How do you fix a hole torn in a shirt along the edge of a vinyl applique? Read this tutorial or watch our video to learn how to mend a hole in a shirt.
Our shirt was burned during the heat transfer vinyl applique process. This caused the fabric to be weak and a tear to develop along the edge of the vinyl applique.
In this tutorial, we cover the burned section and then fix the rip in the shirt.
Looking for other ideas to mend garments or household objects? Visit our page How to Mend Clothes & Household Objects for many other tutorials.
Learn more about how to mend a hole in a shirt by watching our video through the link below or keep reading this photo tutorial. If you watch our video, be sure to watch the Fix a Shirt Update video.
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watch the whole video tutorial, click the link How to Fix a Hole in a Shirt to watch in Youtube.
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The Problem: Shirt is Burned and Torn
The shirt that needs to be fixed is a shirt my kid was given to wear. They noticed after getting the shirt that it had a tear in it and was burned on the inside of the shirt.
So, a major mishap occurred when applying the vinyl applique to this shirt!
My guess is that it was in the heat press too long and it burned the fabric on the inside behind the vinyl applique.
The Fix: Stabilize and Stitch
My plan to fix this shirt is to stabilize the fabric and then stitch around the heart to mend the hole. This stitching will also keep the interfacing from coming off the back of the shirt.
Keep reading for a step-by-step photo tutorial.
WHAT YOU NEED to mend a hole in a shirt
INSTRUCTIONS to fix a hole in a shirt
STEP 1: Select stabilizer or interfacing
Since the inside of the shirt is burned and the fabric is very damaged, I will cover the whole area with a stabilizer or interfacing.
I have three suggestions for products to use to cover the back of the vinyl applique.
First is a fusible iron-on interfacing by Heat 'n Bond. This product is used inside collars and waistbands to give some support when constructing clothing. This interfacing has a soft touch so it will not be rough on the skin when applied to the inside of the shirt.
The second option is Sulky Iron-On Cut-Away Stabilizer. This product is used in machine embroidery projects. It has a smooth finish so shouldn't feel rough on the skin.
Both of these products are iron-on so they will adhere to the fabric to keep it from coming apart while laundering. But, the disadvantage of these products is that you may damage the vinyl applique when ironing.
A third option that doesn't require ironing is a cut-away stabilizer. This would be best if you don't want to risk ironing the applique. This product will not stick to the back of the fabric but should still protect the fabric during laundering.
Do not use a tear-away stabilizer for this project! I found that a tear-away stabilizer will come off in the wash. Watch our Fix a Shirt Update video.
Cut a piece of the iron-on interfacing or stabilizer larger than the size of the applique.
STEP 2: Iron the stabilizer
Insert a pressing cloth inside the shirt under the vinyl applique. If the vinyl applique melts, I don't want it to stick to the front of the shirt.
Overlap the torn area very slightly (about 1/8") so that there won't be a gap.
Place the piece of interfacing over the heart applique. Make sure it extends past the heart applique on all sides.
Set your iron on medium. Keep in mind that the vinyl applique will melt so iron as little as needed to adhere the interfacing to the fabric. Keep the iron moving so it won't heat up the applique too much.
The iron-on interfacing is stuck to the back of the fabric.
Here is the front of the fabric with the interfacing in place.
If you decide to use a cut-away stabilizer, carefully pin the stabilizer to the back side of the fabric. Do not put pins into the vinyl applique as the holes will damage the applique and show even after they are removed.
STEP 3: Stitch around the heart Applique
At the sewing machine, thread the machine with white thread (or matching thread) on the top and bobbin. For this shirt, a red thread is another option but I wanted to match the color of the heart applique.
Set the sewing machine to a wide but short zig-zag stitch. This will resemble a satin stitch on an embroidery machine.
Use an open-toe foot on the sewing machine to help see where you are stitching. Set the sewing machine to needle down on stop so it's easier to turn as you are stitching around the applique.
Place the shirt, right side facing up, under the presser foot making sure to keep the back of the shirt out of the way. Bunch the rest of the shirt in a circle around the area to be stitched. Do not catch the shirt in the stitching.
Start stitching around the heart with the short zig-zag stitch. The left side swing of the needle should go into the vinyl applique and the right side should swing off the edge and catch the shirt fabric.`
At the corner, stop with the needle down, lift the presser foot and rotate the work.
As you stitch, continue to check to make sure the back of the shirt is not under the stitching area.
To stitch over the torn area, make sure the zig-zag stitch is catching on the vinyl applique and the shirt fabric across the hole as the needle goes back and forth.
Use a stylus, point of a seam ripper or pencil to hold down the edge of the fabric as you are stitching. Never put your fingers close to the needle!
At the curves, stop and lift the presser foot every few stitches to go around the curve.
Once you get around the whole applique, overlap the zig-zag stitches at the end and back tack to finish.
The stabilizer behind the fabric will help hold the stitches in the area that was torn.
STEP 4: Trim the Interfacing (Optional)
If desired, trim the interfacing from around the outside of the heart. I lifted up the fusible interfacing and carefully trimmed around the outside of the heart. This is not necessary as the interfacing will stay adhered to the back of the shirt through laundering.
Be careful when trimming and don't cut the shirt fabric.
Below is a photo of the right side of the shirt and it looks nice with the zig-zag stitching around. The rip was repaired and is stitched closed.
The vinyl applique is wrinkled from the ironing. If you want to avoid this issue, I suggest using a cut-away stabilizer instead.
On the inside, the burnt section of the shirt is covered and should be able to hold up to laundering.
Below is another photo of the outside of the shirt.
We hope you enjoyed learning how to fix a hole in a shirt near the edge of a vinyl applique.
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
Some other mending tutorials are available below: