Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How to Repair A Frayed Seam - Tutorial

Are you coming apart at the seams??????

Here's how to Repair a Frayed Seam --it's Quick and Easy

Lots of Photos to Show You How

Step by Step Tutorial

You'll need
"Seams Great" - (shown here in the package). 

It is a very sheer and light--but strong seam reinforcement ribbon (1-1/4" wide). 
or in a pinch you can use a piece of light weight fabric that doesn't fray. 

You can find "Seams Great" at fabric stores like Hancock Fabrics.   

At the end of the lesson, I'll tell you another great use for "Seams Great."

This is a bolster pillow from a client's very expensive bed ensemble that has come apart at the seam.

Seams Great ribbon will reinforce the seam--and keep it from pulling apart again.

1. To stop the material from fraying, I've pinned a length of Seams Great ribbon to the upper seam. 

2. Looking at the black sheer ribbon, you can see I'm holding the ribbon in place with a couple of yellow headed pins.

3. Just below the threaded needle you can see through the sheer black Seams Great ribbon, and notice I extended the sheer black reinforcement ribbon well beyond the frayed edge to pin it. 

4. I'm right handed, and beginning at the right I insert a threaded/knotted needle into the ribbon, and took -3-4 running stitches and pulled the thread through. I continued making running stitches in a straight line to the end of the repair.

5. While making the running stitches I lift material upwards slightly with my finger because I don't want to sew into any of the existing batting (stuffing). 

6.  While making the running stitches I've pinned the bullion decorative trim up and out of the way.

7.  In this photo I've come to the end of the repair and took 2-3 stitches in place,
 and the last stitch forms a knot.

8.  In this photo--I turned the pillow upside down,
and am using my fingers to tuck the ribbon inside of the pillow.
9.  I continue to tuck the Seams Great ribbon inside, along the opening of the repair.

10.  With the pillow still upside down, I pinned another length of Seams Great ribbon into position, holding it in place with a pin.  With a knotted thread start running stitches. 
11.  Here I'm nearing the end of the running stitches.  I've been using my fingers to make it easy to make running stitches--keeping the stitches out of the white batting (stuffing).

12. Continue running stitches to the end of the opening, and take 2-3 stitches in place,
The last stitch forming a knot.

13.  The ribbons are tucked inside.
14.  I'm using a carmel brown thread to match background of fabric. 
Taking stitches, you can sew the ribbon reinforced seams together. 

I use a couple of yellow headed pins to pull the seam together
in advance of sewing the stitch to close the seam.

Once I reach the end of the repair, I take 2-3 stitches in place and form a knot. 

15.  I re-thread my needle and sew the closed seam one more time. 

Believe me, this section will Never Ever come apart again. 

Another use for Seams Great . . . is to ease sleeves into a bodice,
(to gather the top of the sleeve). 

   The Seams Great sheer ribbon is light, strong, but also has quite a bit of stretch to it. 

 Primarily I use Seams Great when I am constructing garments with fussy fabric that frays terribly. 

In truth, Damask fabric like this bollster above should have had their seams reinforced
with ribbon during the manufacturer's construction. 

Tailors and costume designers all use reinforcement ribbon in suits and evening gowns. 


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hello from Spokane, WA. I thank you very much for your tutorial-it's just what I've been looking for! I like this site, too. I am going to explore it and bookmark it.


  3. Hi! Thank you so much! You did a great job with the step by step pictures & instructions. I'm so glad I found your site. Thanks!