How to Sew on a Patch with a Sewing Machine

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Patches are a great way to add embellishment to your garment. You can also cover up holes and tears and spruce up that trouser, uniform or jacket. It is easy to do it yourself at the comfort of your home.

If you have no idea how to go about it, you can still learn and perfect the skill. Utilize the numerous videos and tutorials that are available online. The best thing about it is you can customize the patches especially if they are for decorations.

If you are fixing a hole, you may be limited to the choice of fabric. This is evident when working with garments like uniforms. But if it is a pair of good old jeans, go ahead and patch it whichever way you want. Be creative and resourceful.

You don’t need to buy patches; you can always improvise them from old fabrics. To get a patch to serve its intended purpose, use the right fabric, thread and stitches. You also need to consider the size of the patch fabric. If you are repairing a hole, it should be bigger than the torn area.

The location of the patch will also affect your final look. Some tears or holes may be hard to patch compared to others. If it runs along a seam line, it will obviously need a lot of work compared to one on the knee or thigh of the trousers.

Before you begin, gather your materials ready. Make a visit to the fabric or thrift store and get your supplies. You will need:

  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Heavy duty needle
  • Iron
  • Fabric scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Fabric pins

Sewing a decorative patch

You can easily embellish your garment as a fashion statement or as a requirement to add detail to your clothing. The way you patch a scouts badge is different from patching a pair of jeans as a way of expression.

Image result for sewing a decorative patch

1. Decide on the location

This is very important because the patch will be on the outside of your garment. It will stand out and hence why you should take time before sewing it anywhere. For a jacket, you can decide to sew the patch on the back. For trousers it will look good on the front over the thigh region.

While deciding on the location, the garment should be right side out. This will give you a clear picture of how the final item will look.

2. Pin the patch

When you decide on the location of your patch, pin it. You need to secure the patch onto the fabric to avoid displacement. Make use of fabric pins or glue to hold it in place.

Alternatively, if you don’t have store bought patches, you can create your own. Improvise with old but quite heavy fabrics like jeans and denim you no longer need. You can cut them in any shape you want. Use a DIY template as a guide.

3. Get your sewing machine ready

For this kind of project, you will require a heavy duty needle. This is because patches especially those for decorations are thicker. This will save you the heartache of dealing with a broken needle.

The thread should also be the recommended kind and right color for such work. If you are going to flaunt it then work on it. The color of thread should match with the outer edge of your patch.

4. Set the machine to zigzag stitch

This is the best and recommended stitch for sewing your patches using a sewing machine. Reduce the length and width of the stitch to the narrowest. This will ensure the thread goes over and through the patch.

5. Sew the edges

With your sewing machine, go over the edges of the patch one more time. The patch needs to be secured in place. With the zigzag stitches, go over the edges but this time slowly. The end result will look clean and satisfying.

Sewing a patch over a hole or tear

Image result for sewing a patch over a hole

You don’t have to throw away that garment just because it has a tear or a hole. With this technique, you will be able to repair them yourself. It won’t cost you a dime and it takes a short time. The fact remains you will love the outcome.

1. Get the correct patch

The patch should match the garment that you need to repair. If it does not match it then it should come close. This is to avoid too much contrast between the two fabrics. For this project, you don’t need a new patch but you can still get it from the fabric store. Make use of old fabric.

2. Prepare the hole or tear

Preparing the site means cutting out loose or frayed edges. Go in with a fabric scissors and nip it away. The thread will make the patch stand out and they will get in the way when sewing.

3. Cut the patch

It should be larger than the actual hole by about 1 inch. This will leave out sewing allowance. Also consider the shape of the patch and the hole. It should be the same.

4. Pin your patch

The garment should be inside out. Lay your patch to cover the hole and secure it with straight pins. You can also use double sided tape or fabric glue to hold the patch.

5. Sew the patch

When threading your sewing machine, use thread that matches the garment or invisible thread. The needle should be the right gauge. Sew around the edges using a straight stitch. Make sure you go over the edge of the patch several times to secure it.

Final thoughts

Whether you are sewing on a patch as a fashion statement or to repair a hole, it is not complicated. Try out what works for you and enjoy your creativity.

About the Author SMC

We're a husband and wife team of craft enthusiasts! Mostly we love working with different kinds of fabrics - in fact, you'll be hard pressed to find a store-bought piece of clothing in our home. Most of the stuff we enjoy making by hand!

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