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Customer Elbow Patch Refashion

Hoodie 1 
We were thrilled to receive these photos of an elbow patch refashion carried out by one of our customers who says, "One of my favourite tops lives to see another day." Doesn’t the Cream Daffodil Print fabric look brilliant on this ivory top, and top marks for the neatness of your blanket stitching Suzanne!

Hoodie 3 Hoodie 2







Vintage-Patch is in the process of setting up a website gallery, and would LOVE to receive any photos of how customers have used our patches.  Email us your photos at [email protected]

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Wine Plaid Shoulder Patch T-Shirt Refashion

It took a spell of warm weather to realise how overdue I was in dealing with the quantity of t shirts mounting up in my ‘refashion’ pile.  I’d been thinking that a set of elbow patches could easily double as shoulder patches. Now was my chance to test the theory.

Wine T Shirt Before Vintage Patch Refashion
Before:  I’ve had this t shirt a while but I’m quite fond of the scoop neck, so decided to see if it could be given a new lease of life.

Wine T Shirt After Vintage Patch Refashion 
After: With the help of some plaid elbow patches and some matching scrap fabric,  I’m pleased to say that it could.

Here’s how the refashion happened:

Wine T Shirt Plaid Patchc Vintage Patch Refashion
These Vintage-Patch Plaid Elbow / Knee patches were a great colour match.

Wine T Shirt Fold Patch Down Centre Vintage Patch Refashion
Fold patches down the centre

Wine T Shirt Align patch along seam Vintage Patch Refashion
Align the fold of the patch along the shoulder seam and pin into position.

Wine T Shirt Mark Neck and Sleeve Lines Vintage Patch Refashion
Mark the neck and sleeve lines; I’ve used a wheel, but you could just fold the patch along the curves to mark them.

Wine T Shirt Match Second patch Vintage Patch Refashion

Cut the patch to shape, and then with right sides together (and matching any patterns if necessary), use it as a template to cut the second patch.

Wine T Shirt Neck and Sleeve Lines Trimmed Vintage Patch Refashion 
The trimmed patch placed in position.

Wine T Shirt iron shoulder Patch into position Vintage Patch Refashion
Iron patches into position following instructions in the pack.

Wine T Shirt Stitch Patches Vintage Patch Refashion 
I prefer my patches overstitched; I’ve used a running stitch here.

Wine T Shirt Add Trim to lengthen Vintage Patch Refashion 
I wanted to add a trim at the bottom of the t shirt as it was a little on the short side.  As these patches are reclaimed from a shirt, I used the plackets from the same shirt to make the trim.  Where there’s a pattern which needs matching, I always baste before machine stitching as it helps stop the fabric slipping.

Wine T Shirt Finished Trim Vintage Patch Refashion
Here’s the finished trim.

Wine T Shirt After Vintage Patch Refashion 

The final result; I’m pretty pleased with it.  It was a useful exercise as I discovered there are lots of ways to position the shoulder patches to get different shape effects.  I’ll definitely be doing more shoulder patch refashions in the coming months.

What do you think?

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Aqua Sweater to Cardigan Refashion

Before pic of sweater Aqua Sweater to Cardigan Refashion for
This sweater has been on my refashion ‘to do’ list for a while now.  I used to wear it regularly but after a comment from OH that it was a bit ‘mumsy’, I decided it could do with a redesign.

Raw Materials Aqua Sweater to Cardigan Refashion for
The colour is versatile enough for summer and I picked out a set of Vintage-Patch iron on oval elbow patches and matching trim strips in our new Green Tea Rose design.

This refashion is a little more complicated than I’ve previously demonstrated on this blog, and I was really pleased that the Fabric Trim Strips worked so easily, and they've now been added to our range.  To buy the trim strips, just click on the patch design you like, and the trims can be chosen from the dropdown options list there if available in that design.

Here’s how the refashion worked:

Mark Midline bottom Aqua Sweater to Cardigan Refashion for

Mark the midline of the sweater at the bottom

Mark Midline Collar Aqua Sweater to Cardigan Refashion for

…and the top

Position Trim Strip Aqua Sweater to Cardigan Refashion for

Position trim strip carefully down the centre front of the sweater, allowing a little overlap at the v neck

Overlap trim strip at collar Aqua Sweater to Cardigan Refashion for
A close up of the overlap.  You’ll trim this later.

Peel off Trim Strip Backing Aqua Sweater to Cardigan Refashion for

Peel backing off the trim strip.  You can leave a little bit of the backing on at the top overlap area to avoid this sticking where it shouldn’t.

Iron on Trim Strip Aqua Sweater to Cardigan Refashion for

Iron the trim strip down the centre of the sweater, with a medium hot iron, pressing for 20 – 60 seconds to get a good fix.  You may need a press cloth to protect the wool, in which case you should press for longer and increase iron temp to compensate. (Full instructions for Vintage-Patch products are included in each pack).

