How to Patch a Hole so it Disappears


Look what I found; two holes in my cotton skirt. Holes too big to ignore or stitch up with a little thread. And this skirt, a Boden skirt, is too dear to me to throw away or use for parts. I wasn’t sure how to patch it in a subtle manner without having any matching fabric. Luckily I came upon this easy method in a book I own, “Mend it Better” by Kristin M. Roach.

mending hole1

The patch should be from fabric of a similar weight and exact care instructions as the garment. Bonus if it matches the garment but if not choose something that will blend in. You will be surprised, at a distance, how well prints will blend into other prints so test a few scraps to see what works best. You’re going for tonal value. If you have to choose between a patch a little too light and a patch a little too dark go with the darker patch. It will recede and therefore blend in better.

mending hole2

Cut the patch a least 1/4″ larger all around the hole to be patched. Because I have two holes close together I am treating them as one large hole and using one patch. I pinked the patch since I will not be finishing the raw edge in any way but this is optional.

Cut a piece of fusible bonding web the same size as your patch. Fusible Bonding Web is the same thing as Stitch Witchery but in a sheet form and not the narrow rolls that Stitch Witchery comes in. You can use the rolls of Stitch Witchery if your patch is smaller or you don’t mind piecing a few pieces of it to cover the patch. I say if you already have some, use it.

mending hole3

Lay the bonding web over the hole on the wrong side of the garment and trace the outline of the hole with a pen, pencil or chalk, (or just eyeball it). You are removing the bonding web where the hole is. You want to have a 1/4″  of the bonding web left on all sides of the hole. I have close to 1/2″ of bonding web around the holes.

mending hole4

Lay the patch fabric right side up, lay the bonding web on top of the patch and check that the edges line up. Trim off any bonding web that goes over the edges of the patch or else it will stick to your iron.

mending hole5

Here is a close-up of the hole in the bonding web. This will line up over the holes in the garment so when it is attached to the garment only the patch fabric will peep through. The bonding web is strictly the glue. You do not want glue showing on the right side of your garment.

mending hole6

Place the bonding web on top of the hole in the garment so the cut out in the web aligns with the garment’s hole and does not overlap it.

Flip the patch over, wrong side now facing you, to lay on top of the bonding web. Line up the edges of the patch with the edges of the bonding web. Follow the fusible bonding web or Stitch Witchery instructions for fusing the patch to the garment. I know it involves an iron.

mending hole7

Here is the right side of my skirt. No, yellow doesn’t really go there in this print but the print is busy enough, and the skirt full enough, that this is good enough.

mending hole8

From farther away it blends right in. Skirt saved. Yay!



4 Comments on How to Patch a Hole so it Disappears

  1. mending
    June 20, 2015 at 5:43 pm (3 years ago)

    Very clever! Thanks for this idea. 🙂

  2. Anita Hagstrom
    July 18, 2017 at 11:09 am (7 months ago)

    Would this method also work with a thin t shirt? My daughter was trying to cut tags out of a brand new shirt, and ended up cutting a small hole about 3/4 in in diameter near a side seam. I do not have a real good sewing machine, but hate to just “give up” on it. I could try a “patch & darn”, but this seems to look better.

    • Mary Earle-Sigler
      July 19, 2017 at 2:20 pm (7 months ago)

      It should work on knit fabric too. My daughter did the same and because it was a casual type t-shirt we ended up cutting out a little heart from some other knit fabric and hand-stitching it on over the hole. Yes, the ol’ patch & darn trick but it looked cute. Sort of Alabama Chanin style 😉


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