Guy DIY: Elbow Patches on a Blazer

Guy DIY: Elbow Patches on a Blazer

Guys, get your sewing kits
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By Megan Collins | Last Updated: Jul 15 2019 | 3 min read

Guys, get out your sewing kits…because it’s time to DIY.

…That stands for “Do It Yourself,” in case you’ve never been on Pinterest a day in your life. Today, we’re taking an old blazer from meh to “Oh, MAN that is one good-looking blazer!”

Nearly every guy I know has an old blazer that he never wears anymore for one reason or another, banished to the very back of his closet. Adding elbow patches is a very simple way to get that blazer up to date and back into wardrobe rotation. 

Now, the “easiest” way to do this is take it to your local tailor, but the second easiest – and first cheapest! – method is to do it yourself. Now, you could take heat activated patch material and iron them on to the elbows, but this wouldn’t be a true DIY, if we didn’t make it slightly more challenging – so today we’re making the patches ourselves. For those of you who want put a little elbow grease into your elbow patch makeover – this DIY is for you. 

Here’s what you’ll need:
  • 1 blazer
  • Heavy fabric like felt in a color that is complimentary to your blazer – (14 inches by  10 inches)
  • A white piece of paper
  • A round bottomed object (like a glass or coffee cup)
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Pen or marker
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • A safety pin
  • Needle and thread (an arm’s length of thread that matches your elbow patch material)
  • Measuring tape

Step 1: Make your elbow patch pattern

Place your round bottomed object (in this case, it’s a cup) on the white piece of paper and trace it with the pencil. Typically an elbow patch is an oval shape that is around 6 to 7 inches long. If you know you have extremely long arms, you may want to go for 7 inches but for a regular length, go for 6 inches. Use the cup to create a second overlapping circle.

elbowpatch1     elbowpatch2

Then, draw a line with a ruler between both oval circles and erase the other lines that make up the circles. The end result is the oval.

Next, cut out the oval.

elbowpatch3  elbowpatch4  elbowpatch5

Once you have the elbow patch pattern, place it on the felt material and trace it with a pen. Then proceed to cut out both ovals.

Don’t worry about perfection: the effect of elbow patches is supposed to be a bit rough around the edges. No one will scrutinize your handiwork, err, elbowwork.

elbowpatch6  elbowpatch7  elbowpatch8

Step 2: Determine where to sew the elbow patch

Put on your blazer and bend your arm. Mark the point of your elbow with a pen or marker.

elbowpatch9Step 3: Sew on your elbow patch

Now we’ve come to the fun part.

Place your elbow patch on top of the marked spot, ensuring that your elbow patch is right in the middle of the marking. Use your safety pin to secure the elbow patch on one side. Place the thread through the needle eye and tie the end in a knot. The needle should first be put through the fabric from the inside of the jacket sleeve; this is so the end part of the thread that is knotted is hidden underneath.

Start sewing around the edges of the elbow patch. The needle should go through the elbow patch, blazer arm, and lining only. In one motion, the needle goes through the three layers and back out, this works by having your other hand in the inner sleeve to guide the needle. Be prepared for a bit of pricking. When you’ve reached the end of the circle, double back and sew all the leftover spots, so that the end result is a sewed circle. Once you reach the end of the circle, make a knot underneath the elbow patch and cut off the excess thread.

elbowpatch10     elbowpatch11     elbowpatch12

elbowpatch13            elbowpatch14

Step 4: …jk there’s no step 4. You’re done!

You may want to use scissors to cut off any uneven edges on the elbow patch, but seriously, that’s it.

You’re done!

elbowpatch15     elbowpatch16

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