Whether you’ve got a Scout or a military member in your household (or maybe several!), chances are you’ve been asked to sew a patch onto a uniform. What seems like a simple task can often turn ugly if you aren’t prepared, so we’ve got some quick tips to help make sewing uniform patches a breeze!
Sewing Uniform Patches
This tip is for all skill levels.
Skill Level- 1 Button
As a former Girl Scout Troop Leader, I have done my fair share of sewing uniform patches onto each girls vest. Actually, at times I would go on a marathon sewing binge and stitch the entire troops badges on. This normally took place around Memorial Day. The girls wanted to look their best during the parade!
Tips for Sewing Uniform Patches:
- For a guide on where to position the patches for Boy Scouts, visit the Boy Scouts interactive guide on uniforms. The Girl Scouts have a guide of their own as well.
- Use a larger sewing needle on your machine – one that is made for heavy-weight fabrics, I have found that a 90/14 works well. The uniforms themselves can be heavier (especially military jackets), and the patches are very thick so this type of needle will last longer in your patch-sewing efforts.
- For machine sewing, try using a small amount of washable glue to hold the patch onto the uniform before sewing. This method is faster than pinning and may be easier for such thick patch material.
- Use a clear or invisible thread to attach patches. This will make quick work when attaching multiple patches in one sew session.
- Stitch on the inside of the patch instead of along the thick edge wrapped in thread.
- Or a tight, narrow zigzag stitch to sew the patch to the uniform, matching the thread to the edge of the patch or to the color of the shirt or jacket. Keep your stitching just along the edge of the patch, catching the shirt or jacket fabric in the edge of the zigzag stitches.
- If you want your patch sewing to be very subtle, try hand sewing. Come up from the inside of the shirt or jacket and carefully catch just a small amount of the fabric and an edge of the patch using a whipstitch. (Tip: this method may be required if sewing onto sleeves, which can be too narrow to fit comfortably into your sewing machine.) Using a thimble will help protect your fingers.
- Teach your scout or military member to sew! This can be a great learning opportunity, and if it’s a scout then he or she can probably earn a merit badge at the same time!
Do you have any tips to make this dreaded sewing task any easier? We’d love to hear them in the comments!
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