I have a favorite (cashmere/lambswool) sweater from a fast fashion store that I sort of let go to seed from wearing it all the time. It now has huge elbow holes that go further up my arm where it gets frayed (along with some holes in the sleeves.)

I wanted to add patches to it. I cut squares from a pair of old cotton/spandex leggings and I wanted to sew it on by hand with a needle and thread, but I've never done this before. I want to do it right and not screw up, but have minimal tools (just two squares of fabric and needle and thread, an ironing board, no pillow even :) ).

Does anyone have a tutorial or have any advice on patching large holes?

  • Paying a local seamstress to sew on leather patches worked very well. Apr 17, 2021 at 20:21

1 Answer 1


This is what I would do:

  • Take the thread and whip stitch the holes so they do not fray any further.
  • Since it is knit textile, tighten and loosen to manipulate the hole in a fun or fashionable shape.
  • Place the patches on the inside of the garment, temporarily secure with safety pins, straight pins or basting stitch.
  • Use an interesting embroidery stitch to secure the patch permanently.
  • Remove pins or basting stitches.
  • Trim excess fabric.

A fun alternative is to appliqué over the holes:

  • Whip stitch the holes to prevent fraying.
  • Secure patch on the inside with pins or basting stitch.
  • Cut out an appliqué shape or shapes, secure to “right” side and stitch.

Key words/ phrases to search for:

  • whip stitch or blanket stitch - used to quickly sew an edge
  • basting stitch - long & loose stitch to temporarily hold materials together
  • appliqué - technique to apply cut fabric designs onto material
  • knit textile versus woven textile

FYI: darning has been addressed in the Stack Exchange, but mostly for woven fabrics, not knits.

  • 1
    you can place a glass, mug or smooth ball inside the sleeve to hold it open while hand stitching. Apr 17, 2021 at 12:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .