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How to make your own patched shirt

Patch shirts, jeans, shorts and jackets are a perennial trend. This post teaches how to make your own so you patched shirt.

  1. Readers’ request for a how-do patch your shirt post
  2. What iron-on patches to shop for
  3. Follow these easy steps to patch a garment
  4. Sequin Patches
  5. Will a DIY Patched Item Be Cheaper?
  6. Patched Shirt Outfit Ideas

Disclosure: The post has affiliate links.

Readers’ request for a how-do patch your shirt post

Patched clothes are a thing this season. A while ago, I wore a patched shirt on the blog that I had made myself. Since then I got several requests from my readers for a post on how to add patches to a shirt or jacket in a grown-up way. I always like when my readers ask for a specific subject. Thus, here is the post.


over 50 years old fashion blogger in DIY patched shirt styled with a mesh net skirt

#fashionover50 woman in Casual Friday outfit with DIY patched shirt
DIY patch Oliveo denim shirt, Gucci belt, Hermes collier de chien cuff, Aldo leopard print pumps (all own), net skirt c/o Lookbook store, and denim earrings c/o ENAMOUR

What iron-on patches to shop for

Patches have their origin in the military – think name tag, rank indication, Nationality, unit, etc.. Many businesses use patches to display their employees’ name on the uniform, as encouragement to ask, special skills, and/or to show their corporate identity. Since patches are worn in professional environments, the patch trend can be worn in fashion over 40 without looking ridiculous. However, no matter whether you shop for a patched item or you go the DIY route, you have to choose wisely. This means stay away from everything “kitschy”, childish or patches that were already around when you were a teenager (e.g. the Rolling Stones tongue).


#Styleover40 woman in DIY top with iron-on patches

fashion over 40 woman in patched shirt and net skirt
Oliveo shirt after adding patches, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Aldo pony hair leopard print pumps (all own), and net skirt c/o Lookbook Store


It is best to look for patches that relate to you like the flag of your state, places you visited, patches representing your hobbies or favorite sports, a charity you care for, you get the idea.

I went for ballroom dancing, soccer, patches related to atmospheric sciences like NASA, NOAA and weather patches. I love cats so a cat was in order. Stars and clover leaves always work. I also added the cancer awareness pink ribbon, and the Alaska state and US flags.


Follow these easy steps to patch a garment

Wash the shirt that you want to patch. Arrange the patches on the front of the shirt until you like what you see (step 1 in the photo below). Take a photo and put the patches aside. Turn the shirt around and arrange the remaining patches on the back (step 2). Again take a photo when you like your arrangement.

#DIYfashion illustration how to put a patch on a jacket without sewing
Infographic of the steps of how to make your own patched shirt. 1 and 2) arrange the patches and take a photo, 3) heat the iron, 4) put a patch in the foreseen place according to the photo of the design, 5) iron patch on and wait until it is cool, 6) add the next patch on by continuing at 4)


Follow the iron-on instruction of the patches you bought. Set the iron to the recommended temperature and wait until it indicates that it reached the temperature setting (step 3).

Now start ironing the patches on one patch at a time (step 4).

Pro tip: Wait for each patch to cool down before adding the next

I know we are all busy and don’t have much time. However, it is very important that you wait for each patch to cool down before you iron the next patch on. The clue has to settle (by cooling down). If you bend the patched fabric too early the patch will peel off at its edges! Then you will have to sew it on, which can be very time-consuming depending on how complicated the edges of the patch are.

Pro tip: To not burn or ruin the patches, use a piece of thin fabric between the patch and the iron (see 3 to 4 in the photo above).

Once all patches are in place, the styling fun can begin. 😉


Sequin Patches

Since sequins are made of plastic, they can’t be ironed on. Thus, you have to hand-stich them onto the fabric. This procedure can be time consuming. If you don’t want to invest the time, you can find cheap designer pieces at StyleWe, a store that specializes in providing youg upcoming designers a platform to sell their clothes. See this review of my StyleWe sequin patch denim jacket.

Will a DIY Patched Item Be Cheaper?

As so often, it depends. You have to take into account the price of the item to be used plus the patches (the fraction of cents for electricity). If you upcycle an old shirt, the cost-per-wear will go down faster than for a new one. The more or bigger the patches the more expensive the piece will become. Thus, DIY is not necessarily cheaper than a cheap bought one. See my review of a Shein patch-shirt as an example. DIY, however, will provide a unique so you shirt.


Patched Shirt Outfit Ideas

fashion blogger over 50 wearing a tiered skirt with patched shirt and a Keep calm T-shirt for a casual summer outfit

style blogger over 50 in denim top and pleated skirt
Keep Calm shirt, self-patched Oliveo shirt, Gucci bamboo belt, Calvin Klein blog heel pumps, H&M tiered pleated skirt


Will you jump the bandwagon on the patches fashion trend? Will you shop for a ready-to-wear clothing or DIY?

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Photos of me: G. Kramm

Photos of the patching process: N. Mölders

Inforgraphic of the patching process: N. Mölders

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