How to Sew a Patch on a Jersey Sleeve

Jerseys are commonly made from woven fabric or a knit cotton fabric. The directions for how to sew a patch on a jersey sleeve are largely the same for both fabrics. Knit cotton jersey is a little more challenging to work with because it shifts more easily compared to woven fabric. For that reason, you may want to hand sew your sports patch on knit fabric instead of using a machine.

Items You NeedHow to Sew a Patch on a Jersey

  • Sewing needle or sewing machine
  • Safety pin
  • Needle threading tool, optional
  • Adhesive ironing tape
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Cotton cloth

Step by Step Instructions

Preliminary steps:

1. Wash the shirt first.
2. Iron the sleeve. Use a cotton cloth between your jersey and the iron to protect the fabric.
3. Decide where to place the patch. Your team or group might have specific guidance about where to position it.
4. Secure the patch with a safety pin.
5. Put the shirt on to see if the patch looks right with your arm in the sleeve.
6. Take off the shirt and cut small strips of adhesive ironing tape to fit under the patch. Adhesive tape is optional but a nice alternative to the safety pin. The tape does not create a permanent hold but will secure the patch while you sew. The benefit is that you won’t have the safety pin in your way.
7. Place the sleeve on the ironing board with the cotton cloth over it.
8. Heat up the patch with the iron to activate the adhesive.

For hand sewing:

1. After completing preliminary steps, slide one hand into the sleeve to hold the patch while you sew.
2. Thread your needle.
3. A needle threader helps with this task. If you don’t have one, twist and wet the end of the thread to help you put it through the needle’s eye.
4. Cut the thread to 18 or 20 inches.
5. Tie a knot at the end of the thread.
6. Start inside the sleeve and push the needle upward and through the edge of the patch.
7. Pull thread until the knot catches on the back.
8. Poke the needle through the fabric directly next to the edge of the patch.
9. Pull the thread through to the inside.
10. Repeat stitches until you get all the way around the patch.
11. For the last stitch, pull the thread through to the inside and tie a knot.
12. Snip off the leftover thread about 1/2 inch from the knot.

For machine sewing:

1. Consult your sewing machine’s manual.
2. If you want, practice using the sewing machine on scrap fabric.
3. Slide the sleeve over the sewing platform so that you’re only working on one fabric layer. You don’t want to sew the sleeve shut!
4. Position the edge of the patch beneath the sewing needle.
5. Lower the machine’s presser foot to hold the patch.
6. Set the machine on low speed with a straight stitch.
7. Keep your hands clear of the needle.
8. Press the foot paddle to start the motor.
9. Keep the edge of the patch beneath the working needle.
10. On a circular patch, carefully rotate the patch as the machine adds stitches.
11. On a patch with square edges, stop the machine when you reach a corner.
12. Raise the presser foot and rotate the patch 90 degrees to line up the needle with the new edge.
13. Lower the presser foot and start sewing again.
14. Once you go all the way around the patch, run stitches over the first few stitches.
15. Hit reverse on the machine and lay down a few backward stitches.
16. Lift the presser foot and cut the thread.

Get Started with Your Custom Jersey Patch Order

Before you can learn how to sew a patch on a jersey sleeve, you need new patches for your team or group. American Patch & Emblem Company produces patches from popular materials in almost all shapes and sizes. Provide us with your original design and quantity, and we’ll send you a free quote. You’ll get a free physical sample instead of just a graphic rendering. Once you place an order, we turn your order around fast and ship free in the United States.

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