I applied a second trim strip on the inside of the sweater, which probably isn’t necessary but gives a nice tidy finish.  Bear in mind if you do this, the front opening may be a bit stiffer than the rest of the garment.

Cut Trim strip to shape at collar Aqua Sweater to Cardigan Refashion for

Trim the neckline overlap carefully and iron this area again to make sure there are no loose ends.

Measure half trim strip vertically Aqua Sweater to Cardigan Refashion for

Find the centre of the trim strip and and either mark and cut with scissors, or use a rotary cutter and straight edge, but see note below!

Cut trim strip with rotary cutter or scissors 1 Aqua Sweater to Cardigan Refashion for

Using the rotary cutter gives a lovely clean edge, but you MUST use a cutting mat inside the garment to ensure you don’t cut straight through the sweater!

Now you have a cardigan 1 Aqua Sweater to Cardigan Refashion for

Voila – you now have a cardigan.

Cut Half Oval Elbow Patch 1 Aqua Sweater to Cardigan Refashion for

As I wanted a slightly smaller elbow patch on this cardigan, I simply cut about 1/3 off each oval patch and used it side on instead of lengthways.  A circular patch would also have looked nice and is one of the shape options we offer in the dropdown list of each patch design page.

Position Elbow Patches 1 Aqua Sweater to Cardigan Refashion for

Try the cardigan on to establish where you need the patch, and mark with a pin.  Then place the patch in position, with the straight edge alongside the line of the seam.  Iron into postion.

A bit of detail:

Curve detail Aqua Sweater to Cardigan Refashion for

Back neck detail Aqua Sweater to Cardigan Refashion for

I was left with two smaller curved pieces of patch, and as necessity is the mother of invention, I decided to use them to cover a couple small holes in the sweater, which I think gives quite a quirky look to the finished item.

Front close up Aqua Sweater to Cardigan Refashion for

The adhesive used for both patches and trims is our new ‘no sew’ type, but as the garment is stretchy, and the front fastening area will have a lot of handling, I top stitched all the trims and patches for a longer lasting and more attractive result.  Personally, much as l love the idea of 'no sew', in this case, stitching definitely enhances the overall appearance.

I also added a couple of contrasting fabric covered buttons, for decoration rather than fastening on this occasion. I could also have made buttonholes down the trim strip.  By the way, we have recently introduced fabric covered buttons to match our elbow patches in the shop.  Check the dropdown list of the patch design you like for availability.

The finished product from front:

Completed refashion Aqua Sweater to Cardigan Refashion for

and the back

Rear view Aqua Sweater to Cardigan Refashion for

I’d love your feedback on this refashion.  Why not leave me a comment, and maybe even send me a link to your own refashion projects.

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Add an easy Faux Pocket to your Shirt

Vintage-Patch Pocket T Finished.jpg

Pocket T shirts are popular at the moment, but most times the pockets don't need to be useable. Here's a quick and easy way to add a faux pocket to update a plain T shirt using two Vintage-Patch rectangle elbow / knee patches. You need one patch if you want the pocket in a single colour, or two different design patches if you prefer contrasting as we have here.  We've used child size rectangle patches, but you could use the adult size for a larger pocket.

All Vintage-Patch Elbow and Knee patches in the store can be purchased as rectangles, even if shown as other shapes – just click on the rectangle option in the drop down list.

We also have a range of ready to use faux pockets here.

Adding your pocket to the front breast position is traditional, but they look great on sleeves too.

Vintage-Patch Rectangle Patches for Pocket T.jpg







Two of our rectangle iron on patches, plus a ruler and rotary cutter (scissors are fine if you don't have a rotary cutter)

Vintage-Patch Pocket T cut rectangle patch.jpg







Cut a strip about 2cm wide from one end of the patch

Vintage-Patch Pocket T matched squares.jpg







The strip you've cut provides a 'flap' effect when ironed in to position.

Vintage-Patch Pocket T remove backing from binding strip.jpg







Peel the backing paper off the strip, (leave backing paper on the main pocket piece for the time being).

Vintage-Patch Pocket T iron binding strip to pocket.jpg







Position strip carefully over the cut edge of the patch and iron on.

Vintage-Patch Pocket T mark position with pins.jpg







Mark position of pocket on your shirt with pins

Vintage-Patch Pocket T peel backing of pocket square.jpg







Peel backing paper off pocket and replace in required position on shirt.

Vintage-Patch Pocket T iron over patch with pressing cloth.jpg







Iron on using a damp pressing cloth.  *See full instructions for patch application here

Vintage-Patch Pocket T stitch around to secure permanently.jpg







Sew around pocket including the flap area, by hand or machine using a stitch you like to secure the pocket permanently. We've used a simple running stitch.

Vintage-Patch Pocket T Finished.jpg









Add a button in the centre of the contrast strip and  you're done!

