you are only working on the section of the garment you intended. Other pieces of the garment may sometime get in the way.
  4. If you are a beginner, practice these skills on an old tee shirt or other piece of fabric. It’s best not to start with a piece you love in case things get out of hand!
  5. Take a class. Many chain craft stores, your city or small businesses offer beginner sewing classes.
  6. Dedicate a box or bag for items you plan to mend, alter or customize. When you see your work piling up, it can be a good incentive to sit down and start tackling some projects.
  7. Keep your needles separate from your straight pins. A great trick to easily tell them apart on your pin cushion is to always keep needles threaded (a few inches will do). It’s basically a leash/key chain for your needles.
  8. There is a 99.9% chance you will prick your finger during your first few attempts. Do not be discouraged! You will gain dexterity as this simple task becomes a habit.

How To: Remove a Stain

UVE Tips:

  • Stains are an unfortunate byproduct of existing… but they do not mean sure death for a beloved garment! Knowing how to treat different stains is key to saving those clothes.
  • Do NOT apply heat or throw a garment in the dryer until the stain is totally removed. Heat will set the stain, and you will be unable to remove it further.

How To Remove Stains in One Easy Chart – Real Simple


How To: Sew on a Button

UVE Tips:

  • Updating or adding buttons to a garment is a simple, cheap and effective way to customize your wardrobe.
  • If you are really struggling and are looking for a glam-cowgirl aesthetic, a Bedazzler requires the same skill as using a stapler! No judgement here.


How To: Mend a Small Hole

UVE Notes:

  • This video shows two different ways to mend a very small hole. The first is “no sew”  and the second requires a needle and thread.