Patches are like an inevitable part of a regular military uniform. Sometimes, it becomes necessary for an army person to wear a uniform with patches. Especially, when they get promoted or earn a new badge, they need a patch. You will find a set of rules and regulations for sewing a patch related to a uniform.
You can sew patches on a uniform either by hand or a machine. And you cannot do it without enough practice. You might be wondering about the know-how. Then let us assure you of one thing – this post contains the best guide in this regard!
How to Sew Patches on Military Uniforms?
We have designed this guide so beautifully that you will find the know-how a simple, straightforward process. Let us move on toward the core part. Here we will be discussing that in two separate segments.
Hand Sewing a Patch
For perfect hand sewing, you will need to ensure some logistics. These are as follows:
- A flat workspace
- Thread (Try to manage a color that matches the patch. If not found, it would help to go for a darker one closer to the patch as it blends better than lighter thread. Or, you can opt for a clear thread.)
- Threader (optional)
- Thimble (optional)
- Measuring tape
Step One: Prepare the Sleeve
Here your first job is to fold the sleeve longways. Then put the sleeve around the work area and smooth it as much as you can. Afterward, iron the sleeve. Let not any wrinkle comes into being to ensure a finished patch. It would help best if you created an excellent sharp crease. Now, choose an apt starting point to place the patch.
Step Two: Measure to Place Your Patch
Employ your measuring tape. Your patch needs a distance. Get that on the sleeve. No worries, you will have a guideline for positioning the patch. Almost all the military gears leverage that. You will need to measure from the shoulder to the point your patch should go. And don’t forget to mark that position with the marker.
Step Three: Position The Patch
You have selected the position for your patch, so now you will have to open the sleeve and position the patch. Let it take the center position on the crease.
Step Four: Pin the Patch in Place
Before you sew patches, you need to pin your intended patch in place, agree? So it’s time to utilize the pin to keep the patch in position. Then push the pins so that they appear on the same side of the uniform through the patch. Let them not make a barrier to seamless sewing.
Besides, you need to ensure that the pins lie centered across the crease. And please, dare not to move the patch!
Step Five: Thread the Needle
At this stage, you will need 18 inches long thread. It will be wise to ensure that figure because anything lengthier than that tends to tangle. On the other hand, anything shorter than that will not be handy. Or, to minimize tangling, you may work with the thread on the spool as well. It resists running out of thread while working.
Okay, then thread your needle to knot it. When void of a threading tool, twist and wet the line tip with saliva. And don’t forget to check whether the patch is in position again.
Don’t you want to protect your fingers? Then it would help best if you used a thimble while sewing on patches.
Step Six: Start Sewing
Now it’s time to start sewing with a corner. Let not the knot appear, so begin sewing inside the sleeve. You need to push the needle through the patch and into the sleeve. Maintain the seamline while you move ahead. The thread will unexpectedly be visible if you fail to do so!
Do not let the patch shift while you work. You can even keep the placement of the patch intact while working. It would help if you had fraying in its corners to strengthen your stitching.
And you should not hurry while you proceed. Again and again, keep a close eye on the patch so that it cannot dither. Ensure that your stitching is strong enough! How?
Outline the seam across the patch. And do not ignore double threading all the patch corners, okay! Remove the pins when you are done with the stitching.
Step Seven: The Last Few Steps
You are closer to the end. Check the patch once again to ensure that it is still centered. Then stretch the sleeve to make the patch is firm enough. And after turning the sleeve inside out, pass your needle and thread through the original knot. The knot is in the patch’s corner which is your starting point. Now you need to create a new knot under that.
Afterward, cut the threads that are additionally unnecessary. However, please do not cut too close to the knot. It is risky. Want to come up with a safe measurement? Then it will be wise to ensure between a quarter- or half-inch of your thread. And if the surplus is smaller than a quarter-inch, you had better leave it be.
At last, you need to ensure the fixation of the patch to the crease. For this, fold the sleeve once more to place it on the work side. Iron both the crease and patch as well as the sleeve. That’s it!
Machine Sewing a Patch
Before we talk about the steps, let’s see what logistic support you will need to have. You will need –
- Sewing machine
- Thread (of the same color or closest as possible)
- Threader (optional)
- Measuring tape
Now it’s time to jump into sewing downright!
Step One: Remove Any Creases and Wrinkles
First of all, lay your uniform out on a flat surface and iron it so that you can succeed in removing any creases and wrinkles. Look, if you sew over them, you will come up with a permanent aesthetic eyesore. So this first step is crucial.
Step Two: Place the Patch in the Right Position
What up next? Take your patch to place it onto the uniform. And yes, you have to put it in the correct position. That means it should secure the exact spot that you targeted.
