How to Sew on a Patch

Sewing a patch onto clothing is a useful sewing skill to have.  Here we go over all the simple steps you need to follow to sew on a patch

Sewing a patch is a useful skill. Sometimes, you’ll need to add it to a work uniform. At other times, you’ll just want a way of bringing a little extra flair to your clothes.

The good news is that learning how to patch your clothes isn’t difficult. Here are the simple steps to follow to sew on a patch. 

Pin the Patch Down

The type of patch you use will determine how you approach it. Sometimes, there will be a shiny section on the back of the patch. This means that you will need to iron it down.

The heat will hold it in place. Though there is still a chance it will come off after a few washes. Because of this, it’s best to take the additional step of sewing it on too. 

Regardless of whether you have an iron-on patch or not, it’s a good idea to pin it in place. This ensures that it isn’t going to move around as you sew it in. 

Think about where the patch is going to be located. In most places, you shouldn’t have a problem. But if you are trying to sew a patch onto your sleeve or pants it might cause issues.

You don’t want to sew the sleeve closed for instance. To prevent this, you’ll need to keep the sleeves open, keeping the pieces of fabric separated. 

Sometimes, you will be using a patch to fix holes in your clothes. If this is the case, there are a few extra steps that you’ll need to take. First, you’ll need to measure the hole, to make sure the patch is big enough.

It’s a good idea to use a patching material that is similar to the fabric you are trying to fix. Then, you’ll need to cut off any loose threads and remove any fluff from the hole. This ensures that the patch will fit neatly into place. 

Red Heart patch on denim

Sewing the Stitch by Hand

Sometimes, you will want to want to sew the patch by hand. This is a fairly simple process. You’ll need to start by tying a knot.

If you don’t know how to do this, you can use this guide. Start sewing by taking the needle through the inside of the fabric. It will need to come out on the outside of the patch. 

Next, you’ll need to have a straight stitch that runs around the outside of the patch. Once you’ve gotten back to the start of the thread it’s time to tie it off.

Usually, you’ll need to tie it two or three times to make sure that the knot will hold. Finish off the patch by cutting off any loose threads. 

Prepare the Sewing Machine

Using a sewing machine will save time. If you don’t have one, it’s a good excuse to buy a reliable sewing machine. These can be used for a wide range of projects, including making your own clothing.

A sewing machine will make future patching and clothing repairs a lot easier. If you are searching for a sewing machine, it’s best to get a high-quality machine.

This ensures that will be able to last for a long time. Because of this, many people opt to get a brand name machine, which comes with a good warranty period. To help you do this, check out this Brother sewing machine guide. 

There are a few things we need to consider when setting up the machine. First, we need to think about the type of thread to use. It’s best to use something similar to the patch color. This ensures that the thread won’t stand out.

Then, it’s time to thread the sewing machine. Sometimes, this can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience working with sewing machines. To make it easier, you can use this helpful video guide.  

Finally, it’s time to get the right settings. For this project, you will have to use a straight stitch. If you aren’t sure how you can do this, you can turn to the owner’s manual.

Start with a slow-speed setting. Sewing on a patch will be a difficult process. If you go too fast, you can easily make a mistake and have to unpick your stitches. 

Sewing on the Patch

Once everything has been set up, it’s time to start the sewing process. Make sure that you are sewing the front of the shirt or pants. The underside of the patch will contain all the stitching. 

As you are sewing, you’ll need to make your way around the outside of the patch. This will often be a slow process. You’ll often find that you need to reposition the patch.

When doing this, take your foot off the pedal, then move into the right position and start sewing again. Before doing this, make sure the needle is partway through the patch. 

Finishing the Patch

Once you’ve sewn around the patch, it’s time to finish everything up. This is the fastest part of the process. You’ll need to cut off the thread. It’s best to leave about half an inch of thread.

Then you’ll need to make a knot. In most cases, just one knot is enough. But if it is a thicker patch, you might want to double or triple knot the patch to make sure that it stays attached to your clothes. 

If any loose threads are sticking out, you can slice them off. The patch should now be firmly attached, so you don’t need to worry about it coming out in the wash.

But if you have a thicker patch, you might want to repeat the process and stitch around it twice. 


Whether you need to put a patch on a work uniform or are seeking to repair some old clothes, learning to sew is a vital skill. 

Thankfully, this is a very simple procedure and should only take a few minutes. So, now you’ll be able to get behind a sewing machine and start patching your clothing. 

About the Author: Marilyn Grant

Marilyn was born in Chicago, Illinois. She teaches English Literature at a local school and in her free time she writes for the  website (www.craftyhangouts.com). Marilyn is an avid sewist, she also loves to knit and bake for her two grandchildren. She is part of a group of dedicated, passionate, and enthusiastic DIYers who gathered together in order to create a portal full of useful tips and advice to help those just like them. She is a person who has enough knowledge, experience, and genuine interest in the world of crafting.

The Crafty Hangouts team is a group of dedicated, passionate, and enthusiastic DIYers who gathered together in order to create a portal full of useful tips and advice to help those just like us. Find tutorials and guides that are suitable for your hobby to take it to a whole new level.  

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One Comment

  1. I recently planned to make some custom jackets for my kids, I order some custom patches from 4inCustomPatch and now I’m going to start sewing based on your post, thanks for your help!

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