We’ve all had that “oh-no!” moment when we notice that our favorite shirt has developed a hole or a ripped seam. Next time it happens to you, don’t worry. A little snag doesn’t mean you need to ditch your go-to button-down just yet. Four hand stitches—the slip stitch, the catch stitch, the backstitch, and the running stitch—will get you through just about any sewing task.For hemming, use the slip stitch or catch stitch. The slip stitch is virtually invisible and very durable—the thread is hidden inside the fold of fabric, where it’s not subject to wear and tear. The catch stitch allows for a little bit of movement between the hem and garment. For other mending tasks, use the back stitch or running stitch.

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