A Torn Doll’s Dress? Show Your Child How to Mend Ripped Seams

It won't be the first, or last, time when your child comes running into the kitchen to show you the ripped seam on her favorite jeans, shirt, play dress or doll's clothing. Dry those eyes and dig out the sewing machine. Yet before you sew up the seam in a flash, now is a great time to show your child how to mend a popped seam so she can do the quick fix herself.

By using this easy tutorial, you can have your child fixing her own clothing. The length of time it takes to fix the seam will depend on how long and wide it is. You will need to be patient showing her, and expect to use your seam ripper in case she makes a mistake and misses a stitch. Yet with a few practice sessions, your child will be able to fix any ripped seam in the house.

1. Parent Preparation

There will be a few things that you have to do for your child to prepare the seam so it can be fixed. First off, you should iron the garment so it is flat. Turn the garment inside out and press it with the iron at the right temperature setting for the type of fabric the garment is. Then you can pin the seam together to get it ready for her to fix with the sewing machine. Snip away any loose threads that can get in the way and block your child's sight of the seam that she will mend.

2. Use a Straight Stitch

Once you have your child at the sewing machine, show her how to put the garment underneath the machine so the needle is positioned before the rip. She wants to start her sew line on the part of the existing seam that is still in place. Select the straight stitch and go up to the point where the seam has come apart.

3: Back-stitch to Secure the Fabric

Now have your child perform a backstitch. she will probably ask you when she will fix the ripped seam itself. Tell her that you want to make sure that the seam that hasn't come undone is nice and strong so it won't unravel. Once the backstitch is completed, have her go forward and stitch along the separated pieces of fabric as she mends them together.

Once she reaches the end of the unraveled seam, have her go forward onto the existing seam. Again, have her backstitch to secure the seam and the thread in place.

4. Stitching the Seam Allowance

By this time, she is probably having some fun running the sewing machine and will want to fix all the adult garments that have seams, even the ones that aren't ripped. Before you are done with the current mending, have her go over the seam allowance with the thread and sewing machine. By stitching the seam allowance, you can prevent any fraying to the fabric.

Now you should have your child switch over to a zigzag stitch and place the stitches down the seam allowance until it is secure. If you see that the fabric is already frayed along the seam allowance, show your child how to place in stitches that are further into the garment where there is no fraying. Remind her to take it slow and steady to bring the pieces of fabric back together again as she creates clean and neat stitches.

5. Your Child is Done Mending the Seam!

Once she is done, snip the thread and remove the garment from the sewing machine. You can now remove the pins and turn the garment right side out to check the seams. Show your daughter her sewing craftsmanship as she will beam at the good job that she has done.

While sewing a seam is easy, whether you use a sewing machine or do it by hand, compliment her on the work. This encouragement will give a boost to her confidence and spur her into wanting to do even more craft projects.

About the author

Sandra McConnell

My sewing journey started when I was 7 years old, with my grandmother as my first teacher in her sewing room. I went from a career in teaching to professional seamstress and from stressed out and tired to happy and contented.

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