Sew on patches give ordinary garments a look of distinction. They help us identify officers, employees, soldiers, club members and more. They’ve long been collectibles and durable embellishments for canvas bags, coats, vests, and virtually any garment.
Although they’re easy for anyone to attach with needle and thread, some people are anxious about the process. There’s no reason to be nervous about patch application. Even a novice needle worker can perform this simple task! If you’re ready to learn, grab a needle and some thread, and see how to sew on your custom patches!
1. Before you begin any sewing, wash and dry your material. You might not think this is necessary for new clothing items, but it’s an important step to eliminate shifting and bunching, which can occur when fabric shrinks.
2. Iron your material if necessary. You want to be sure the surface where your patch sits is smooth, clean, and dry.
3. Find a well-lighted area in which to work. Even those with eyes like eagles will have trouble threading a needle in a dimly lit room.
4. Play with the placement of your patch, moving it around and examining it until you find the perfect spot to attach it. For precision’s sake, use a straight pin or two to hold the patch until you can permanently attach it. Now that you’ve completed the preparations, you can start sewing!
5. Choose your sewing needle and thread. To get a professional look, find thread that closely matches your patch or fabric. Any basic cotton blend thread will do.
6. Pull approximately 18 inches of thread from your spool and cut it at a 45-degree angle. The longer your thread, the harder it will be to work with. Lengthy strands of thread are likely to get twisted, tangled and knotted.
7. Hold your needle up to the light and pass the cut end of the thread through the eye of the needle. If you have trouble, dampen the end of your thread to smooth any frayed edges. Pull the thread through and tie a knot near the end. If you continue to have trouble threading the needle, try using a needle threader, available at any fabric and craft store.
8. Turn your fabric over and work from the back to the front. This will conceal the knotted end of your thread once your patch is attached. Poke your needle through the edge of the patch, using your hands to guide you. Be careful not to prick your finger!
9. Pull the needle through the front of your fabric and repeat this action, leaving about a quarter of an inch of space between your entry points.
10. When you’ve completed the sewing, take your needle and slip it under the stitch to form a loop. Guide your needle through the loop and pull to tighten. Repeat at least once to reinforce your knot.
Congratulations, you’re now the proud owner of a sewn-on patch!
May it be the first of many durable and distinctive patches that grace your totes, jackets and jeans!