Vintage-Patch Lilac Pocket T Shirt Finished.jpg














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In the Pink Sweater Refashion

This pink sweater was a lucky find at a sale; it’s 70% silk and very wearable but just a tad boring. It makes an ideal subject for a makeover with 2 sets of Vintage-Patch Cerise Butterfly Heart Shape patches. Why two sets?  You’ll see in a minute… for now choose two sets of heart shaped patches – matching or contrasting.

Pink Sweater hanging before small

Vintage-Patch Cerise Butterfly Heart Shaped Patches

vintage-patch cerise butterfly heart patches small

As the sleeves are 3/4 length on this sweater, we positioned the elbow patches carefully. They can look really great on a shorter sleeve, but there’s not so much room for error, so try on the garment and pin into place, then bend your arm and check the position is still where you want it.

Vintage-Patch Valentine Sweater Pin for position.jpg

Once you’re happy, lay the sleeve flat, peel off the backing paper of one patch and iron into position.

Vintage-Patch Valentines sweater peel off backing.jpg

We recommend using a damp ironing cloth when pressing the patch into place. A thin tea towel is ideal.  Although it’s not strictly necessary to use one for lightweight cotton or cotton blend fabrics, it can ensure a firmer bond so we prefer to use one for all patches. (It is essential to use a damp cloth for heavy fabrics like our denim or corduroy patches).

Vintage-Patch Valentines Sweater Iron on with cloth.jpg

The ironed on patch in place.

Vintage-Patch Valentines Sweater  Ironed on Elbow patch.jpg

Match up the position of the second patch, and apply as before.

Vintage-Patch Valentines Sweater Match up arms.jpg

Voila – the sleeves are done!

Vintage-Patch Valentines Sweater Arms.jpg

Now for part two of the makeover.   Collars are all the rage at the moment, and we’re going to add one.  Take your second set of patches and cut one heart in half lengthways as shown.

Vintage-Patch Valentines Sweater cut patch in half.jpg

Fold edge of half patch to follow curve of sweater collar.

Vintage-Patch Valentines Sweater Shape collar patch.jpg

Trim excess carefully.

Vintage-Patch Valentines Sweater cut curve.jpg

Placing patterned sides together, use the trimmed piece as a template to cut the second half of the collar.

Vintage-Patch Valentines Sweater cut curve into second half.jpg

The trimmed collar pieces are ready to apply.  We also cut a small strip of leftover patch to join the collar as seen in the next photo.

Vintage-Patch Valentines Sweater two half collras and strip.jpg

Pin the centre of the neckline

Vintage-Patch Valentines Sweater pin centre of collar.jpg

Now you’re ready to iron the collar into place.  Position the pieces from the centre outwards, following the neckline of the sweater.

Vintage-Patch Valentines Sweater collar in position.jpg

The centre strip could be left plain, or you could add one or more  fancy buttons.  We liked this heart shaped pin

Vintage-Patch Valentines Sweater Neck with brooch.jpg

The finished sweater.

Vintage-Patch Valentines Sweater finished laid flat.jpg

To finish off, you should secure your patches permanently by stitching around the edges – a simple running stitch looks effective, or a more traditional finish is blanket stitch.  You can also stitch by machine running or zig zag stitch.

Oh, and yes… you should have one heart shaped patch left over.  Ideal for the knee of a pair of jeans!

All featured patches are iron on, cotton or cotton blends, woven or occasionally, knit fabrics (except the ultra suedes which are synthetics).  Our patches are perfect for elbow or knee patches, repairs or customising.  Adult and child sizes available.

Buy these and other designs on Ebay or visit our website  You can also email us if you have a bespoke request.

NB: Our patches are made from variety of Vintage Style New, Reclaimed or Authentic Vintage Fabrics.  Full details are in the order descriptions.

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December refashion: Frumpy cardigan to seasonal star

Makeover time!  Couldn’t resist this frumpy cardi from the charity shop this morning.  Although the style is dated, it’s pure wool and in really good condition. Hmmm, which way are the refashion cogs turning…. maybe a seasonal twist?  Christmas sweaters are on trend at the moment, so let’s follow that theme.

Light blue wool cardi small before vintage patch
Added some front darts to improve the shape

light blue wool cardi after vintage patch darts

The grey polkadot fabric of these star shaped elbow patches are reminiscent of snowflakes.

Light blue wool cardi small after vintage patch elbow patch

Add some smaller star shape applique patches to one pocket
Light blue wool cardi small after vintage patch pocket

Finish off by replacing the naff gold buttons with these gorgeous fabric covered ones.

Light blue wool cardi small after vintage patch buttons

Voila…we’re ready for Christmas Day!

Light blue wool cardi small after vintage patch shirt and belt





This was a quick refashion, taking not much more than an hour using Vintage-Patch iron on star shaped elbow patches and appliques – and some fabric covered buttons. The darts weren’t really necessary, but help shaping of the garment.  To see some of our range of patches, visit, or if you’d like a bespoke patches (or covered buttons) order, just email with an idea of what you’re looking for.