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Sewing 101

College kids break stuff; it happens. Your backpack handle snaps, you get your favorite shirt caught on the edge of your desk, and the pants you bought for an interview? They’re too long. Mom and dad aren’t around to help you fix these minor issues, but here’s a sewing 101 on how to thread your needle, fix rips and holes, and how to tie it all off.

Threading Your Needle

  • Snip off the amount of thread you need for your project (always estimate it higher than you think)
  • Using a needle threader (or a careful eye) pull the thread through your needle


  • Leaving an extra inch of thread at the end of the longest piece, tie a knot, then tie another knot on top of the first to secure it.


Backpack rips may prove to be a bit tricky to fix. Getting your hands in the right spot might be difficult, but the end product is something to be excited about.

  • Thread your needle in a color that matches your bag (colors are optional)
  • Trim off the frayed ends
  • Start from the inside and make close and tight stitches for extra strength


As clothes get older, holes are bound to happen. Just the tiniest snag on something and suddenly your shirt is ready for the trash. Holes are pretty simple to fix, and you’ll be saving your clothes in no time.

  • Thread your needle in a color that matches your clothing item (same color recommended)
  • Start your sewing from the inside of the fabric and begin sewing in small tight stitches. This allows you to make it look like a hidden repair.
  • Try to keep the stiches the same length.

Ending your sewing

  • Push the needle through a very small piece of fabric
  • Wrap the thread around the needle a few times


  • Hold the thread and pull the needle through the rest of the way
  • Tighten and trim excess thread
Amber Lauzé is a senior Entrepreneurial Studies and Management double major from Auburn, Maine. When not writing for HCXU, she can found at one of her many jobs, or hunting for her cat that likes to hide in blankets.
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