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Get Creative with Clothing Patches: Did it with Dritz

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We certainly hope Sew4Home is one of your top stops for all things sewing-related. But today, we're giving your machine a rest. As part of our "Did it with Dritz" Week, we're taking a look at their huge selection of Clothing Patches. Of course these fusible wonders are awesome for their definitive use: fixing a hole in junior's jeans. But, that's just the start of the inspiration and fun. Dritz offers a huge selection of colors as well as sizes and textures: from twill to nylon, denim to corduroy and more. We spent some time patching our way through pillows, scarves, tees, and... of course, jeans. The Great Giveaway associated with this articled closed on 11/21/14. Thanks to everyone who participated. 

Sometimes you wonder how a manufacturer would use their own product when making an item. You figure since they designed it, they should know best how to use it. One of our favorite examples of this (to eat) is the chocolate cake recipe on the side of the Hershey's tin. It's always good. Hershey's knows how to use their chocolate.

Dritz doesn't have any dessert recipes on their new site, but they do have something almost as good: lots of fun projects that demonstrate how Dritz would use their own notions and tools. In fact, the images below of the clever "patchwork" on the torn jeans are from their Dritz Make Something Blog

We built upon these ideas and put together several of our own ways to use Dritz Clothing Patches. We used the Dritz Petite Press Mini Iron for most of our projects. Its small size made it perfect for working with the intricate shapes and getting into small spaces.

Take a look at our concepts, then scroll down and leave a comment to tell us your idea for Patch-Mania! You could be one of three winners of a Patches Prize Package o' Fun!  A big thanks to our friends at Dritz for providing enough product for THREE lucky Sew4Home fans.

The classic: holes in the knees made new again

Kids are hard on their pants. Sometimes it seems like holes appear at the knees just a few months in, certainly long before the rest of the pants are outgrown. This is the classic use for Dritz Iron-On Patches, but why not kick it up a notch by cutting the patches into interesting shapes. 

Create your own shapes or use the cool Dritz templates. There are two sets of templates from which to choose: one with ten different shapes, like a dinosaur, star and flower; and a second set with the letters of the alphabet.

Simply trace your shape, cut it out, and fuse it in place. You can even fuse a plain patch on the inside of the pants to reinforce the repair from both sides.

Cover small tears with mini art

Sometimes little hazards can do big damage. Have you ever caught your favorite shirt on a nail you'd never noticed sticking out from the back door? Even a little tear can turn a great top into something destined for the rag bin. Or... maybe not. We used cut some of the smaller Dritz patches in half and mixed up the colors to cover up a tear with a interesting block design. On the second tee, we used a standard die-cutting machine to punch out some cute shapes to fashionably cover up a tear. The patches went through the die-cutter with flying colors; even the smallest designs came out sharp and clean. And, the fusible backing left no residue on the cutter's blades. 

Stains disappear under layers 

It's a scientific fact that stains are drawn to new clothing. Especially stains that don't wash out. Patches to the rescue again. We used a hand cut arrow design to cover up a long dribble, and a multi layered flower to disguise a few salsa splashes. 

Turn plain jeans to designer style

This is similar to the repaired jeans above, but we took brand new dark denims from drab to dynamite with a few artfully placed patches. The teeny tiny hearts were punched with a standard paper hole punch, proving again what a great, clean cut you can get from the patches. 


A plain tote bag is just begging for a bit of drama

A blank tote is a great surface for a little patch artwork. We used our die-cutter again to create some simple shapes, but don't forget about the Dritz Template options. Or, use your own imagination. The patches are easy to draw on from the front or back. You can use a regular pen if working from the back (optimum for letters), but use a fabric pen or pencil that will wipe away or disappear with exposure to air if drawing on the front of the patch. 

Make some sheer magic for scarves, curtains and more

When working on some of our other ideas, we noticed how wonderfully flexible the twill patches were. This got us thinking about trying them on a completely out-of-the-box substrate. We cut our shapes and ironed them onto sheer chiffon. It worked beautifully. Try this tone-on-tone technique to create an instant fancy scarf, a pretty curtain panel, even a skirt overlay. As with many of the patch applications, use a pressing cloth to distribute the heat evenly, protect the base fabric, and prevent the patch from developing a shine.

