As the various fashion weeks are rolling by, I keep seeing confirmation that the embellishment trend is here to stay for another season & I am definitely not complaining. I love embroidery, sequins, studs, pins, & patches. Nothing is safe from these adorable adornments; from shoes to bags to dresses & one of my favorite embellished items is a classic denim jacket. It may not be a revolutionary concept but I am definitely drawn to them in all of their punk rock glory. I’ve been searching for the perfect jacket for what seems like months now to no avail, so I decided to “DIY” my own!
There are several benefits to creating your own custom sartorial masterpiece. The first of which is that you have total control over each & every patch or pin that’s used. I like the idea of being able to customize a jacket with flair that best represents my personality. Perhaps a patch from a city I used to live in or a sassy pin that shows my love for flamingos… you get the idea. Secondly, another pro for me is that I like the flexibility of a project like this. You could easily complete this look during a Netflix binge or you can leave it as more of an ongoing collection, maybe picking up patches along your travels or whenever you find a new band you love. Lastly & probably most importantly, I wanted to create this DIY to show you how I affix patches to clothing with ZERO commitment and no iron or glue required. That is, you don’t have to sacrifice your most beloved denim to a trend you may fall out of love with in a few months. I also want to point out that my DIY method is not so temporary that you run the risk of them falling off either. Cringe.
Let me preface this by saying that these instructions were prepared with my most very novice sewer in mind. If you consider your sewing skills to be a bit more advanced, then you can just scroll on down to the pictures provided. Now, let’s get started! Here are all the supplies you will need…
- Article of clothing to customize (e.g., jacket)
- Sewing Thread
- Sewing Pins (optional)
First, I laid my jacket down on a flat surface in order to map out my design. I knew I wanted the large “Hot Tub Club” heart patch in the middle of my back so I picked the perfect spot & went from there. I feel like it’s easiest to go from largest to smallest but you do whatever works for you.
In the off chance you’ve never picked up a needle & thread before, my main tip to you is just to make sure the length of your thread is long enough to go all the way around the perimeter of the patch, with plenty of room for tying off your ends. Pictured below is a visual to help [first image]. Depending on the color of your patches or how particular you are with details you can match your thread to the patch. I went the extra mile for the large heart but for the rest of the patches I just stuck with white. You can either pin the patch in place (which is why the sewing pins are optional) or go all willy-nilly & freehand it, you wild child, you. Once you’re happy with the layout, the stitching begins (see detailed steps below).
- Thread your needle, doubling up the thread & double knot the end.
- Start your needle from the inside of your jacket & pull through the jacket and the back of your patch so you can’t see your knot.
- Pull the thread through until the knot is snug against the denim.
- Loop back through the patch in virtually the same spot the thread came through so you’re left with a tiny stitch that’s nearly invisible.
- Repeat & stitch around the entire perimeter, keeping in mind that all corners and points of the patch should be sewn down so that patch won’t get snagged or pulled while wearing.
- Once you’ve worked your way all the way around your patch, finish off by threading the needle through your first stitch & double knotting again.
Repeat this method on all of your patches & you will be rewarded with a beautiful custom work of art!
Now that you know how I adorn my clothing with patches in the most commitment-free way, it’s time to go out & buy some flair! Where did I get all my amazing patches & pins, you ask? Great question! 80% of my embellishments I scored from Ban.do. They are a company whose motto is “we are serious about fun” & I truly believe them. Ban.do has an entire section on their website dedicated to nothing but flair which is packed with work from some of the coolest artists ever. They also have a killer selection of techtech & travel accessories, stationary, drinkware, agendas & this tote bag that gives me life. There is a sweatshirt that says “Leisure Queen” that I think every single one of us needs, as well as the entire line of “I Am Very Busy” items to let the world know that we don’t want to be approached.
I hope you found this DIY informative but if you already knew this method of sewing patches then I hope you found it inspiring enough to create something of your very own! With the fall season upon us, this is the perfect time to put a little pizzazz into an old jacket, bag, or even a pair of jeans. I would love to see your own beautiful and fun creations too, so be sure to use the hashtag #summerofDIY on social media. I can’t wait to show you how I styled my DIY denim jacket next week, so stay tuned! As always, sending love of beach vibes your way!
XX – Rachael