How to Sew on a Patch by Hand

A hole in your cloth is irreparable, so you have to sew on that patch. The hole will ultimately disappear on sewing a patch on top of it. It is also classy to most youths having a patch on their cloth. It’s the main reason they’ll want to sew patches on their denim or any other cloth. There are also many other instances when you’ll want to sew patches on fabrics.

Are you looking for the lovely sequin patches to show appreciation to your favorite band or sports team? Or the classy jean patch to improve the look of your jeans. You can find these patches and many more anywhere. Having the patch isn’t enough. You need to know how to sew it by hand. Here you will get the best possible insights to do this.

How to Sew on a Patch by Hand?

Ensure you have an idea of where you want to place the patch. Use pins to attach it in place for stability. Do the regular stitching where you pass the stitch all around the edges of the patch. When dealing with a thick cloth and patch, insert the needle from the back of the jacket. Then pull it back again, this time from the front.

Basics You Should Know to Sew Patches by Hand

You can fix patches to your cloth or backpack by sewing with a machine, hand sewing, and glue. You can accomplish this with a bunch of methods. Machine sewing is, however, the best. It will firmly secure the patch in place and make the patch last longer. Coming up with a cute patch will require sewing it using decorative threads.

  • Neaten – It is essential to inspect the hole before sewing on the patch. Ensure you trim any free edges.
  • Be Artistic – Cutting a heart shape on the area you intend to place the patch will improve the look. It will also look great with a square shape. Brainstorm many more ideas on the shape if you want to sew in a patch with a shape.
  • Choose Fabric – Go for the fabric that will blend well with the patch in a case where you don’t want it to be visible. You may use a different color if you wish to a disparity. If your fabric has a specific pattern, look for a patch that works best with it.
  • Backing – A Denim won’t need any backing because it is thick. But when the fabric is light, it needs a double-layer material, for a more-sturdy patch, especially on the knee or elbow area. Before sewing on the patch, use bonding with meltable clothing. It will also ensure the patch is intact before sewing.
  • Learn Hand Sewing Method – If you want to come up with a fancy finish, blanket stitches and whip stitches are the plugs. Small running stitches are also acceptable. All these are embroidery patches, learn how to sew them to make the finish ornamental.

Steps to Sew on a Patch by Hand

Different patches and fabrics come with some small factors that you need to look at while sewing. It is easy to navigate through patch sewing. However, it requires patience. In this section, you will learn about hand-sewing patches. You will also get insights on the best way to attach patches on a fabric.


Materials should be the number one priority. They include:

  • The fabric or cloth you are sewing on the patch.
  • Patch
  • Thread – It should be the same color as that if the patch. If you can’t find one, get a transparent one.
  • Sewing pins
  • Embroidery needle
  • Scissors
  • A tape or ruler for measuring

Steps to Follow:

Step 1: It is important to wash, dry, and iron your fabric before sewing. Otherwise, the cloth may shrink or stretch. In such a case, you may ruin the patch or material and, in some cases both

Step 2: Before placing the patch, ensure there are no seams or folds on your fabric. Now measure and place the patch where you want it to be.

Note: It will help if you put on that shirt or jacket to sew a patch and check the patch’s positioning before sewing.

Step 3: Use pins to hold the patch. Ensure the pins are enough for the patch to sit firmly to the fabric. The patch shouldn’t be moving as you sew if you can manage to firmly hold it as you sew, then no need to use pins.

Step 4: Using a 15 to 20 inches thread, strap the needle. Use a similar thread for this and tie a knot at the end. You can opt to augment the thread to intensify the strength.

Step 5: About 1/8″ from the edge and back of the patch and garment, drive in the needle you’ve strapped. This time ensure you are securely holding the patch. It would help if you placed your finger at the bottom and thumb at the top for a more firm grip.

Step 6: Start the sewing process. Ensure you are slow to get in line with stitches. A straight stitch will help you achieve this. Remove pins that were securing the patch in place once you can hold it firmly.

Step 7: Sew all around the patch. Once you finish sewing, knot the thread. In case there is some thread remaining at the bottom of the fabric, trim it.

Tips and Tricks for Sewing a Patch

  1. When sewing a patch on a fabric such as a shirt, it may have creases or folds. The tutorial notes above direct that you wear that shirt or any other fabric and pin the patch at the correct positioning. It will come in handy when changing the positioning of the patch during other times.
  1. For new garments or those that haven’t had a previous wash, ensure you wash, dry, and iron them. The fabric will shrink and will be in its right size before sewing. Failure to clean will make the stitches pull, which may cause damage to the material during the next wash.
  1. A thicker fabric like that of leather requires a sturdier needle. There are needles you can use for such materials.
  1. Ensure the length of your thread is suitable. A long thread may fasten during sewing, and it takes time to bring it back to its normal state. If this happens, cut off the thread and use a new thread on the next stitch.
  1. If there is some raising at the edge of your patch, stitch right inside that raising. However, if the raising isn’t there, sew at 1/8 – inch distance from the patch’s edge. Just ensure that the spread is even.
  1. When covering holes, the patch needs to be at least 1/2 inches larger than the whole distance. When sewing around, ensure you leave a space of 1/4 inches from the edge of the edge. The tutorial above will guide you when sewing. There is a whole other tutorial coming soon on how to sew patches over a hole.
  1. You can hand wash that garment with a patch, just the same way you wash an embroidered fabric. Spot cleaning is also an option. When cleaning with a machine, please set it to the most pleasant option. When drying, you can hang or recline the garment.
  1. If the option of sewing on a patch is not pleasing, there are many other available options. You can iron-on the patch or use glue to fix the patch. You can use safety pins to confine your patch. They will also improve their quality.

What Stitch Is Best for Patches?

Go for the straight stitch. It will make your sewing task easy and quick. You also don’t want a visible stitch, so it’s an excellent option.  If you choose to iron on the patch, ensure the pattern you use is straightforward. It is also easy to navigate through a straight stitch until you sew all around the patch.

Is It Better to Iron on or Sew a Patch?

Sewing on patches is an excellent option if you are looking for additional flexibility for the job. If you want a more temporary patch that you can move from your shirt to your jacket, consider sewing it on. However, it all depends on your preference, whether you like buying iron-on patches or sew-on ones.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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