how to sew on a patch by hand

How To Sew on a Patch by Hand: A Stitch-By-Stitch Guide

Have you ever wanted to add a personal touch to your favorite jacket, backpack, or jeans? Sewing on a patch by hand is a simple and inexpensive way to express your style and creativity. But where do you start? My stylish companions, do not be afraid, as this step-by-step manual will provide you with the expertise required to convert any ordinary piece of clothing into a unique work of art.

Gather Your Materials

It would help if you assembled a few essential tools before you embark on your patching odyssey.

Essential Tools

For sewing on a patch by hand, you’ll require:

  • Fabric patch or emblem of your choice
  • Scissors
  • Thimble (optional, but highly recommended for protecting your fingers)
  • Embroidery hoop (optional, but helpful for keeping the fabric taut)

Choosing the Right Thread and Needle

The thread and needle you choose will depend on the fabric you work with. For most patches, a sturdy all-purpose thread and a sharp, medium-sized needle will suffice when learning to sew on a patch by hand. However, if you’re patching a delicate fabric like silk or satin, opt for a finer thread and a smaller needle to minimize visible punctures.

Prepare the Patch and Fabric

Now that you’ve gathered your sewing supplies, it’s time to prepare the battlefield – your fabric and patch.

Positioning the Patch

Choose the spot where you want to attach your patch and make a light mark on the fabric using a fabric pencil or a piece of chalk. This will guide and prevent any unsightly mistakes when sewing on a patch by hand.

Securing the Patch with Basting Stitches

Securing the Patch with Basting Stitches
Photo credit: freepik

To keep your patch in place while you sew, use long, loose stitches (basting stitches) to secure it to the fabric temporarily. This will prevent the patch from shifting or bunching as you work on sewing it by hand.

Sewing on the Patch

The moment you’ve been waiting for – it’s time to break out your needle and thread and get stitching!

Mastering the Whip Stitch

The whip stitch is a robust and versatile stitch that’s perfect for attaching patches when sewing by hand. To start sewing a patch onto fabric:

  1. Tie a knot at the end of the thread and bring the needle up near the patch edge.
  2. Loop the thread under the edge of the patch and back up through the fabric, creating a tight, secure stitch.
  3. Repeat this process, spacing your stitches evenly apart until you’ve worked around the entire patch.

Adding Decorative Stitches (Optional)

For those with a flair for the dramatic, consider adding some decorative stitches around the perimeter of your patch when sewing it on by hand. A simple running stitch or a more intricate chain stitch can elevate your creation from ordinary to extraordinary.

Finishing Touches

You’re almost there! After a few final steps, your patched masterpiece will be ready for its grand debut.

Removing Basting Stitches

Carefully remove the temporary basting stitches you used to secure the patch. Gently remove the loose threads using either tweezers or a seam ripper.

Securing the Thread Ends

Secure the thread ends on the back of the fabric to prevent your hard work from unraveling. You can do this by tying a small knot or using a dab of fabric glue.


How do I keep the patch from fraying?

To avoid the edges of the patch from fraying, it is recommended to apply a thin line of fabric glue or clear nail polish around it before sewing it on. This will help seal the fibers and keep the patch neat.

Can I sew on a patch using a sewing machine?

Absolutely! While hand-sewing is a traditional method, you can also use a sewing machine to attach patches. Use a zigzag or a satin stitch to secure the patch’s edges.

What if I make a mistake while sewing on the patch?

No need to panic! If you make a mistake or aren’t happy with your stitches, simply use a seam ripper to remove the stitches and start over carefully. That’s the beauty of hand-sewing – it’s easy to fix mistakes.

How can I make my patch stand out more?

Consider using a contrasting thread color or adding decorative stitches around the perimeter to make your patch pop. It’s possible to try out various stitch patterns or merge multiple patches to create a striking, attention-grabbing design.


Congratulations! You’ve just learned to sew on a patch by hand, and your creation is ready to be flaunted. But don’t stop there – why not challenge yourself with more intricate embroidery designs or try sewing on multiple patches? The possibilities are endless when you have the power of a needle and thread at your fingertips. What creative project will you tackle next?


Main image: freepik

Priti Nandy
Priti Nandy
Articles: 169

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