September 26, 2011

Stuff I Made: DIY Elbow Patches

Image Sources, Clockwise: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Supplies Needed:
Blah long-sleeved shirt, button-up, or cardigan
Fabric scraps
Paper scissors and fabric scissors
Cardstock and pencil
Washable fabric marker
Paper-backed fusible webbing
Needle and thread

1) Find a patch shape to use. Here's a traditional-shaped elbow patch template from Martha Stewart. My printer is on the fritz so I used the top of a tupperware container. You could also go more playful and use stars or hearts as patches. Use thick paper like card stock to trace your pattern onto; then cut out.

2) Trace pattern onto fabric and onto fusible webbing using washable marker. Cut out shapes.

3) Try on garment and determine where you'll want your elbow patches to be. Mark the spot(s) with safety pins.

3) Peel paper off fusible webbing and line up with your patches. 

4) Fire up your iron and attach patches. You can follow the directions that come with your fusible web, but the gist of it is not to flail your iron around on the garment but to press straight down for as long as you can without, essentially, burning your fabric.

6) Secure with needle and thread. A real seamstress would tell you to use a buttonhole stitch on your sewing machine to finish this applique, but c'mon, I don't know how to do that. And even if I did, there's no way I could do that without sewing the arms shut. So I used a good old fashioned straight stitch with a needle and thread.

And here's the finished product(s)!

I also added some elbow patches to a Target hoodie, and put some applique around the pocket area. Did I, at first, sew the pockets shut during the process? You better believe it. Did I also stand in front of my dining room wall that's wallpapered in the same fabric? Obviously.

Sumo's Sweet Stuff


  1. Love it!! I am such a sucker for elbow patches and I never thought of using a print fabric for them. What a fantastic idea! Going to be busting out my sewing machine this week...

  2. I want to do this! Have always loved them! Thanks for sharing!

  3. cute! i saw a little cardigan with elbow patches on it at H&M when I was in NY and ALMOST got it..may have to try this out!

  4. too cute! I always loved those on guys smoker jackets. You so creative..

  5. Love it Ellen! Love how they have a print!!

  6. I featured you today! Feel free to stop by and grab a button :)


  7. I LOVE this! These are so lovely. I am def. going to have to do this to some button down shirts that I have that need some lovin'. :)

  8. Love this! I'll be featuring it on my blog this coming Thursday!


  9. Is this possible to do with a lace applique? I get the idea here but I hate big circles on the items I am wearing- specifically I have an issue with this because I wear dress shawls/bolers, and the elbows wear out from work (10-key) So circle type patches just don't look right for me but I need something because I don't want to replace a half dozens of these cover-ups..or if you have tips of fabric patterns that are little less obvious and eye attracting.?? actually its this- but i got it at Ross for $20! Thanks,Crystal

  10. thanks for sharing this great blog alab

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