Valentine’s Day is less than a week away! And I came to the realization that I don’t really own anything red, pink or festive to wear to the day job. Not to mention, I have really been wanting a work appropriate sweatshirt to be extra comfy at my desk. Why not combine the two! A cute way to add a little touch to a plain sweatshirt or cardigan is by applying elbow patches. These ones in particular are heart shaped and polka dotted for extra cuteness.
What You’ll Need:
– A basic sweatshirt or cardigan (I got mine at Walmart)
– Thread & Needle
– A piece of paper, card stock or light cardboard to cut out template.
– Fabric of your choice. Any scraps you have or a fat quarter will do.
– OPTIONAL: Pellon Wonder Under(snag some here!)
– OPTIONAL: An Iron
DIY Elbow Patches – No Sew
There are two methods you could use to create these elbow patches. I am actually going to use both methods on the same patches to make sure the patches are extra secure and will stay attached during multiple washes.
The best way to make sure your patches are positioned correctly is to put your sweatshirt/cardigan on and mark where your elbows are. Use a washable marker or a sharpie, you will be covering it up with fabric anyway.
Now take your piece of paper and fold in half. Draw half of a heart in the size you think will best fit your elbow and shirt. This is really for personal reference. Once you have cut out your heart shape double check your placement. If you are not a fan of the size you can always cut another template until you have it how you would like.
Now trace the heart template onto your selected print. Do this for each elbow. If you are not using the iron on method place your elbow patches where you would like them and pin them to your sleeves. Jump ahead to the sewing portion of the tutorial!
If you are using the Wonder Under make sure your iron has heated up. Place the “wrong” side of your fabric onto the bumpy side of your Wonder Under. Using your iron, iron the fabric on to the Wonder Under material about 15 seconds to secure bonding. The fabric will be hot so let it cool, then peel your fabric off the paper. The “wrong” side of your fabric should now have the adhesive material on it.
Once you have done this, position the new adhesive side of your fabric on to the elbow placement you have marked on your shirt. Cover with a heat protectant cloth or material and iron for another 20 seconds or so. Basically, if you have used those iron on letters before this is exactly like that. Some say you can use steam on this part, however, I didn’t. Make sure that your patch is secured to your shirt material and you now have an elbow patch! Now do the exact same thing with the other elbow.
Side Note: You can stop here if you would like! Or you can continue on to the sewing portion for added security or to add the hand-stitched look to your finished product.
DIY Elbow Patches – Sewing
Once you have your elbow patch bonded (or if you skipped the bonded step but have your patches secured in place with pins) get your needle and thread ready. You can use a basic white thread or colored thread depending on the fabric you used and the style you are going for. Since my fabric is red with white polka dots on a grey sweatshirt I decided to use the white thread.
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Go from the inside of your sleeve for your first stitch so that the tail of your thread is on the inside.
Continue to thread around the perimeter of your heart. This is another step that is truly personal preference. If you are familiar with different stitch styles than use your favorite. Here is a great guide for different kinds of stitches.
Once you have sewn all the way around make sure your last stitch ends on the inside of your sleeve. Turn your sleeve inside out and tie both tails together, do this a couple types to secure. Then cut the remainder of your tail and BAM! you have heart shaped elbow patches!
This is a super easy way to give an old sweatshirt or cardigan new life! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and stay tuned for many cute and easy DIY ideas! xo Tayla