I love the new look of embroidered patches on your clothing! It’s such a great way to take an ordinary piece and make it stand out. That being said I do have one issue with these patched items…there is always something off with them.
Whether a patch is falling off (I’m not paying for something that hasn’t even left the store and is already falling apart), the item looks cheap with the patches, the patches are in weird places (for my body), or I like two of the four patches…the list goes on. There is always something I find wrong with pre-made patched pieces.
Then I realized that these items would be so easy to make! I mean, there’s iron-on patches. Literally, place the patch where you want on the item you want to add it to and press down with the iron…so simple! My only issue with this is that now the item I’ve ironed the patch onto is forever changed and “with patch.” I want to patch up my cargo army jacket; so I get the patches I desire and iron them on. Easy, right? Well what happens when I don’t want those patches on my jacket anymore (cause I LOVE my jacket and would hate to ruin it for later wearings)? You can’t remove an iron-on patch.
I could purchase another cargo jacket to patch up…but then why wouldn’t I just buy the pre-made patched cargo jacket (even with a few flaws)? Well, there is another way…(I can’t be the only one who has thought about this)….so I decided to give you a solution!
Sew the patches on! Seems simple but most people wouldn’t think to do this. And for those of you saying “I can’t sew”…neither can I. The way to get the patch on and still be able to remove it is a simple stitch that anyone can do!
- You need a needle and thread.
- Choose thread that matches the colors on your patch. Pick the color closest to the outer edge because this is where you will be stitching.
- (My patch was white with a black border. I chose white thread. But if you wanted to do a really solid job then you could use the border color and stitch as close to the border as possible. I am not that great at sewing; so I opted for the white and stayed on the patch.)
- Choose the finest/thinnest needle that will still pierce through your fabric (stronger needles are needed for denim). This will prevent large holes from being created by your stitches, and thus no remnance leftover once the patch is removed.
Pick Your Patch:
- Get patches…There are great boutique patch shops all over the internet: These are Things, Strange Ways, Valley Cruise Press. But I find that Amazon has a GREAT assortment and is the cheapest.
Now that you have your patches, choose the placement. Put them where ever your heart desires…that’s the best part about DIYs. Not only are they one of a kind pieces, but they are exactly as you imagined!
Start from the inside and stick your needle through the fabric and patch. Try to be as close to the edge of the patch as possible.
Tip: I first stitched all the way around the head (in a circle). Then after went back and stitched down the ears!
Now, from the outside, stick the needle back through the garment and patch as close to your entry point as possible. This will create a nearly invisible stitch from the outside view.
Your needle should now be back to the starting point…one stitch has been made!
Now re-do this action in (as close to) even increments all along the outer silhouette of the patch.
The smaller the increments the more secure the patch is. I recommend smaller increments for patches on pants (because of the movement you don’t want any bubbling or shifting). For patches in inconspicuous or little movement areas (shoulder, back, pocket) you can space your stitches out further. Longer stitches are also good for a fast patch placement for one-time wear.
Once you make it around the entirety of the patch, tie the ends of the string together (at the end where you started). Double knot for security…and there you go, you have sewn on a patch and created your own unique item!
My Tiger Patch Denim!
Remember: It doesn’t have to be perfect (straight, completely even-spaced, etc). Just do your best. You can’t see the stitches from the front/outside and no one is going to see the stitching from the inside (unless you’re proud and show them).
Disclaimer: If you decide to do this on a t-shirt, button-down, or any finer/thinner material the stitching might leave small holes IF you decide to remove the patch. You can either try to find a really fine/thin needle (if that’s possible) or just place the patches on permanently.
Yes, this seems like a lot of work. And yes it’ll take some time from your day (10-20 min). BUT it’s going to save you money on trending pieces that may not be around for long. It also saves you from buying multiple similar items (aka 2 cargo army jackets, one sans patches and one with).
I LOVE this mostly because the patches become another accessory to an outfit vs. a permanent graphic…I can easily change it up for what I’m wearing that day! In fact, I can’t wait to wear this flower patch on the ankle of my jeans and pair them with a flannel shirt!
For those of you who are not convinced, or to those of you who are and need some inspiration! Here are some of my favorite patched pieces out there right now: