Elbow patches are a fun way to add a little extra pop to any long sleeve shirt. I’ll show you how to create this look.
For this top, I am using the Women’s Easy Tee pattern, but any long sleeve top will work. You’ll need your main fabric and some accent fabric for the patches. Get your pattern assembled and ready, then cut out all of your pattern pieces.
Elbow patches: size and placement
- I started by sewing the front and back bodices together and putting it on
- Take one of your sleeves and hold it or clip it in place on the bodice
- Mark with pins where the top and bottom of your elbow are
- Take your sleeve off and transfer your pin markings to your other sleeve as a mirror image
Creating the patches
- Start by measuring the distance between your markings (Mine are 3″ apart)
- Add 2″ to your measurement to account for the patch to extend past your elbow on either side a bit, and for seam allowance. This will be the height of your patch, making mine 5″ tall
- For the width, I added 1″ to the distance between my markings making mine 4″ wide
To create the actual oval patch, it may be easiest to print an oval from your computer to the size you want. However, my printer was not cooperating, so I’ll show you how to draw your own patch. Keep in mind, I am horrible at drawing so I apologize for that now.
- Now that you have your patch template, you are ready to cut out your patch fabric
- You will need to cut out a total of 4 patch pieces
- Pin 2 patches right sides together and sew all the way around the outside edge
- Repeat with the other 2 pieces
- Cut a small slit in one side of each patch making sure to only cut through 1 layer
- Turn your patches right sides out and iron to flatten them
- Center the patches over the marked spots on the sleeves
- Pin and/or use wash away wonder tape to hold the patches on the sleeve with the side with the slit facing down
- Stitch close to the edge all the way around the patch
Now that your sleeves are patched and ready, you will sew the rest of your shirt together per your pattern instructions.