Reinforce a tufted pillow

If you're working with a lighter weight fabric, a tufted button can be tricky. It's hard to pull the button tight enough without almost pulling through the fabric. Layering one or more small patches at the pillow's center reinforces the area and provides an interesting background for the button. 


Create a pillow opening with function and flair

More pillow inspiration – this for a button-up envelope opening. We chose the small corduroy patches from the Dritz Iron On Patches Assortment. It was a unique texture to work with. We wrapped the finished overlap edge of our pillow with the patch, then stitched the buttonhole in matching thread through all the layers. As with the tufting idea above, the patches add strength, stability and style.  

How to enter to win one of THREE Patches Prize Packages o' Fun

This Great Giveaway closed on 11/21/14. Thanks to everyone who participated.

1) Leave a qualifying comment that meets the criteria of the giveaway.

See the full description below under the heading "Qualifying Comments." 

2) Tell us how to contact you should you win.

While you can leave your email address with your comment, we highly recommend you register with us and login (top of the page) before you comment; your email address is then hidden from view. You are also free to simply make a comment and choose not to be entered.

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Qualifying Comments

We had fun playing with patches, but now we want to hear your ideas for Patch Magic. Leave us a short comment below.

More details

We will draw three people at random from everyone who posted a qualifying comment on this article as of midnight PT November 21, 2014.

No purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited.

We will contact our winners by email to coordinate delivery.

Make it easier for us to notify you should you be one of our lucky winners. Simply register with us and login before you comment. Your email address is then hidden from view.

NOTE: We are happy to open this Great Giveaway to all our Sew4Home visitors, both those from the USA and our International followers. 

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Comments (60)

dawnm said:
dawnm's picture

I love all the ideas, and would use all of them. I would also like to take my plain jane pillowcases and dress them up.

Cdnrose 46 said:
Cdnrose 46 's picture

Wow! this site is great.  New patches ideas and so easy to do, I wish I had though of these. Great ideas to fix the ever present stains.

Thank you

kittyklaws65 said:
kittyklaws65's picture

All of the good ideas I had seem to be taken, LOL I love the idea of using the templates to create decorative patches. Especially for the little ones who are learning to crawl or walk. Those knees need extra padding. Or how about a shade for the car window next to the little ones? Make it decorative instead of blah and boring. Backpacks need extra support as well. Strengthen the areas around where the straps are attached to make them really durable.How about the arms on our furniture? They need extra support and coverage because of all the loving they get, if you know what I mean.  Love that S4H has opened up our sewing world to more tools. Thank you! 

Piz16zolo said:
Piz16zolo's picture

These patches would be great to cover stains on a favorite apron!

Karen norris said:
Karen norris's picture

Always coming up with innovative product that is not only functional but creative . Way to go!

Jaime Smith said:
Jaime Smith's picture

Ooh. I've just been mourning my favourite pair of cute, comfortable jeans - I fell out of my wheelchair and managed to rip them on one side. Between wheelchairs, braces of various kinds and what my hubs calls 'random gravity testing' (falling over) and 'structural integrity inspection (falling into/clinging onto walls, doors and other odd bits of architecture), my clothes have a hard time of it, and as my clothes need to be tailored to look like they fit while I'm sat in the wheelchair I'm always wishing they lasted a bit longer. I have a die cutter, so me and these patches are all set for a whirlwind romance, methinks!

stucky said:
stucky's picture

I have so many different ideas. The best is on the elbows of sweaters or shirts.  Adds fashion too.  I havea grandson, so adding patches on his towels so he knows which one is his. on pillows or pillow shams. I could go on and on, patches are functional and fashionable all in one.......

