Learn how to make a fashionable denim jacket with patches.
Things You'll Need
- Denim jacket (or materials to make your own)
- Fabric adhesive or needle and thread or iron
Pick out a great denim jacket. If you don't have one already, you might be able to find a great one at your local Goodwill or Salvation Army store. Thrift store denim jackets are great because they have a lived-in quality that makes them look great with patches. You may find that new jackets look too crisp to be covered with patches. Alternatively, you might choose to make your own jacket. Find a jacket pattern you like at a fabric store, craft store or Wal-Mart. Some of the top names in patterns are Vogue, McCall's and Butterick. Follow the directions on the back on the packet and figure out how many yards of fabric you need. Don't forget to buy buttons, zippers or any other notions listed.
Choose what style of patch you want. Functional patches (such as leather elbow patches often seen on academic jackets) may look out of place on a denim jacket. If you are looking for ready-made patches, search eBay, other online retailers, record stores or Hot Topic stores. You can attach your patches with fabric adhesive, or you can sew them on with a needle and thread. Many stores also sell iron-on patches.
There are commercial-grade fabric adhesives you can buy at fabric and craft stores if you are not great at sewing, but sewn patches will look nicer and last longer than those done with fabric glue. Brand names to look for are Liquid Thread, Fabri-Tac and Aleene's. Each company's glue is a little different, so make sure you read the instructions carefully before use.
Iron-on patches require no additional adhesive or sewing. Fire up your iron, turn off the steam setting, and turn the heat setting to cotton. Press the jacket first to make sure you have a good flat surface. Place the patch on the jacket, and work the iron over the patch in small circles. The patch is activated by heat, not pressure, so there is no need to press down forcefully with the iron. After about a minute, check to make sure the patch is beginning to adhere to the denim. Iron in small circles for another 2 minutes. Let cool. Your patch should be attached! (Note: You should never place clothes with iron-on patches in the dryer, as that may cause the patch to leak goop, or fall off.)
You can also use a simple running stitch to attach your patch. Using thread the same color as the edge of your patch, thread your needle and make a knot at the end of the thread. Stick the needle through the fabric, and simply work the needle repeatedly through the top of the patch down through the fabric of the jacket, and then back up again.