DIY Basics: How to Add Trendy Elbow Patches to Boring Sweaters
If you are at all like us, you probably have a few boring sweaters that could use an on-trend update. With elbow patches officially back on the fashion scene, follow these easy steps to bring your old sweaters back to style.
– old sweater
– scrap fabric
– double sided heat bonding adhesive (iron on glue)
– push pins
– paper or cardboard
– needle and thread
– Tools: iron, ruler, scissors
Pick a sweater that is in need of some detail. If you do not have a boring sweater (lucky you!) check out Uniqlo or H&M for an affordable basic knit.
Next you need to find some scrap fabric for the elbow patches. It’s best to use a fabric that doesn’t easily fray, like felt, faux leather, suede, or a knit. You’ll need about an eighth of a yard of fabric.
Create a template for your elbow pad shape. Find something that is round (mug, wine bottle, large water bottle, top of a solo cup). We used a Starbucks coffee cup. Trace one circle, then shift over to trace a second one and create an oval shape. The oval we created is about 6 1/2 inches long.
Trace two ovals on the adhesive fabric and cut them out.
Lay the stencil on the fabric you have chosen for the elbow patches. It’s important to make sure the stencil is parallel to the edge of the fabric. Trace a second oval next to the first. Both ovals need to be laying in the same direction.
Cut out the fabric ovals. Place the adhesive ovals on top of the wrong side (the side that will be stuck to your sweater) of your fabric ovals. Put on your sweater. Look In the mirror and eyeball where the patches would look natural on your arm. Use a pin/pencil/anything that works to mark your elbow. (Friends are helpful but not necessary for this step!)
Take off your sweater and lay the marked arm on an ironing board. Place the patch on the arm of the sweater with the elbow mark directly in the center. The adhesive fabric is now in between the patch and the sweater. Remove the elbow marker. Holding the patch in place, iron the patch on. We recommend using the steam setting to really stick it on there.
For the final step, if you used a fabric for the patches that will fray, stitch around the edges to secure. If you used felt or leather you can skip this step.
And there you have it! A totally new look for your boring old sweater.
Have you tried adding elbow patches to sweaters or hoodies to give them a little more flair? Talk to us in the comments below.
Emma Mahon is a Manhattan based fashion designer with a passion for all things creative. When she is not designing dresses she enjoys cooking, travel, yoga, and DIY projects.