Published Dec 16, 2021 by Rick Cundiff
When it comes to attaching custom patches to garments, you have a number of options. There’s iron on, Velcro®, tape, button loop and more. The oldest, time-tested way of attaching patches is, of course, by sewing them on.
We’ve looked at how to iron on a patch before. Now, let us turn to sew on styles.
Sewing on a patch is a definite choice. It can be time consuming and it requires a little bit of manual dexterity. All other things being equal, ironing on a patch is faster and easier.
So why would you want to sew on a patch instead?
You might have no other choice. Some fabrics can’t take the heat of an iron. Silk, leather, lace, vinyl, spandex and nylon, for example can be damaged by an iron. Some items are too awkwardly shaped to attempt to iron a patch onto them. Or you might just want a really permanent attachment that’s sure to last the life of your garment.
Sewing on a patch isn’t hard. With a few tips, you’ll be sewing your patches onto jackets, vests, shirts and more in no time flat.
Start with a clean, dry garment. We strongly recommend washing and drying it first to prevent bunching or shifting. Iron the garment as well if necessary to remove wrinkles. You should have a flat surface to sew your patch onto.
Now for the pro tip: Invest in a needle threader. Available for as little as $1 at discount stores, fabric shops and craft stores, this simple little device will make the hardest part of sewing on a patch a breeze. Trust us on this.
Next, find a comfortable, well-lighted area to sew on your patch. Experiment with where on the garment you want to place your patch until you find the right spot. Once you do, you can use a couple of pins to hold the patch in place.
Thread the needle with your choice of thread. When you have about 18” of thread, tie a knot near the end. You’re ready to begin.
Start from the back side of the garment and push the needle through the back of the patch to the front. This will help conceal the thread and the knot when you finish. Keep sewing, leaving about a quarter-inch between stitches.
When you’re done, slip the needle under the stitch to create a loop. Guide the needle through the loop and pull to tighten it. Repeat at least once to make the knot more secure.
There! You’ve just sewn on a patch. One that won’t shift, pucker, or come loose in the laundry. With just a little practice, it’s not hard at all to sew on your own custom patches.