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MUJI at Home: A DIY Way to Give New Life to Damaged Clothes

Hint: It involves a little Japanese embroidery known as Sashiko

You know that pile of torn garments waiting for the tailor to reopen? Well, the household geniuses at have a more immediate way to fix them—one as satisfying to do as it is lovely to behold. It’s called Sashiko, or “visible mending,” and it’s a Japanese embroidery method used to repair holes. “Sashiko is a great DIY project that gives your clothing a second life,” says Michelle, a MUJI community associate.

This is what you need:
  • Sewing thread, embroidery or regular
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Washable pen or chalk
  • Extra fabric
  • Pins or Embroidery hoop, optional (but either will make task easier)
And this is what you do:

365体育登录1. Take the piece of extra fabric and measure out enough to cover the tear. (Pins or an embroidery hoop will help to keep the fabric in place. Note: Cutting the piece of fabric bigger than the hoop will ensure it stays taut and thus easier to embroider.)

2. Using a ruler and a washable pen or chalk, draw a grid with points that are one centimeter apart over the area you will want to cover with your embroidery.

3. Choose a Sashiko pattern (available here, here and elsewhere online) and draw the design on the fabric, using the grid you’ve created as a guide.

365体育登录4. Thread a needle with 2-4 strands of thread; tie a knot on one side. Begin to embroider, following the chosen design. The trick is to ensure stitch lengths are short and even, that there is minimal space between each, and that similar characteristics of the design are stitched in the same way. For example, if you are embroidering a flower design, make sure every petal comprises five stitches of equal length. As you stitch, check the other side of the garment to make sure the stitch isn’t bunching—that is, it should look clean on both sides.

5. When you get to the edge of the tear, hold down the fabric to properly catch the edges in your design to make sure the Sashiko is doing what is intended—patching the garment.

365体育登录6. When you’re done, remove the pins or hoop (if you used them), cut off any extra fabric from the inside of the garment and wash off the guidelines. Then sit back and admire your handiwork. Or better yet, don your better-than-new garment so others can admire it too (over Zoom of course).

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