SEWNYA said:
SEWNYA's picture

I have DONE so many patches with Dritz.  Right now my husband's beloved sports coat is starting to fray at the elbows and is in need of elbow patches.

sewing_jen said:
sewing_jen's picture

I would use them to cover some oils spots and stains on some shirts and to cover thin sppts and holes on the elbows of a few shirts.  We are a messy family!

ksjohnso52 said:
ksjohnso52's picture

I would buy a package of plain t-shirts and embellish them with these patches and other materials to make designer shirts as gifts.

labriek said:
labriek's picture

How fun! I have some t shirts that have a hole in it and this would be a fun way to repair it!

rosemary Rivas( said:
rosemary Rivas('s picture

We are renovating our home and I have some lampshades that need updating.  Can I use these patches to bring color to some very dull, old lampshades?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ rosemary rivas - interesting idea about the lampshades - it would really depend on the what the shade was made of. The sheer fabric we used for the scarf was quite delicate and the twill patches adhered without a problem. You might want to test a small patch in an unobtrusive place on the shade to see how it works. It might be a good project for the Dritz Petite Press we show above. That works great in odd spaces. 

Nancygtk said:

I've been looking for inspiration to emblellish fabric window shades.  This may be just the ticket.

Mary Chevalier said:
Mary Chevalier's picture

Wow how nice to see such different way too use these patches .Have been using them for more years than i care to remember,but never taught of using them in so many different ways.Love all the pretty colors as most are black,blue or brown.

rrjane011749 said:
rrjane011749's picture

Great ideas! More of those "Why didn't I think of that?" thoughts going through my brain!

T Williams said:
T Williams's picture

Fantastic! Just last week my nephew asked me if I can fix a cigarette burn hole in the back of his jacket and I have no idea what to do, but now.........Thanks for the great idea.  I love that scarf!

donna altieri said:
donna altieri's picture

I really wish just once my brain would work like yours does!  i would never think to use these as appliques but they are great!!  thanks,


mummsie said:
mummsie's picture

My little niece loves headbands. I think some hearts or her name would be cute on a cloth headband.

Maggie78 said:
Maggie78's picture

Loving all the great ideas! Have a t-shirt and pair of jeans sitting on the sidelines just waiting to get their patch on! :)

Margaret Van der Ree Edmonton A.B. Canada said:
Margaret Van der Ree Edmonton A.B. Canada's picture

very interesting the things a person can do with patches

Donita said:
Donita's picture

Oh my goodness!! What wonderful and beautiful, not to mention useful ideas! Thank you so much for opening up such great possibilities. I can use them to rejuvenate my granddaughters stained t-shirts, patch and design my grandson's jeans, create beautiful designs on drabby throw pillows and the scarf - GORGEOUS!  This is a new world of possibilities for everyday use and to brighten and 'enlighten' several areas of our home.

Thank you!

Sewinbear said:
Sewinbear's picture

These are absolutely fun & AWESOME!!!   My Grangirlie & I would probably use to decorate some Totes for both of us, and Pillows for her room!!

tenajl said:
tenajl's picture

I think it would be fun to use the patches to make a picture to hang in my craft area.  Then there are those holey jeans my husband insists on wearing!

Raihana said:
Raihana's picture

Wow !!! I'd use them  on kids Tshirts   and the zipper pouches  I just made for them  . Thank you for having this open for international  followers.

Cjasper said:
Cjasper's picture

I have seen some brilliant uses for the patches here. I would like to embellish the re useable shopping bags with some creative patches. Going Green and having fun doing it. They would make great gifts. 

abverwimp said:
abverwimp's picture

     what a wonderful idea,i especially love,love the sarf, the tote bag is beautilul.

      can't wait to try some,i am so inspired by your projects. thank you

thefreedmans said:
thefreedmans's picture

I have had some of your iron on patch material for years and had never thought to use it in this fashion.  What a novel idea!  I can't wait to try it on a pair of jeans I own, but does not need mending,--it should be fun to create a layered star and then add some bling :o)

Tina C said:
Tina C's picture

Thanks for these ideas!  i never thought about cutting the patch into a design.  i have enough trouble getting them to stay down on the edges...

