How to sew leather elbow patches onto your cardigan and sweater

As part of Hattie’s back to school wardrobe, we picked up this adorable cardigan from the Gap. Hattie is notoriously hard on clothes and the first time she wore it, she somehow ripped a hole in both the back and the front of her right sleeve, frustrating! I knew I could mend both with darning but I also wanted to reinforce the elbows so it wouldn’t happen again. Also, how adorable are leather patches on sweaters? So adorable!

 

How to sew leather elbow patches onto your cardigan and sweater

If you have any holes, you will want to darn those first. I demonstrate how to darn jeans here. It is basically the exact same technique. Or check out this tutorial.

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Pick a thread or yarn color that matches and sew in and out of stitches.

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For the part of the sweater that would go under the patch, I just mended the hole, quick and simple whip stitch.

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I then figured out what size I would want my patch to be on the elbow. I completely free handed this part. I simply cut a piece of paper until I thought that it looked like a good shape/size and used the piece of paper to trace and cut out my leather pieces.  For the best way to cut leather precisely you need a machine. Check this link out to know which I’m talking about.

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Now you will want to punch holes in your leather pieces.

How to sew leather elbow patches onto your cardigan and sweater

Walk a stitch spacing tool along the edge of the leather and then punch the holes where you’ve marked.

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You will want to thread 2 needles. When stitching leather, you will want the stitches to be continuous on the top and the bottom. I used 3 ply waxed linen thread to sew the leather to the sweater. You could of course use something less sturdy.
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Pin your patches in place.

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Start the needles side by side, both coming up. Traditionally, you would start one going up and one going down, however because you are sewing leather to knit, you will want the stability of the needles coming up through the leather.

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Tuck your thread ends under the patch, they will be covered by the sewing.

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Playing follow the leader, each needle will want to pass through each hole.

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Sew all around the leather patch. Be carful to not pull to tight, your patch will pucker.
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Here is the inside of my finished patch. I’m going to cover my patch using a really light fusible interfacing. This will keep the rough linen thread off the skin.

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Cut your interfacing a little bigger than your stitches and tuck your thread ends in.

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Fuse the interfacing to your sweater using a hot iron. Turn right side out and enjoy

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