Decorative Patch




Introduction: Decorative Patch

About: I run Neal's CNC in Hayward, CA, an expert CNC cutting and fabrication service. Check out what we do at I'm a founding member of Noisebridge, a hackerspace in San Francisco, and Ac...

I hate waste, and I like my clothes to look ... different, interesting... weird even.  So when something I like gets a hole in it, I usually try to patch it.  I recently patched some orange cords with a new technique I invented, which I ended up really liking.  So here it is!

You need some fleece in a color you like, and some denim to back the patch for strength.  Also, thread for topstitching and thread for sewing the patch on; these can be matching or contrast, as you like.

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Step 1: Cut Out Shape

I wanted my patches to be in the shape of a star, which isn't that easy of a shape to work with.  I didn't cut the star out immediately; I cut out a pentagon and made the star shape with topstitching (next step).  Cut a piece from both the fleece and the denim.  They don't have to match exactly yet.

Step 2: Topstitch Patch

 With the fleece and denim pieces pinned or just held together, stitch around the edge of your shape.  Then do some internal freehand stitching for strength (and because it looks good).  Most machines have a setting where the feed dogs can be lowered so they don't pull the fabric through the machine as usual, and you can simply move the fabric around in any direction.  Usually you use an embroidery foot for this but I didn't have one so I just left the foot off entirely!  (Be careful of your fingers if you do this.)

Sew around the edges a couple more times and then trim close to your edge stitching line.  Don't cut into this stitching though!

Step 3: Sew Patch to Garment

 This step can often be done by machine, but for the two holes I had to patch, I had to do it by hand.  This is because the patch in one case went over the back pocket, and in the other case over the front zipper. A machine stitch would have gone through all layers and made the pocket or zipper unusable or at least harder to use, but by hand I could sew through only the top layer and leave the underneath layers still free.

I simply used a short edging stitch, with my heavy contrast thread.  A thimble was vital for some of the thicker layers!  I made a couple of the first stitches twice as far apart as the rest, so I could fill them in at the end and have a good amount of overlap (see the last picture).

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