Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Making Patches Look Deliberate

I bought Caralie an outfit on clearance at Carters while I was in Georgia. It was a solid pink knit top with polka-dot brown shorts. Only when I got home to Arizona did I realize there was a hole in the shirt:

It's small and in the bottom-right of the front. I was seriously annoyed, but knew there was a solution. I would just sew a patch over it. Since so many children's clothes have embellishments these days, I knew I could make it look like the patch was meant to be there by adding more than one and artfully arranging them.

You can buy pre-made patches and embellishments but I chose to go the cheap route and make my own. Since the coordinating shorts were brown and had colored polka dots, I figured I'd make brown and white hearts with some scrap fabric I had. To help keep the patches in place as I sewed, I used Heat n Bond:

You can buy it in a roll ...

... or you can buy it by the yard at any fabric store. Joann usually has the rolls in the notions section and the yardage behind the cutting counter. Use a coupon!

  • matching or coordinating cotton fabric (scraps are fine)
  • Heat n Bond
  • matching or coordinating thread
  • pencil and paper

STEP 1: Make your patches shapes. Draw them, trace them, or print them on paper. I cut out two sizes of paper hearts:

STEP 2: Trace shapes onto the smooth side of Heat n Bond. Keep in mind that the patch will be the reverse image of what you trace, so if you are doing something directional like a letter, make sure you trace it backwards. Iron Heat n Bond to wrong side of patch fabric:

STEP 3: Cut out shapes and peel off backing paper. Place shapes on clothing, adhesive side down, and arrange how you want them. Iron in place:

STEP 4: Zig-zag stitch around outer edges of patch:

When doing curves, it's best to go slow and pivot, with the needle down, every few stitches. Also, if you are stitching on knit like me, be gentle and try not to stretch the fabric as you sew. For these hearts I used my machine's 3rd zig-zag stitch size and a #2 stitch length:

However, I started and ended each heart on a #0 stitch length and made a few stitches to help the thread stay in place.

Once all the hearts were stitched in place, I was done:

It only took 20 minutes and that was because I let Caralie do the tracing for me and I was also taking photos of my steps. And I actually like the outfit better this way! I'm considering sewing on some colored buttons with the hearts, but it might be too much. What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I want this outfit for Grace! YOu did a great job.