Patch-Making Technique on Embroidery Machine
Step-By-Step Guide

You may embroider our patch-type designs directly on the garment, omitting the first thread, OR create easy to attach standalone patches, following the instruction described below.

The beauty of patches is that you don't need to hoop your projects precisely, and you can use the patches as stand-alone creations. For example - imagine how gorgeous a dinner table would look, decorated with standalone water lily leaves and water lily patches are just lying there on a table. Take a look at these photos:

Patch-Making Technique

Read through this small tutorial to learn creating embroidered patches. Making machine embroidered patches is more than easy. We've included photos and step-by-step explanations using actual example, to help you get started.


Required Materials & Tools:

  • Patch-type machine embroidery designs.
  • Water-soluble stabilizer.
  • Temporary adhesive spray for machine embroidery & appliqué.
  • Quality scissors with long, sharp edges ("appliqué" scissors are readily available in most sewing centers and craft shops)
  • Pay attention at photos below, to see how they look. The curve on handles is important, because it makes the scissors a lot more convenient for precise cutting.
  • Lightweight, non-fraying and easy to cut fabric, that will serve as basis for your patches. You may use many different types of fabric for this purpose. Organza may be a good choice, for example.


General Suggestions:

  • Print thread & fabric change list of specific design you're going to stitch.
  • If you intend to use fabrics that may have tendency to shrink, wash it, applying the same conditions that you intend to use for it's laundering later on. This will preshrink the fabric, and prevent lots of troubles with fabric puckering.
  • Iron all fabrics you're going to use for your project.
  • Avoid using very slippery fabrics, at least at the very beginning. Later you'll know to deal with them, too.
  • Avoid using easily fraying fabrics. If you have no choice - eliminate fraying by applying "No Fray Spray" on it.


Main Steps (Patch-making Technique Summary):

    1. Hooping water soluble backing (alone).
    2. Marking the future patch contours, using embroidery machine and very first thread of patch type design.
    3. Applying temporary spray adhesive on hooped soluble backing, inside the embroidered outline.
    4. Positioning a piece of base fabric over the hooped WSB (water soluble backing), sewing it on (second design thread) and cutting the excess edges.
    5. Embroidering the rest of design, following thread change list.

Detailed Directions


1. Hoop water-soluble backing (alone), and slide the hoop into embroidery machine. The backing mustn't pucker. If it puckers rehoop it again, until you achieve the desired result.

Large hoops sometimes don't hold fabric/stabilizer well enough. If your hoop has such tendency, insert a piece of thick fabric between four opposite hoop sides, when hoping your stabilizer.
Or, purchase a new hoop. Most machine manufacturers have recently noticed this problem, and started offering hoops with special metal spins. These little spins do wonders, and hold the fabric/stabilizer in place. So ask your dealer for such hoop. You will be glad you did.

Patch-Making Technique

2. Mark future patch contours, using embroidery machine and the very first thread of selected patch design.

Just load a patch-type design, and embroider the first thread. You may use any color, it really doesn't matter because it'll be hidden. This outline is embroidered to mark the exact place where adhesive spray should be applied, and where the patch base fabric should be positioned later. Finished result of this step should look something like this:

Patch-Making Technique

3. Apply temporary spray adhesive on soluble backing, inside the embroidered outline.

Be careful, and read directions on spray before doing anything. Stabilize-It temporary adhesive spray and water soluble backing work great together, and the spray works in such way that you can apply it on very small, precise area. Yet, if you are using different product (brand) for this purpose, be sure to check how it works on a small test-piece of soluble backing, first. To avoid unpleasant surprises. Here's a photo in process of applying temporary spray adhesive to our patch project:

Patch-Making Technique

4. Position a piece of lightweight base fabric over the hooped WSB.

Just stick it over the outlined area. Temporary spray adhesive that you've just applied will hold the fabric in place, and prevent it from puckering later on. Let the adhesive spray dry (2-3 minutes is enough).

Patch-Making Technique

Sew the fabric to water-soluble backing. Just embroider the second thread of patch design. The result should look like this:

Patch-Making Technique

< p style="width: 600px;">Remove the hoop.
Do NOT unhoop the stabilizer. Cut excess fabric edges, using very sharp appliqué scissors. Cut as close to seam edge as you can. See photo:

Patch-Making Technique

5. Slide in the hoop back into your machine, and embroider the rest of design, following thread change list.

Patch-Making Technique

When you embroider everything but the outlines, remove the hoop again, and carefully cut all pulling threads and thread "tails", if there are.

Patch-Making Technique

Then, finish the design.

Patch-Making Technique

When the design is completed, cut away large pieces of water-soluble backing, and wash away the rest. Some water-soluble stabilizers require sinking. Be sure to wash the backing off well. Here are the photo of final result:


If you'd like to get Patch-Making designs, water-soluble stabilizer and temporary adhesive spray used in this project - please visit these links:

Patch-Making designs
Water-soluble Stabilizer fabric
Temporary Spray Adhesive



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