Knowing how to sew a patch is an incredibly useful life skill. Whether you’ll be mending your own clothes or those of family and friends, you’ll never regret taking a few minutes to learn how to sew them correctly. So get your thread, sewing machine, and sewing machine table at the ready: in this article, we’ll take you through how to sew a patch — step by step.
Note: We’ll be covering how to sew a patch on the right side of the fabric, but you can also try a reverse patchwork behind the hole.
Why are patches useful?
Clothes develop holes or tears all the time. But this doesn’t mean it’s time to throw them away! Not only could they be your favourite garments that you’re not ready to let go of, but everyone should be making an effort to mend their clothes rather than discard them completely.
Patches can be used to cover a hole or tear in jeans, trousers, jackets and more. Plus, you can make them as discreet or stand-out as you please. They don’t take too long to sew, but they could add years to the life of your garment.
Sewing a patch: step by step
Follow these simple steps and you’ll have that hole all patched up in no time.
Inspect the tear
First thing’s first, take a look at the hole. Place your garment flat on a table and take a good look at what you’ll be working with. A sewing machine table is ideal, giving you a dedicated space to work on.
Measure the area
Using a measuring tape, measure the length and width of the area you’ll need to cover. It’s easy to wrongly estimate the size of patch that you’ll need, so we definitely recommend measuring precisely.
Choose your fabric
This is the fun part!
Choose the material you’re going to use for your patch. We recommend opting for a fabric with similar washing requirements to your garment. For example, you won’t want to use a felt patch on jeans. Find something that won’t shrink or fray too easily. Cotton is a particularly versatile, all-round option.
Cut your patch
Using your measurements, cut your patch. Keep in mind that you’ll want to add a few centimetres of allowance (essentially, you need to cut a larger patch than your measurements), so you have room to sew your patch onto the fabric.
If you fancy, you don’t just have to cut a standard square shape. You can cut a heart, circle, triangle… Anything you like!
Sewing machine or by hand?
Decide whether you want to sew your patch by sewing machine or by hand. While a sewing machine will create an extra-strong, uniform stitch, some people prefer the rough, quirky look of hand-sewn patches.
Choose your thread
You’ll also need to choose your thread. Opt for a complementary or contrasting coloured thread depending on the look you’re going for. Just make sure it’s a strong thread. If you’re hand sewing you also have the option of using embroidery thread.
Sew your patch
Secure your patch over the hole with pins, check the other side to ensure it covers it completely, and sew on your patch. Take out the pins and you’re done.
Discreet or creative patch?
Now you know how to sew your patch, perhaps you’d like a little guidance on the best type of patch to choose for your item. Should you opt for a discreet one that blends with the colour and texture of your item’s material, or a creative and fun patch that adds a quirky detail to your garment all on its own?
Well, it all comes down to personal preference and the fabric you have available for your patch. If you have a rather expensive item that you adore just the way it is and that perhaps has a good few years of life left in it, you might want to go for a low-key patch in a similar colour.
On the other hand, if you’ve worn a garment many times, feel like switching it up, and aren’t too concerned about the possibility of not liking the finished product, try a creative, contrasting patch!
A word on sewing storage
At RMF Sewing Furniture, we like to keep all our scrap fabric tidied away in our sewing storage units, ready to find whenever we need to make a patch. This helps us see all our material options all in one, easily accessible place.
Whether you need a space-saving foldaway sewing cabinet or want your sewing cabinet on display at all times, take a look at our range of sewing furniture
RMF Sewing Furniture
Looking for better storage for your sewing equipment? Take a look at our range of sewing machine cabinets made to keep your materials, components, and sewing machines neat, tidy and organised so you can focus on your projects.
Explore our sewing machine tables, too — these will give you plenty of space to set out your machine and fabrics, ready to get crafting. And feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.