Picture of How To Patch Your Clothes
Make your clothing funkier and more functional with this simple method for making and stitching down quick iron-on patches.

I tend to wear my clothes until they start to disintegrate, and once I've got a shirt or a pair of pants that is broken-in and perfectly comfortable, I don't want to throw it out just because it has a few holes. This method for patching won't work for fixing your "nice" clothes, but it's great for fixing up (and adding a bit of color to) your casual gear. It's also perfect for adding screenprinted patches to anything.

The patched-up shorts featured in the photos here are ones I've owned and worn often for 10 years, and they were a thrift-store find to start with. At this point, they're more than 50% patches, including at least five distinct classic paisleys. That counts as art, right?

Step 1: Gather supplies.

Picture of Gather supplies.
What you need:
- piece of clothing you want to patch up
- patch fabric
- double-sided fusible interfacing (I've used Steam-a-Seam 2 1/2" wide tape for my patches.)
- iron & ironing board or towel
- sewing machine or needle-and-thread
- scissors

For the patch fabric, pick something of similar weight and color/pattern to the clothing you want to patch, if you want the patch to blend in. If you want it to stand out, pick something bright and colorful.

Generally, knit fabric and some woven natural fabrics tend to not fray too badly. Synthetic or otherwise slippery wovens (like the heavy woven tie-silk I'm using here) tend to fray pretty badly. Using the double-sided fusible web tape helps keep those fabrics from fraying.
hey, great instructable! i was thinking about "modifying" a weird looking t shirt into a awesome looking t shirt. i am going to replace some (oddly star trek looking) super heros for dinosaurs. do u know where to find dino patches?
rix_1015 years ago
Haha! Thoes shorts make my life :P
srberes6 years ago
this was my first-ever attempt at mending (or even sewing, for that matter) my clothing and your instructions were effective, easy to follow, and i'm happy with the results. thanks a ton!
Sorry this instructable can not be in the body mods group because is has nothing to deal with human body multilation have a nice day
Sorry this instructable can not be in the body mods group because is has nothing to deal with human body multilation have a nice day
My boyfriend has pants just like these, Camo based too. He calls them his party pants, and they are about 50% patches too now, But they need more work after this long summer again, and you have given me some great ideas!!!!! Great instructable!
firesketch7 years ago
Sweet idea with the double-sided fusible : D
I need to do some patching now.

Well, I only need to patch one thing, but patches are cool ;)
canida8 years ago
double-sided fusible web rocks my little haphazard-seamstress world.

I like this outlook on live. ;D
reno_dakota (author)  canida8 years ago
*laugh* Thanks, I'm not surprised. :)

The Depot had a bunch more leather scraps the last time I was there, too. I've been thinking I should start playing with grommets more often.
MidiaN_768 years ago
Awesome instructable! Well written and well photographed. I can't wait to start patching!
reno_dakota (author)  MidiaN_768 years ago
Thank you! Good luck with it, and have fun! :)