How to make and attach embroidered patches to velvet

attach embroidered patchesLast week the embroidered hoodie pattern got many of you guessing how to attach embroidered patches to stretchable velvet.  I'm sure the advanced sewists out there got the clues immediately after looking at the fabric swatches.  For the others, I'm now going to show you how I did it and how you can too.

attach embroidered patches

I borrowed this technique from a Japanese quilting designer Masako Wakayama who I meet last year in one of the workshops she taught in Singapore.  A gentle lady with a sunny disposition and a lovely patchwork technique that goes back hundreds of years, but her ability to design a scenery on a quilt is nothing less than extraordinary.  She has written ten books and I'm lucky to have one autographed by her.  Although the book is in Japanese, thankfully her class was in English and it allowed me to understand how this quilting technique can be used in other ways.

Materials

Tools

How to choose the right embroidered fabric

Find a fabric where you can isolate a flower or a cluster of flowers you like and can use it as an interesting detail on the garment.attach embroidered patches

I have marked in yellow the flowers that I am planning to use.  Using a sharp pair of pointy scissors, cut away the pieces you want to use.

Fabric recommendations


How to make the embroidered patches

Cut at least 1/8″ (3-5mm) from the edge of the embroidery.  Sometimes you will have to get very close, but try not to cut the threads that make up the embroidery.

Place the patch on the rough side of the Heat and Bond.  attach embroidered patchesPin the embroidered patch down on the Heat and Bond.  Place a cloth on your ironing board and turn the embroidered patch upside down and iron.  Cut away the excess tulle getting as close as possible to the embroidered patch.

attach embroidered patches

Peel the backing of the patch and place it where ever you like on the velvet.attach embroidered patchesI have cut away a few flowers from the embroidery and played around with the composition to achieve the “look” I am looking for.  I want to have some flowers but not make it look overwhelming.  Please see the picture below.  attach embroidered patches

How to attach embroidered patches

To make the glue melt on the velvet you need to use the tip of the iron and no bigger.  The iron is going to make ugly marks on the velvet and ruin your project so be careful.  Velvet is a pile fabric and the heat of the iron will flatten, or worse, melt the fibers. Place a Teflon or cotton fabric to prevent the fibers around the patch from melting.

Taking this precaution is what's going to give your garment the machine embroidered look and no one will believe it is a patch.  Iron in the middle of the patch until is it glued down.

attach embroidered patchesTake the cloth away and iron the edges very carefully. attach embroidered patchesUsing just the tip of the iron will take time to glue the patch on the velvet, but it is good enough to finish the job.attach embroidered patches

A better tool and one developed for this same purpose is the mini iron by Clover.  The tip and the edges are ideal for melting the glue and bonding the embroidered patch by getting in the smallest corners.attach embroidered patches


attach embroidered patches

The heat and bond glue backing may still not be enough to make the embroidered patches stay on the velvet because of the pile fibers.  In this case, use a hand needle and invisible threat to sew around the embroidered patches.

As you change the thread from patch to patch you may want to zap the thread with your Thread Zapper to avoid the tale of the thread scratching your skin.  If you don't have one of these handy tools, please check out the link below.

Here's how the patches look from the inside of the garment.

attach embroidered patches

If you do not have access to Heat and Bond

After cutting the flowers from the tulle, use a transparent drying fabric glue to attach the embroidered patch to the velvet. I prefer to use E6000 because it dries transparent and flexible.

Leave the embroidered patches to dry overnight, the last thing you will want is the patches moving around when you are sewing them.  Use the invisible thread to sew around the patches.  This is just a precaution since the glue will be strong enough to keep the embroidered patches down.

And that's it!  I hope you enjoyed learning this new technique for how to attach embroidered patches.  Please feel free to share pictures of your work in the comments below.  I'd really love to see it.

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16 Responses to How to make and attach embroidered patches to velvet

  1. Andrew Evelyn says:

    On the velvet cloth, the patches look good and spectacular. I Read your blog, and I got a lot of excellent and valuable information from your blog. I like the patch on the clothes, and you have elaborated well how to put a patch on the velvet cloth. Thanks for sharing the great information. Good Luck!

  2. Ruth Bowler says:

    This method sure beats doing embroidery directly onto the garment. Then 2/3 of the way through the application messes up big time. Thank you .

  3. Pam says:

    Very interesting but I did not see the link to Thread Zapper.

  4. Sheryl says:

    Thank you!!

  5. Brenda says:

    Thank you so VERY much. I’m not quite sure when / how you affix the flowers to the tulle. I must need more coffee this morning.

    I do thank you so VERY much for this lovely idea.

    Here's my pic:

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Brenda, you have to buy embroidered flowers. But the question you are asking is one I have been thinking about. I will be buying stabilizer to see try to embroidered tulle and see if I am successful.

      • Sue Young says:

        I have not done it but have seen embroidery done on tulle just this weekend at a workshop – the results were amazing. The person who did it used tulle and two layers of water soluble stabilizer, one on top and one on bottom and did this to make patches. I bought tulle on the way home so when I get a chance I can try.

  6. Ballou Sheryl says:

    I am making this hoodie on my embroidery machine. Very excited about making it. My only question is where do I find the sizing chart?

  7. Carolyn Kipp says:

    Thank you!

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