How To Darn With A Sewing Machine For Beginners

Last Updated on 6 months by Susan Mayrich

You can learn how to darn with a sewing machine in just two steps. We’ll teach you what setup to do with the sewing machine and how to sew darning stitches themselves. 

how to darn with a sewing machine

This article will also include more tips in darning to help you do it perfectly, even as a beginner. But do you know that doing various techniques is relatively easy, to begin with, thanks to a sewing machine?

Browse our blog for various sewing tutorials such as how to topstitch with a sewing machine and more.


How Do You Darn With A Sewing Machine


Step 1. Set the machine

  • Tack a stabilizer under the hole or tear that you will darn, especially when it’s a big hole since the stitches will need more support
  • Install the darning foot on the sewing machine
  • Alternatively, you can also use the zigzag foot for darning if you don’t have a darning foot
  • Attach a needle that is compatible with the fabric you’re darning
  • Thread the sewing machine with a thread the same color as the fabric 
  • Set the sewing machine to darning stitch, or if you use the zigzag foot, three-step zigzag stitch


Step 2. Sew the darning stitches

  • Start making the stitches to cover the hole or tear you’re repairing
  • Sew the stitches close to each other as if making new fibers to replace the damaged or missing ones on the area you’re repairing
  • After finishing repairing the hole or tear, cut off the stabilizer you placed earlier 


How Do You Properly Darn?

The best way to darn a hole is with a darning foot using darning stitches on the sewing machine. However, it’s also possible to use a zigzag foot or the all-purpose foot. 


Darning with an all-purpose foot

Enclose the hole in a rectangle by sewing around it with an all-purpose or zigzag foot. Then, sew across the area you’re darning and repeat until it’s fully covered. 

You can stop after the hole is covered, but you can also sew perpendicular to the previous stitches you made to strengthen the darning stitches. To do this, simply turn the fabric 90 degrees and sew. 


Darning with a darning foot

You can follow our two-step method above, especially as a beginner, but you can also hoop the fabric when darning with a darning foot. To do this, lower the feed dogs and place the hoop under the shank before you attach the darning foot.

Then, sew across the hole back and forth until it’s covered. It would also be best to enclose the hole by sewing a rectangle around it for added durability in the long run as the tear won’t be able to spread. 


How to prepare the area for darning

Darning will be easier if you know how to prepare the hole before sewing over it. The hole might have frayed edges, for starters, so you need to trim the loose threads as close to the fabric as possible.

This will help make durable stitches since they won’t catch on the loose threads. Then, stabilize the hole with fusible interfacing placed underneath the fabric so the stitches can have a structure. 

Do you often have the fabric fray on your sewing projects? Read how to stop fabric fraying for non-sewing and sewing techniques to solve this issue. 


Do You Darn On The Inside Or Outside?

You darn inside the garment, mainly when repairing projects like socks and other knits. Therefore, don’t forget to turn the material inside out when darning a hole. 

It’s also worth noting that there are various ways to darn. The traditional method anchors the thread on one side of the tear, carries it across to cover the tear, and then secures it on the other side with running stitches. 

There are also darning techniques meant to make the repair invisible, such as Belgian darning and fine darning that use fancy weaves. And for more expensive materials, the sewer can darn by unraveling a seam or hem to use the original garment threads for repair. 


How Do You Darn A Straight Tear?

You darn a straight tear with running stitches. To start, make a knot in the area not too far away from the straight tear and fill the tear with stitches close to each other.

It would be best to make a small loop when turning at the end of each row so the thread can stretch when needed. However, ensure that the stitches are tight enough to hold down the threads when moving them back and forth to cover the tear. 


Is Darning Like Weaving?

Darning has similarities with weaving because you’re essentially stitching the thread in rows and at the end of each row, reversing the direction as if you’re weaving. Furthermore, there are also darning techniques that use fancy weaves in place of regular running stitches. 



And that’s it! We just learned how to darn with a sewing machine using darning stitches or zigzag stitches. 

We also discovered additional techniques, such as sewing a rectangle around the hole or making running stitches when repairing a straight tear. Don’t forget to sew the stitches as close to each other as possible and use the same thread color as the garment to make the repair more subtle. 

And before darning, it would be best to cut the loose threads of the frayed edges of the hole then stabilize it underneath. We hope these tips can help you with darning; leave us any questions if you still have any. 


Leave a Comment

error: Alert: Content selection is disabled!!