DIY Letterman Patch Tutorial
Looking for Patch Application Instructions? SCROLL DOWN ⬇️
Crafting the Perfect DIY Letterman Patch: Trendy, Sustainable, and Yours
Are you tired of blending into the crowd with store-bought fashion? Want to stand out with a custom touch? Well, buckle up because we're diving into the world of DIY Letterman Patches! At MildaMade, we're all about making sustainable and unique fashion statements. So, grab your creativity, and let's get crafting.
Why Settle for Ordinary?
Why settle for a generic letterman jacket when you can create a personalized version that tells your story? I'm all about making trends my own, and what better way to do it sustainably? Let me guide you through the process of crafting your own DIY letter patch. Whether you're a crafting novice or a sewing pro, this project is for everyone.
If you were one of the lucky few to score a seat at my in-person DIY Letterman Workshop, you know how special, creative and inspiring it is to make something with your own hands. For those of you that took the time to join me and get crafty- I hope you had fun!
Tips and Precautions
Be gentle with yourself and take it slow. If crafting and sewing is new to you, its OK! Buy a little extra fabric to experiment with so you can get the hang of it. I highly recommend using “fabric” you have already: Whether its an old button-down, t shirt, colorful towel, velvet bat-mitzvah dress or vinyl apron- you don’t have to spend much money to to make this beautiful. In fact, I bet you have a whole fabric store in your own home and didn’t even realize it! Need ideas? Click here for a little inspo!
Using a Sewing Machine
For those of you that are comfortable with a sewing machine- I highly recommend that you stitch the patch itself, as well as sticking it to the garment of your choice. After you glue + iron everything together, use a small, tight and narrow zig zag stitch around the outline of “Layer 2” to minimize fraying and extend the longevity of the patch. When you stitch the patch to the garment, make sure you are using the appropriate needle for the thickness of the garment fabric. You may also want to work with smaller stitches and at a slow pace around all those curves and angles. Additionally, sometimes a clear foot or a zipper foot helps with the seeing where you need to stitch.
Materials You'll Need:
- My downloadable "Athletic Font" stencils (Download Here!)
- 1/4 yard of felt (“Layer 1”) in color of your choice (alternately, you might want to use a craft square typically for children's crafts, but this quality is typically thinner and less plush).
- 1/4 yard fabric of choice (“Layer 2”) that is low-fray: felted fabrics, thin t-shirt jersey, stretch velvet, and old towels are all great choices. Just remember, if you are working without a sewing machine, choose a fabric that won’t shed once cut and will withstand repeated wear and washing. Upcycling something from your closet wins brownie points!
- 1/4 yard fusible pellon interfacing- white or black. These come in different thicknesses, a medium weight fusible is a safe bet, but you might want a heavier weight fusible if you are sewing it to a stiff/thick jacket.
- 1/4 yard Fusible Bonding Web; also called by its proprietary names like “Stitchy Witchery” or “WonderWeb” or “Wonder Under”
- 1 yard Press cloth fabric: Old clean sheets or large fabric scraps as large as you ironing area work great for this.
- E600 glue or fabric glue of your choosing.
- Fabric Scissors
- Paper/Crafting Scissors
- Coordinating thread to match bottom felted layer
- Fabric Marking Pens (highly recommend erasable “Frixion" Pens that disappear with heat/iron)
- Decorative trims like beads, sequins, rhinestones, embroidery floss to embellish your letter afterwards- use E600 or hand stitching to secure.
- Fray Check- run this special clear glue along all cut edges to minimize fraying.
- Sewing Machine (to stabilize letter itself and also sew it to the garment for added security)
Instructions for making your letter patch
- Turn on your iron to preheat for 10 minutes to the hottest setting possible (if using a home iron) and 250 degrees + if you are using an industrial iron, steam press, or Cricut Iron.
- Print the stencil of your choosing, which has 2 parts (“Layer 1” + “Layer 2” ). Carefully cut out the bottom foundation letter, which will be larger, and the top letter, which is smaller.
- Prep your ironing area as this can get a little messy and sticky! Cut a large piece of press cloth larger than your ironing table area and smooth it down- you may wish to iron it if it is wrinkled. Cut another piece of fabric that is about 2x larger than your iron’s face (12 x 12” is a good size). You will use these fabrics to sandwich all your fabrics while ironing in the following steps.
- Place the felt (“Layer 1”) on your ironing table and the fusible interfacing on top of it, face down. The “face” is the rough + shiny dry glue side. ***Careful! If the shiny side faces you and you place an iron to it, it will stick to the iron, causing a huge mess!
- Press the interfacing according to fabric directions (usually about 10-30 sec per area) until all the fusible is sufficiently bonded to “Layer 1”. Let cool and check to make sure it isn’t peeling off.
- Place the top fabric “Layer 2” face down on ironing table and repeat step 4 with fusible.
- Place “Layer 1” face (felt side) down on table. Working from the side with fusible, place fusible bonding web on top and iron according to fabric directions (usually about 10-30 sec per area). Let cool. Do not peel paper backing yet.
- Working from the back side (fusible side), place your larger letter on “Layer 1” backwards. Trace around with your marking pen. Cut out. Flip over and double check you have traced this correctly and that it reads as you would like it.
- Working from the back side (fusible side), place your smaller letter on “Layer 2” backwards. Trace around with your marking pen. Cut out. Flip over and double check you have traced this correctly and that it reads as you would like it. It should fit exactly inside the larger letter in “Layer 1”.
- Optional- Use “Fray Check” along all cut edges to minimize fraying and extend life of patch.
- Spread thin layer of glue on the backside of “Layer 2” (smaller letter). Place it on top of “Layer 1”, being careful to center it exactly. Allow to cure fully according to package instructions.
- You are ready to iron your letter on! Follow below for separate instructions.
Patch Application Instructions
1. Preheat the iron for 15 minutes at the cotton setting.
2. Carefully position the patch in the desired location on your garment.
3. Place a press cloth over the patch; avoid direct contact between the iron and the patch.
4. Apply firm pressure with the iron for 30-60 seconds to ensure a light adhesion, taking care to steer clear of any metal or plastic trims.
5. Turn the garment inside out and administer additional heat application at 20-second intervals from the backside, again taking care to steer clear of any metal or plastic trims.
6. For added security, either hand-sew or use a sewing machine, employing a zipper foot to navigate around any trims.
You've just crafted a fabulous custom letter and garment.
I'd love to see your creation, so don't forget to tag me (@MildaMade) on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok and use the hashtag #DIYMildaMadeLetterPatch. Let's make sustainable, trendy, and uniquely yours fashion!