For example, because I have basic hand-sewing skills, I'm able to replace buttons, sew a hem, patch jeans, and fix small holes in knitwear. I do all this by trial-and-error, and not terribly tidily! My hand-sewing skills are still a bit rough. ;)
I would, however, like to learn a proper darning technique for when my precious hand-knitted things need repairs. I've been into knitting socks lately, so holes are only a matter of time...
Last year I repaired a second-hand jersey which had a hole in one sleeve cuff, and a couple of ragged bits at the edge of the other cuff and the bottom of the hem. I used laceweight yarn from my leftovers stash, and a small crochet hook to do the repairs. I crocheted around the hole on the cuff with grey yarn, and then filled in the hole (crochet is great for free-styling). I dealt with the 'bites' on the edges by crocheting over them with a contrasting golden yarn. I went right round the cuffs and hem to make it look more deliberate:
Again, I crocheted around the holes first, and then decreased in a spiral. I managed to do a much tidier job this time, partly because the holes were small. I then decorated the repaired-bits with duplicate stitch.
|Glove 1, with repair to palm|
|Glove 2, with repair at base of thumb.|
The decorations were inspired by the 'visible mending' aesthetic of knitter and darning-teacher Tom of Holland. He uses a multitude of patterns and contrasting colours to repair knitwear, which I think is really neat. You can see some of his work on his blog.