Want to make custom patches, but have no embroidery machine and perhaps only need a limited number? Then maybe my latest experiment could be of some use. It’s basically faking an embroidered patch using iron-on textile transfer film and some nifty, but simple techniques. So let’s get started!
Clothing patches tutorial
- Cotton fabric
- Ink-jet printer
- Textile transfer paper
- Firm fusible interfacing
- Sewing machine
- An iron
Start by designing the pattern on your computer and then make it into a mirror image, very important! In this case, I’m using my husband’s Twitch logo, that I vectorized in Adobe Illustrator. It was a birthday present, so I didn’t want to ask him for the original, obviously 🙂
Also adding cutting lines to your design will make the cutting step easier.
Print out the motif on textile transfer paper. I used some cheap shoddy transfer paper, so I think the result could be better if you invest in some quality paper.
Cut out the motif.
Stabilise the fabric with a fusible interfacing. The firmer the better I would say, mine could have been a bit thicker, but I used what I already had in my stash. Also, pick a fabric with an even surface, I used unbleached cotton from Ikea, but a better fabric would have improved the end result.
An option is to use a stabilizer that is sticky on both sides so that you don’t have to sew the patch in place.
Transfer the motif. Read the instructions carefully, but in short, you place the motif facing the fabric and then press with a hot iron.
Remove the protective paper carefully.
Cut the patch. Use a ruler to make sure it is cut evenly, I found this harder than I had anticipated.
Stitch the edges. Use topstitching thread or two spools of thread and set your sewing machine on a zigzag stitch with a very short stitch length. Experiment before you start sewing on the actual patch. I used a presser foot with an edge-guide to help me sew straighter.
The finished patch. For a first attempt, I think it looks okay, but with a better fabric and more practice with the stitching, I think the patch could have looked much better.
Patch on a hat. I hand stitched the patch to a beanie that I sewed myself. Again the patch could have been better executed, but I’m sure you will do a better job using the principles I’m showing here!
P.S. I gave the hat with the patch to my husband earlier tonight, and was very happy with it!