When altering that beautiful vintage Laura Ashley dress, I managed to nick a hole right above the hem. Clever. Luckily, I was cutting inches and inches off this dress so I had plenty of fabric to make repairs. Double-luckily, this was the only repair I had to make. I applied an appliqué patch, lining the floral pattern up carefully and using a complimentary-colour thread. The result when it’s worn is pretty much invisible (even I have to look hard to find it!):

Patches like this are pretty easy but a little fiddly – just take your time and it’ll turn out fine.

I carefully studied the pattern repeat around the hole and found the same section on the cut-off fabric. I cut the piece out in an oval, big enough to cover the hole plus about 1cm extra. I then pinned this in place, lining up the pattern carefully.

Finally I stitched it in place by tucking under a finger’s width of the edge by 5mm, bringing the needle up from the wrong side and making a tiny stitch on the fold. I repeated this all the way around.

If you’re worried about fraying, add an extra patch to the reverse but instead of stitching it in place, use Supermend or Bondaweb to stick it over the hole. Alternatively (or additionally) darn the hole — the darning stitch is simply made up of rows of running stitches across the hole, following the weave of the fabric, to cover the area.