Sewing on a patch on a backpack is very technical and quite challenging for the beginner sewers who never sew a single patch.
The patch is a symbolic piece of art that can make your backpack even meaningful and unique. We have all seen them before.
Someone has a backpack full of patches, and you instantly can determine who they are.
- The frequent traveler.
- The frequent concert-goer.
They all tend to have one thing that is common to them, a backpack full of patches showing where they have been or who they have seen.
Nothing showcases one personality than with patches either on a backpack or a jacket.
So if you are looking to customize your backpack, we have come up with a tutorial to help get you started.
Different Patching Methods
Ironing is one way that you can attach a patch. But be careful nylon melts. You must make sure that the temperature is right or risk ruining the patch. There is also the risk of the patch eventually falling off as the fabric flexes when used. But that will mostly depend on the adhesive.
Most patches are adhesive. By examining the back of the patch, you can determine if the patch is heat-activated. Most patches have a layer of coating that attached on the back of the patch and it normally cover hte stiches. They might come with different thickness.
If there is only embroidery thread present and no backing, your patch is sew-only. (a sewable glue stick can be used to help hold the patch in place while stitching).
A patch that has an adhesive back can be semi-permanently placed on the cloth before stitching — using a very hot iron and press cloth, place the patch on the fabric where it will be stitched. Make sure that it is squared and in the right position that it will be stitched. Although it is a temporary measure to hold the patch, you will still want it set precisely where you will sew the patch.
Semi-sticking a patch helps you in the long run because it can be difficult to sew a patch into place, especially where there are existing seams that you might have to sew through. The extra support that is given using adhesive on a patch helps because if sewn on correctly your patch will last a very long time.
Sometimes moisture slips through to the fabric along the thread line. Adding a silicone seam sealant to the stitch holes on the inside of the backpack can help mitigate this issue. Sewing, although a little more work, could be less disastrous to the patch than the iron-on method.
If the patch is made of nylon bonding could be a solution. You can use a silicone seam sealer or any other kind of 100% silicone sealant that can b found at the hardware store. Spread a thin layer of sealant on the back of your patch. Stick the patch to the bag and apply direct pressure to the patch. Make sure you are using something substantial to spread the pressure over the entire patch making sure that the patch sticks correctly.
How to Sew the Patch on Your Backpack
Step 1: Choose Your Thread
Choose the thread that you will be using with each patch. You can go two ways with this. One would be to find a thread the same color as the patch or two to find a thread of a contrasting color to really make the patch POP. You can’t go wrong. Remember it is your patch, your style.
Step 2: Decide Where the Aatch Will Go On Your Backpack
Keep in mind where you are placing the patch. Placing a patch on a seam or a padded area, could make sewing the patch a more challenging project.
Step 3: Pin The Patch
If not using the iron-on or adhesive method, hold the patch in place using a safety pin. Using a pin will help keep the patch in place as you continue to stitch, keeping the patch in place throughout the entire process.
Step 4: Prepare Your Thread
Take 16-20” of thread and fold in half. Take your needle eye and push the two loose ends through with the two ends should being significantly shorter (3-4” long. The folded ends should be hanging longer.
Step 5: Start Threading With Needle
From the outside of the bag, push the needle through the patches edge towards the inside of the backpack. Then pull both the needle and thread mostly through the patch. There should be a 1” loop visible at the top.
The use of a thimble (or you can use the back of your scissors) may be needed to help push the needle the patch, especially a thicker patch. Take your time, especially if you are new to sewing.
Step 6: Running Stitch
Now, from the inside of the bag, take the needle and push it straight through the patch towards the outside of the pack. This can be done in two different ways:
You can create a running stitch, by running the thread along the inner edge of the patch or an overcast stitch by using the area right beside (or off the edge) the patch and then down through the patch’s edge.
Step 7: Secure Your Thread Tight
Push the needle and thread, through the visible thread that was left from your first stitch. Pull the needle and thread through tight securing the thread.
Step 8: Stitch The Remaining Area
You can continue stitching the rest of the patch using either an overcast stitch or a running stitch.
Step 9: Create A Overhand Loop
Once the patch is sewn on, a simple overhand loop can be used to finish. Push the needle from the outside towards the inside of the bag, making sure not to pull the thread too tight. Now push the needle back towards the outside of the bag, passing the needle through the newly created loop. Then pull tight. Repeat this step 3-4 times, securing the knot.
If the patch fails to attach completely, repeat steps 4-9.
Step 10: Remove The Pin
There you have it. A pretty simple project that will get a lot of attention. But most importantly now you have that backpack that will lead to many conversations starting with a simple phrase