Tuesday, February 5, 2013

{DIY} Heart Elbow Patch

So there's a couple of things going on in the picture above. The one very obvious thing is that there is an adorable elbow patch in the form of a heart--all too perfect since February just started. The second... is a sneak peak at Thursday's outfit post. :)

Now, heart patches are definitely nothing new. But they're also not the cheapest things in the world. Most sweaters with a plain heart elbow patch will run you around $40, if not more! You can see a few examples here at Asos, ModCloth, and OASAP.

I'm going to show you how to make one for around half the cost so that you can take that extra $20 and put it towards something else--like a new pair of shoes!

What you willl need:
❤ Any kind of sweater with a tight weave/knit. ❤
❤ Around a foot of fabric. I chose micro-suede for this tutorial, but you can really use whatever you like. ❤
❤ Needle and Clothes Pin ❤
❤ Thread that matches the fabric of the heart patch or sweater (or both) ❤

I purchased my sweater from H&M for around twelve dollars. I chose this sweater because it was simple and fitted, and it was a 100% cotton. The sweater originally cost $17.95 and then I used a 35% coupon on it. The 30-40% coupons only come out occasionally, but you can get a 20% off one when you sign up for their newsletter. For the micro-suede, I purchased mine at Jo-Ann's and used a 40% off coupon. If Jo-Ann's doesn't have a coupon currently out (which is rare), they will also price match any of their competitor coupons.

Now there's a lot of different ways you can go about this. I'm going to start off with the basics and then let you know where can let your creativity grow. I'll also let you know areas where you can take short cuts if you're not as confident in your hand sewing skills or don't have enough time on your hands.

Obviously the first step to creating a heart elbow patch is creating a heart pattern. The easiest way to go about this is to draw out half the heart, fold your paper in half and then cut it out. This will give you a perfect symmetrical heart.

You can guess-timate the size of the heart by tracing the outline of the sweater's sleeve and drawing within it. After you've cut out the initial pattern, you can trim it down until you get the exact size you'd like.

Now, this next step is totally optional. I despise raw edges so I created a hem for my heart by folding and sewing down the edges. This is a fairly tedious process to do by hand and took me a couple of hours to do both. If you're decently skilled with a sewing machine (which I am not) then this part will go a lot quicker.

If you don't care about raw edges, then you can totally skip this part. Or, if you dislike raw edges but don't have the time to sew up a hem, then you can create your heart patch using felt and lightly iron it. This will melt the felt ever so slightly and cause it to stiffen up. The ends will not fray after that.

Once you've got your elbow patch all ready to go, you'll need to put your sweater on and position the patch in the right place. I found it really helpful to have someone do this for me, as my arm can only bend so far.

Carefully take off the sweater (don't poke yourself with a needle!) and line up your heart patches so that they are even on both sides. Pin everything into place and start sewing!

I had to do this part by hand. I honestly have no idea if this part can be done a sewing machine or not. The opening of the sleeve was so narrow on my sweater that I can't imagine it would work. It took me a couple of hours to get this sewn into place. Mostly because I accidentally sewed through both sides of my sleeve.. don't do that. You won't be able to get your arm through.

I decided to use a thread that matched the sweater because I wanted a contrasting trim. You can do that if you like, or you can use a thread that matches the patch itself to keep things clean and simple. There was also an option of doing a double contrasting trim, but at this point I was around five hours into the project and just wanted to wear the darn thing.

And that's pretty much it! I hope this seems simple enough for you to try at home. Its a great way to spruce up an old sweater for Valentine's Day!

Speaking of Valentine's Day... Don't forget to enter in my MsDressy giveaway if you haven't already done so. Nothing says Happy Valentine's Day like a $80 giftcard that'll get you brand new dress! There's only a day left, so get a moving! ;)


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