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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.