Step Three: Secure the Patch with Ironing Tape
Now at this stage, it would help if you went for a temporarily shot. You have to fix the patch with a clothing pin or ironing tape. So cut a piece of the adhesive ironing tape. Then utilize it with a view to securing the patch on the uniform. As an alternative to this, you may rely on a pin.
Step Four: Set Your Sewing Machine
The following job is to set up the sewing machine so that it can perform the task. For this, slip the uniform on deck. Make sure that you are doing a straight stitch. Besides, an “up” position for the presser foot is essential.
However, your might have different sewing comprising a distinct manual. In that case, it would help best if you followed that.
Step 5: Thread the Machine to Sewing
As soon as place your thread on the spindle’s bobbin, you better start sewing. And before you start, fill up the bobbin and insert it into the correct location. It will be wise to sew at a low speed. By that, you can enjoy better control.
However, if you are pretty accustomed to sewing and stitching, you may go for a higher speed. This way, press the foot pedal down to begin. Rotate your uniform accordingly as the needle goes on. Please don’t forget to release your hold on the foot pedal before you rotate the cloth piece every time. And do you want a consistent pattern?
Dear, then keep the needle in the same place!
Step Six: Seal the Patch
By now, you will have stitched all away around the patch. So it’s time to seal the patch with a knot. And employ your scissors to cut any loose threads. Want to keep the knot from bursting? Want to secure the stitches? Then leave around a centimeter of the thread while you stitch.
Step Seven: Try It Out!
You are all set! Now, you can try on your newly patched uniform. Just remove it from the sewing machine and put it on! And to visualize the steps for your better understanding, here we go for an explained clip:
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What kind of needle do you use to sew patches?
Answer: You had better employ a comfortable size. It might be 80 (12) to 110 (18).
Question: Should I use a needle threader?
Answer: Yes, you should. Especially, it is a must for the smaller-eyed needles such as the applique line.
Question: What material is used to make patches?
Answer: You can use top fabrics like twill, sailcloth for making a patch. On the other hand, you can rely on other popular fabrics such as cotton, polyester in this regard.
Question: Where do you put a patch pocket?
Answer: At first, you need to decide the level of pocket placement. Then measure from the shoulder seam to the pocket top. When bent horizontally at the elbow, experts recommend 2 inches below your arm. Rest is up to you!
Question: How do you make a professional patch?
Answer: You have to follow some steps to make a professional patch. First, use a stock blank or water-soluble backing. Then grasp the elements together by placement stitches. Afterward, use tacking stitches. It would help best if you stitched the individual design elements by color. Finally, disintegrate the backing.
Question: Is it better to sew or iron on a patch?
Answer: It is simply wow! Sewing and ironing ensure flexibility in your garment. Specifically, you can save your patch from being stiff by ironing.
Question: What is a 90 14 needle?
Answer: A 90 14 needle is the needle for medium weight fabrics such as polyester, linen, slightly heavier weight cotton, lightweight upholstery fabric, etc.
Question: How do I attach a patch pocket without topstitching?
Answer: First of all, cut the pocket pieces. Then unite the pocket and lining. Afterward, fold the lining down and staystitch the pocket layer. Now, it’s time to place the pocket and fix the linning following that. Finally, sew the pocket by hand. That’s it!
Question: How durable is an iron on a patch?
Answer: Embroidered patches last for long. Their beauty does not perish even after years of usage. However, you cannot think of delicate fabrics like polyester, silk, or rayon as they cannot hold up to the patch or endure iron.
Question: What is a removable patch?
Answer: A removable patch usually comes up with a customized or unique style. Such a patch comes in Velcro or pin backing.
Question: How do you remove patches from the uniform?
Answer: Before all, manage a nail polish remover to soak a cotton ball in it. Then lift the patch gently.
Question: How do you reinforce iron on patches?
Answer: Cut an iron-on patch. It needs to be double the hole size. Then iron on it. Then sew the belt loop back in place for extra reinforcement with the help of a needle and thread. It will make the belt loop stronger.
Question: Are iron-on patches removable?
Answer: You have to apply heat since iron-on patches are applied with a heat-set glue. The heat will soften the glue. Keep heating to peel the patch away.
Question: How do you remove an iron-on patch from a uniform?
Answer: You need to press adhesive remover on the residue. Spend a minute employing your fingers. Get an old toothbrush to rub the residue. After rubbing well, use liquid laundry detergent to pretreat the area.
To Wrap Up
This post has enabled you for both – hand sewing and machine sewing. Congratulations! It’s high time to give your best. Have a good day!