How To Sew a Hole In a Shirt

It’s never fun when you pull your favorite shirt out and find a hole in it. There’s good news, though! There’s no need to throw the shirt away when you can mend it yourself. All you need is a sewing needle, thread, and maybe a patch. The best part is that by using a similarly colored thread or patch, the hole will truly become invisible!

There’s no need for distress as you can patch that hole up in no time at all. Let’s go through two different ways to get your shirt looking pristine again.

How to Sew a Hole in a Shirt?

Try to get thread similar to the color of the shirt’s fabric. You can use a thread and needle or a sewing machine to join the edges of the hole. Be sure to sew along the original seam line while overlapping the intact parts. To conclude, make sure to make a tight knot at thread’s end and snip away excess thread.

Choosing the Needle and Thread

The first step is to make sure you have the right materials to work with for fixing a hole. You’ll need a thread that matches the fabric’s color near the spot and a suitable needle.

Get a Needle and Thread: It’s best to use thread with a color as close to the clothing as possible. It makes sure that the stitch isn’t visible. If the stitch doesn’t show up from the exterior, you can try using a different thread color. In some cases, a differently colored thread can add some stunning character to the clothing!

Choose a Suitable Needle: Heavier and thicker fabric, like denim or leather, are best sewn with larger needles that won’t bend or require too much force to sew. Lighter fabrics can be sewn with any needle, though smaller needles help make the stitches more discreet.

The two methods below are probably the most efficient ways to mend annoying little holes in your shirt or other garments. You can use these techniques to sew holes anywhere – be it over elbows, armpits, or knees.

Method 1. Hand Sew a Hole in a Shirt

A split seam is a cinch to put together, more so than a hole in the actual fabric. Such seam results when the thread holding two edges of the clothing together comes loose. It creates a hole, but you can often stitch along where the seam used to be.

Step 1: Locate the Hole – Give your shirt a quick scan to find all holes that need to be fixed. You can mark the holes out with washable pigments like a marker or chalk. They wash out quickly, and you can keep track of the holes quite effectively.

Step 2: Gather Your Materials – To buy an appropriate thread color from the shop, bring your shirt with you to match the color accurately.

Step 3: Get Your Needle Prepped –  For holes under a quarter-inch, cut a thread section about as long as your arm. You’ll need to thread the needle, which can be challenging if it’s your first time. You can do it, though! After that, double the thread and tie the ends in a small knot.

Step 4: Start Sewing – It’s best to stitch from the inside of the garment to make the thread as unobtrusive as possible. Pinch the hole’s edges together and sew long stitches across it. Don’t sew around the hole as it is more noticeable that way.

Step 5: Trim the Remaining Thread – Don’t finish off the stitch until you stretch out the fabric. It makes sure that the thread’s length is perfect for the hole; otherwise, it’ll pucker. To finish off, thread the needle under the old stitches and snip the rest of the thread off. Repeat these steps for any other holes!

 If your hole is larger than a quarter-inch in diameter, you’ll need to fix it with a patch. It can be a plain or decorative patch, depending on your taste. Patches prevent larger holes from puckering. Iron the patch in place and sew along the edges.

Similarly, the colored thread is essential to get the best look. If the shirt has many colors and holes, then use different threads to sew each hole appropriately.

Method 2. Sew a Hole in a Shirt With a Sewing Machine

Patches are versatile. They come in various sizes and can be used to cover defects besides holes, such as stains. For large areas, you can align a series of smaller patches. To patch your shirt, do the following:

Step 1: Find a Matching Fabric to Use as a Patch

If you can’t get a particular fabric to patch with, you can take the cloth from the same garment. Sew a pocket shut and cut out the fabric beneath it. Otherwise, you can use one that matches as close as possible.

Step 2: Shape the Patch

You’ll require the patch to be a half to a three-quarter inch bigger than the hole in all directions. Look carefully at the fabric around the hole. The patch may need to be a little bigger to cover any issues around the edges.

Note: Some patches can be applied with nothing more than an iron. After some time, however, the adhesive on these can begin to come loose. In cases like this, stitch around the edges to sew the patch in place.

Step 3: Attach the Patch

Place the patch over the hole, preferably at the center. Also, make sure the right side is outward, and tack it in place.

Step 4: Set Your Sewing Machine

You’ll need your sewing machine set to the appropriate settings. For that, select the stitches to a three-step zigzag setting, length at 0.5 to 0.8 mm, and width at 5 mm. You can change these measurements depending on the hole’s size.

Step 5: Get the Shirt and Patch in Place

Have the patch sit beneath the presser foot such that its edge is bare to the needle’s right.

Step 6: Start Stitching

As the needle dodges to the right, it should stitch through the fabric outside the patch’s edge. Remember to remove any pins you may have used to lock the patches in place.

Step 7: Sewing Technique

Depending on the shape of the patch, the approach to sewing will be different. A circular patch should be stitched all around its circumference. A straight-edged patch, like a square, should be sewn along the edges, then pivoted at the corners. Once at the corners, the needle should end at the right side of the stitch. It ensures that the needle stitches over the corner a second time after pivoting, which holds it in better.

Once at the corner, raise the presser foot, rotate the garment 90 degrees, and then drop it. Sew to the corner again as with the first edge, and stop with the needle to the right.

Repeat these steps to complete sewing the patch in place. Tie off the threads after pulling them to the back.

How to Fix a Hole Without Sewing?

To sew without using a needle and thread, you’ll need a fusing web. Push the hole together to join the edges and make the hole invisible. Place the fusing web over it. Now, set the iron to wool setting and place it over the fusing web for 10 seconds. That’s all! As you see, there is no need for a sewing kit!

How Do You Sew Invisibly Holes?

If you want to use a thread to sew invisibly, a hidden stitch is what you’ll need. It is also known as a ladder, slip, or invisible stitch. To do this, you need two edges of fabric neatly met, each folded inwards. You get an expertly finished seam that will not just look professional but also be invisible.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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