Clothing + Fashion repair a separated pocket

Published on November 30th, 2011 | by Becky Striepe

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How-to: Repair a Separated Pocket

mend a separated pocket with a whip stitch

Don’t let a busted pocket mean the end for your favorite garment. You can repair instead of replacing with one simple stitch!

It happens to all of us sometimes, right? We load down our pockets each day, and after a while, the poor things just can’t take it anymore! Don’t fret, though! That pesky pocket doesn’t have to mean the death of your favorite skirt, pants, or hoodie. Armed with a simple whip stitch, you can re-attach your pocket lickety split.

As you can see in the photo above, I totally abused my favorite hoodie, and the pocket tore away, ripping some of the hoodie when it went. I used bright red thread to repair the busted pocket, but if I’d gone for teal, you’d hardly be able to see this mending job at all.

Even if sewing’s not your thing, you can totally do a whip stitch – it’s that simple! All that you need are a needle and thread. Here’s a video that shows you how to do a simple whip stitch:

Usually when I have a pocket give out, it’s one of the top corners that starts to separate first, but you can use a whip stitch to repair the pocket no matter where it gives out. It will also work for mending a busted seam – just make sure you match your thread color to the fabric color, so that your repair will be almost invisible.  Here’s what you need to mend with a whip stitch:

  • Garment with a separated pocket or busted seam
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Thread in a coordinating color or a contrasting color

If you want your repair to be invisible, choose a coordinating thread. If you want to show off your mending skillz, pick a contrasting color, so that it will really pop! Here’s how to mend your pocket or busted seam:

  1. Like in the video, tie a knot in the end of your thread.
  2. Start your stitch about 1/8″ past where the damage begins. Whip along the damaged area, sewing it back together, until you’re 1/8″ page the damage on the other side. If you’re repairing a seam, you’re all done! Just tie off your thread, like in the video, and you’re ready to rock your newly-mended garment.
  3. If you’re repairing a pocket, you want things to be super secure. When you get 1/8″ past the end of the damaged portion, change direction and whip it back until you’re close to your starting point, then change direction one last time, ending at the spot where you first changed direction. Tie off your thread, and you’re all done!

Have you guys done any mending lately? I’d love to hear your clothing repair adventures in the comments!



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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



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