How to Sew Leather Elbow Patches onto your Cardigan and Sweater

Posted on October 18, 2011 by admin | 24 Comments

As part of Hattie's back to school wardrobe, we picked up this adorable cardigan from the Gap. Hattie is notoriously hard on clothes and the first time she wore it, she somehow ripped a hole in both the back and the front of her right sleeve, frustrating! I knew I could mend both with darning but I also wanted to reinforce the elbows so it wouldn't happen again. Also, how adorable are leather patches on sweaters? So adorable! 

If you have any holes, you will want to darn those first. I demonstrate how to darn jeans here. It is basically the exact same technique.

Pick a thread or yarn color that matches and sew in and out of stitches.

For the part of the sweater that would go under the patch, I just mended the hole, quick and simple whip stitch.

I then figured out what size I would want my patch to be on the elbow. I completely free handed this part. I simply cut a piece of paper until I thought that it looked like a good shape/size and used the piece of paper to trace and cut out my leather pieces.

Now you will want to punch holes in your leather pieces.

Walk a stitch spacing tool along the edge of the leather and then punch the holes where you've marked.

You will want to thread 2 needles. When stitching leather, you will want the stitches to be continuous on the top and the bottom. I used 3 ply waxed linen thread to sew the leather to the sweater. You could of course use something less sturdy. 

Pin your patches in place.

Start the needles side by side, both coming up. Traditionally, you would start one going up and one going down, however because you are sewing leather to knit, you will want the stability of the needles coming up through the leather.

Tuck your thread ends under the patch, they will be covered by the sewing.

Playing follow the leader, each needle will want to pass through each hole.

Sew all around the leather patch. Be carful to not pull to tight, your patch will pucker.

Here is the inside of my finished patch. I'm going to cover my patch using a really light fusible interfacing. This will keep the rough linen thread off the skin.

Cut your interfacing a little bigger than your stitches and tuck your thread ends in.

Fuse the interfacing to your sweater using a hot iron. Turn right side out and enjoy

Posted in leather, patching clothing, tutorials


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24 Responses

Brooke
Brooke

August 26, 2014

SO MANY QUESTIONS – NOT ONE ANSWER BACK?!! I looked for an answer about laundering leather patches on clothing??? NO Answer to the question. Guess I best to google my query elsewhere?

Sew a child sized messenger bag with this featured tutorial! | Go To Sew
Sew a child sized messenger bag with this featured tutorial! | Go To Sew

January 06, 2014

[…] See the full Kid Sized Messenger Bag tutorial here!  […]

freshlypicked
freshlypicked

August 06, 2013

opposite directions! :)

Add elbow patches to a cardi with this featured tutorial! | Go To Sew
Add elbow patches to a cardi with this featured tutorial! | Go To Sew

January 05, 2014

[…] If you want to add some elbow patches to your cardis, head on over to Freshly Picked for a beautifully photographed tutorial! […]

Jenn
Jenn

January 24, 2013

Love this. What about laundry? How does leather survive in washer & or dryer?

Judi Cohen
Judi Cohen

August 05, 2013

I get totally lost where you show two needles knotted. Does each needle go its own direction, or do they go the same direction and just overlap each other?

rooth
rooth

October 31, 2011

You make this seem so simple – I feel like this is something even I could manage…

What is design lab 443?
What is design lab 443?

November 19, 2011

How do you wash this with the leather on it?

Seamingly Smitten
Seamingly Smitten

November 21, 2011

ooh! I love the colored leather! I haven't worked with it before, but you make it look fun! Can't wait to see more from your blog!
Jenny

Pamela
Pamela

October 19, 2011

I love your color combo of camel and grey. It makes me smile. Those leather patches are to D.I.E for. I also love my new leather business card pouch! thank you.

Rachel
Rachel

October 20, 2011

love the way this turned out! wonderful.

Rebecca - A Daily Something
Rebecca - A Daily Something

October 20, 2011

I've been wanting a sweater with elbow patches for a while now. What a fantastic tutorial – and I have JUST the sweater to use.

JWK
JWK

October 19, 2011

Can't wait to try this!! Great tutorial, as always!!

{jane}
{jane}

October 19, 2011

GENIUS! good job lady.

Miranda
Miranda

October 19, 2011

Best idea ever. Now I need to get some leather tools to add to my pile of craft/sewing supplies…

Shelley
Shelley

October 18, 2011

Eeee!!! I LOVE this idea :D I'm pinning this bad boy asap!

Cara
Cara

October 18, 2011

Awesometown! I have been wanting to make an elbow patched cardigan all month, and now I have a fantastic tutorial to follow. Thanks for sharing!

Kelsey
Kelsey

October 18, 2011

This is great. I have been wanting to do this for a sweater of mine. When you pin the patch down, wouldn't it leave a hole in the middle of the leather though?

deirdre
deirdre

October 18, 2011

Thanks so much for this tutorial! I was wondering if you had any suggestions for other kinds of fabric? We love elbow patches over here, but we're vegan!

dandee
dandee

October 18, 2011

So happy about this post. Thanks!

Jasmine
Jasmine

October 18, 2011

i want to try this! I just need a cardigan or sweater to do it on… such a cute look.

Come check out FIKS*D

Melissa
Melissa

October 18, 2011

Love the leather. I've seen a couple in fabric, but I think I love the leather the most. Thanks!!!

Rebecca
Rebecca

October 18, 2011

I've been wanting a sweater with elbow batches, so I may have to pick up a thrift store cardigan so I can try this out.

Alison
Alison

October 18, 2011

LA LA LOVE IT! And you. do you even love me anymore?

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