Julia D said:
Julia D's picture

I have a pair of jeans that need patching and patch magic would be ideal for this.

LadyCascade said:
LadyCascade's picture

Patch magic will make fixing the knees in the grandbabies jeans a snap.  I also think that their Christmas stockings could do with some fancifying .. perhaps .. patch magic nativity silhouettes would do the thing.  

Sewtired said:
Sewtired's picture

This might be just what I need to fix about a dozen of my T-shirts that mysteriously developed a rash of small holes across the belly.  I've been bewildered about what to do with these nearly new shirts.  I'm still trying to find out what caused the holes, too.

iambuzzyma said:
iambuzzyma's picture

I'm planning to make table runners & toppers for Christmas gifts this year. Thanks SEW MUCH for the inspiration. Can't wait to start planning using Dritz patches for the appliques! said:'s picture

These would be great on babies and small ones garments.  Then there wouldn't be anything stiff or stickey up against their skin.  Can't wait to try it for all my new great nieces that are on the way!!

Dorothy Schreffler said:
Dorothy Schreffler's picture

What a great idea!  I will have to check these out the next time I go out to the fabric store.  So many things I could use these on .....

Could you tell me what the name brand of the little iron is and where it can be bought?  Thanks!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Dorothy Schreffler - we linked to the mini iron in the intro, which will take you to the Dritz site. From there you can find retailers - although, really, you can find Dritz just about anywhere :-)

Dritz Petite Press Mini Iron 

Janet Rettig said:
Janet Rettig's picture

Love the scarf with white flowers. Would love to have some Patch Magic to make some. 

Sherry Fram said:
Sherry Fram's picture

Love the ideas for the patches. Also would like to try to make awall hanging as well.

RonnieSewLoca said:
RonnieSewLoca's picture

I love the birdie patches, so cute! I also like the templates, a shaped patch looks so much nicer than a square one. I was thinking of using a piece of patch to reinforce the fabric when using a magnetic snap or turnlock hardware. The idea of covering a stain with a patch is a good one too!

The Wee said:
The Wee's picture

I love the ideas!  And it's great that the patches can be used in a cutting machine, not to mention paper punches!  I can think of several pieces of clothing for work with snags or stains that could be rehabilitated for work use instead of being recycled.  There are also a few pieces of upholstered furniture and cushions that the cats have worked their "magic" on that could be spruced up using strategically placed patches.  We joke that we can have cats OR nice things; if I can patch things, we can have both!

sandralee said:
sandralee's picture

Would love to try this on some totes for the summer. Can see all kinds of possiblities  

Anonymous said:
Anonymous's picture

REALMENTE ES Bastante Lo Que Se Puede mejorar Una prenda, utilizando Estós parches.Gracias Por La idea. Es grandiosa.

Neeta said:
Neeta's picture

Great ideas, but in my experience the patches never seem to stick after washing.  I have tried several times; they typically start fraying and then eventually peel right off.  In my experience, they need to be sewn on, and for children's pants are difficult to do on a machine. 

Angela M said:
Angela M's picture

I've had the same problem as Neeta - but the garments had been dried with fabric softener. Aha! I certainly have garments with small holes and stains that could benefit from some nice patches, now that I realize what I did wrong this will be fun!

tilleybl said:
tilleybl's picture

I'd love to try these techniques on a T-Shirt or a tote bag.  And I especially love that scarf!

IRedS said:
IRedS's picture

Would love to use these to let my tween Granddaughter "jazz" up her jeans and tee's (since I can't pick things she likes any more!!). 

carder-shari said:
carder-shari's picture

I would us patch magic to transform an old shirt to make it look new.

Suslee said:
Suslee's picture

I live in tees and prefer to buy men's tees for myself.  The fabric is of better quality than used for women's tees.  The challenge is in coming up with ways to feminize them.  I am jazzed to see the designs here.  I have 2 tees that need to be fixed up -- must run out to the fabric store and look for some patches and get started.


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