How To Sew A Patch – Best Options By Hand Explained

Sew A Patch

You probably know that feeling – you are in a rush and you hit a sharp point, such as a screw. Your favorite jeans or jumper will most likely see the ending soon, as strands keep coming out of it and that little tear is no longer fashionable. But then, there are a few ways to fix this issue if you truly love the way you look in that piece of clothing.

Learning how to sew a patch is not that difficult if you follow the right steps. A patch is associated with the need to hide something. In the sewing industry, you are basically trying to hide a tear or a hole. Luckily, there are plenty of patches in all kinds of shapes, sizes and designs. A little creativity will help you reinvent your garment and give it a new life.


Ironing Patches

Ironing patches have nothing to do with sewing patches or using a sewing machine. These are the easiest ways to cover a hole or a tear. Some of them can be embroidered and they attach by applying some heat. They come with sticky backs, so they attach to the garment once exposed to heat – simply remove the backing sheet and go for it.

Make sure the iron covers everything around the patch – up to half an inch on each side. Set the iron temperature to the optimal one, spray a bit of water on the back of the patch and keep the iron on – usually for about 20 seconds, depending on the instructions. This method mostly works for cotton and other similar materials. Leather, nylon, waterproof apparel or elastic fibers might get ruined.


How To Sew A Patch – The Running Stitch

A Needle With Red Thread

The running stitch is the easiest way to attach your patches – whether it comes to hand sewing or you use a sewing machine. You may need a bit of glue as well. The first step involves attaching the patch to the patch fabric. Use basic glue – not too strong.

The second step implies sewing along the border. Get a thread that matches the patch. Stitches can be different – opt for a zig zag stitch if you want it to stand out. Sewing the patch this way is a matter of a few seconds. You can use a sewing machine, but you can also do it manually.


Sewing Patches – The Hand Sewn Option

Whether you want to make a uniform or cover a hole in your jacket, the hand sewn set in patch is clearly worth some attention. This patch goes on the other side of the garment. It must be sewn from the underside.

Trim the hole and try to make it square. Each corner should have a small slash – less than a quarter of an inch. Turn under the edges and press, then come up with a square patch that covers the hole on each sides. Keep the patch in place with a pin.

Turn the garment inside out and hem the patch, then turn it back and get the whole edge with some slip stitches.


The Felt Patch

This patch is practically a felt piece. It must match the color, but it will still be visible. This is why most people would rather choose a contrasting color. Get a square shaped patch and make sure it can thoroughly cover the hole.

The patch goes on top of the clothing. Baste it and get sewing. Ideally, you should hand sew this type of patch. You can use buttonhole stitches, as well as blanket stitches. Once done, turn the clothing inside out and cut the worn area away to prevent scratches.

All in all, the main advantage of using felt is in the edges – they are less likely to fray.


Using A Sewing Machine For Unique Fabrics

A Man Sewing

Whether you want something special, a unique texture or material, you can attach it directly on the clothing or the backpack without worrying about turning under the edges. The whip stitch is the most common option. Baste where you want this patch to be and try to stitch it as close as possible to the edges.

For instance, if you are after sequined patches, you can simply stitch them in, then appliqué with a basic whip stitch. Go way around the edges and maintain the same distance from them for an even result.


Appliquéd Patches

Appliquéd patches are fairly simple to apply on jeans or other garments. You can hand sew it or use a sewing machine. The fabric patch is applied directly on the garment. If you want to hand sew it, make sure you rely on the blanket stitch style. On the other hand, those who like to use their sewing machines can rely on zig zag stitches. Go around the patch by the edges.


Applying A Reverse Appliqué Patch

The reverse appliqué patch is self-explanatory. It has nothing to do with the back of the patch, but the back of the garment – or hole. Practically, the patch goes on the inside part of the fabric. Sewing the garment is fairly simple if you turn it inside out.

As for stitching, it goes over the edge of the hole. As you might have guessed already, you might need to enlarge the hole a little. It should be cut in the shape of the design – feel free to use a pen and mark the shape on the garment, then cut it with sharp scissors.

In terms of stitching, satin stitches seem to be the most popular choice – also known as close zig zag stitches. You can also go for a simple straight stitch – top stitching thread will provide a better appearance too.


The Handmade Overhand Patch Explained

This type of patch is sewn from the face of the clothing – the visible side. Opt for a thin fabric for the patch – otherwise, it will look odd and it may project out. The first step is classic – enlarge the hole or tear and make sure it is square.

Back to the patch – get a square piece that can cover the hole. It must be bigger than it. The edges must be pressed inside – about a quarter of an inch. Baste stitch around the edge of the patch. Turn it inside out and come up with an overcast stitch around the edge to keep everything in place.


The Darning Patch

This is the easy and crazy way to sew a patch over a hole. It gives you a rebellious look, as well as a funky appearance. Practically, you need to get a patch under the hole. Come up with straight stitches, but make sure they are closely packed. Go around the edges. Sewing patterns are irrelevant. Once the edges are done, go around the patch too. Go wild and keep it random.

The thread should be in the exact same color. If you use a lighter color, stitches will be visible. It is not too fashionable unless you actually want to come up with this effect. If you cannot find the exact same color, go for something a bit darker instead.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still, feeling confused about how to sew a patch onto a bag or garment?


How long does it take to sew on a patch?

It depends on more factors. It depends on the patch – do you already have it or do you have to make it yourself? How big is the hole? Would you have to cut it in a square shape? What kind of sewing technique do you want? How about the fabric? All these answers will affect the final result. If you hand sew everything, the job should take you about half an hour on average. A sewing machine will provide faster results though.


Is it better to sew or iron on a patch?

It depends on what you want to achieve. A sewn patch is definitely more durable and gives you more options if you want to add some more or change the patch. On the other hand, an iron patch could be semi permanent. If you want to add something else, you might need to tear it apart. Plus, it is likely to fail on you at some point anyway.


How do you sew a patch on a sewing machine?

It depends on what you hope to achieve. Some patches must be sewn on the inside, while others go on the outside. Plan the positioning and stick the patch above the hole – use a mild glue that will not ruin the fabrics. Choose the stitch, the thread color and go around the edges. Some techniques involve going all over the patch if you want to achieve a rough look.


How do you sew a patch by hole by hand?

Simply put, make sure the patch is slightly larger than the hole. Fix it on top with a needle or perhaps a glue, then start sewing around the edges. Small details represent a matter of personal preferences – stitch type, size, shape and so on.


Bottom line, learning how to sew a patch is not that difficult. There are a few different options out there and each of them is suitable for a certain look or style. Choose the most suitable one based on what you hope to achieve, as well as the garment and fabric.

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