patterned patches: an elbow patch DIY

Hey there followers!

Happy Saturday!  As promised earlier this week, I squeezed a bit of time into my schedule to do a fun and easy DIY.  Like I mentioned in my previous post, I’d been trying to find a simple fall-centric DIY that would ultimately be super cheap to recreate.  After perusing Pinterest for a DIY for far too long and only finding luck in elbow patched sweaters for my fall board, I decided that creating my own elbow patches had to be simple enough.  Luckily, it was.

After wandering the aisles of JoAnn’s trying to find the perfect patch, I landed on a black knit with gold animal-print sequins.  Although elbow patches are typically wovens, leather, or suede, I figured I could give the knit a whirl.  I got a 1/4 yard, figuring I might mess up a time or two and I could always have extra.  They turned out really well, and I ended up making some for my roommate and my friend’s birthday present.  It was so easy and now I’m hooked – so I’ll definitely be trying to find some good suede for more elbow-patched sweaters in the future.

Elbow Patch DIY

Time: Approximately 30 minutes



-1/8 yd of fabric (you’ll have leftovers!)

-Fray Check

-Fabric scissors

-Hand sewing needle and thread


-Measuring tape




1.  You’ll start off by tracing around your hand on the opposite side of the fabric that you’ve chosen for your patches.  Trace all of the way around it and cut it out.



2.  Now, fold the patch in half to make sure edges align and are symmetrical.  If they’re not completely symmetrical, trim the excess to create a nearly perfect oval.  From here, you can use the perfected elbow patch to trace the other.

3.  Once you’ve cut out your patches, coat the edges in fray check.  Let it dry.  If you have a particularly stretchy fabric like I did, coat it twice for good measure.


4.  Here is where it is helpful to have a buddy around.  I had my roommate put on the cardigan so I could roughly place the patches where I wanted them.  I pinned them in place and had her take it off.  I then used the measuring tape to measure the patch’s placement from the end of each sleeve and from the high point shoulder to ensure they’re in the same place.  They will likely be off since you originally just “eye-balled” them.  After measuring, pin them in the new place.  It’s probably a good idea to have your buddy try it on one more time before you start sewing! :)



5.  Once you have the placement of the patches exactly how you want them, pin them down around the edges.

6.  Sew those suckers down!  Since they are on sleeves, it’s easiest if you put your arm in the sleeve with your hand directly under the patch to help guide the needle and to ensure it doesn’t go through both layers of the sleeve.



7.  After you’ve sewn them down, from the inside, tack each one down in 2-3 places to make sure they don’t bubble out.



All done!  Super easy, yes?



Cute, eh?  And if you’re wondering how I managed to magically change the color of the sweater, I test drove the DIY on my sweater and took pictures when I made my friend’s!

How are you going to spruce up your wardrobe this fall?

Until next time–




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