How To Sew Patches On A Leather Vest By Hand Easily

Crafting projects are brilliant. From knitting your own scarf to making your own bandana, the choices are endless! Want your leather vest to stand out from the rest? Patches are the best way to create an ultra-cool look. Whether you want to add a little bit of flair to your outfit or want to give your vest a final touch, patches are your best friend. 

A young woman wearing a leather vest

They are not only trendy and functional, but they are also popular as well. Do you know how to sew patches on a jean jacket? Cool! It’s time now to learn how to sew your own patches on a leather vest by hand easily with this DIY tutorial. 

How to sew patches on a jacket by hand

When we need to add a patch to our clothes, we usually pay someone to do it for us. However, you will be surprised to learn that it is a very simple task that takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish!

Things you will need

  • Masking tape/Spray adhesive/Safety pins
  • Nylon thread or polyester thread
  • Seam ripper (Optional)
  • Leather needle
  • Scissors

Set of reel of thread, scissors, needle and pins for sewing and needlework

DIY steps

1. Attach tape to the patch

Take a small piece of tape. Roll the piece into a loop in such a way that the sticky side sticks out. Attach the tape piece on the back of the patch. This will keep the patch in place as you sew. 

You will remove this tape piece in the end. Don’t go for double-sided tape as it will be hard to remove. If you don’t have tape, you can spray the back of the patch with a light coat of spray adhesive. You can use safety pins as well. Attach them in the middle of the patch, so that you can easily sew around them. 

2. Place the patch on the vest

Mark the spot where you want to attach the patch with a pencil. Carefully place the patch in position. If you used a spray gluing adhesive in the first step, wait for a couple of seconds for the glue to stick.

3. Unstitch the vest’s lining

One of the benefits of hand sewing is that you can easily create a hole in the vest’s lining if you want so that your hand can fit through. With the help of a seam ripper, undo the stitching on the vest’s lining near the spot where you are going to attach the patch. Create a hole that is big enough for your hand. If the vest doesn’t have a lining or if removing the stitching will end up ruining it, skip this step.

4. Select the thread

Now you have to select the thread. It is better to go for a clear thread. If you don’t have a clear thread, then choose a thread in a colour that will match the patch’s outer border. Ensure that the selected thread is 100% polyester or nylon.

You shouldn’t go for a cotton thread. Wondering why? Well, the tannin in the vest will degrade the cotton thread over the passage of time. Thread the needle and knot the thread. 

Regular needles will not work – you have to use specific needles for the best results. Instead of a conical shape, they have a pyramidal or triangular shape. You can easily find specific needles in local fabric stores and craft shops.

Sewing accessories and fabric on a white background

5. Sew the patch on

Force the needle through the back of the vest and out through the patch’s front. Keep the needle within the border of the patch. You can start sewing from anywhere, but it is better and easier to begin from a corner.

Leather needles are heavy-duty and can harm the soft skin on your fingers. Therefore, you should use a thimble to keep your fingers safe. 

Place the needle next to the outside edge of the patch and push it through the needle. Pull the stitch to tighten it. Your first whipstitch is complete! You can use a running stitch instead of a whipstitch as well.

6. Remove the tape

Continue to add whipstitches until you are about one-third way done. Make sure that your stitches are small and close together. Slide a finger under the patch and carefully hook it around the piece of tape. Pull out the scotch tape. If you have used a spray adhesive, skip this step.

7. Finish sewing the patch

Keep sewing until you have gone all the way around the patch. After you add the last stitch, knot the thread carefully. Snip off excess thread. If you didn’t remove the lining, you can knot your thread to the very first stitch that you created.

8. Sew the lining 

If you undo the lining, you have to sew the lining shut with the help of a ladder stitch. Push the needle through the lining’s back and out its front. Stitch as close to the seam’s folded edge as you can. Sew the seams together. When you are done, knot and snip the thread. Voila! Your vest is ready!

Tips on how to sew a patch on a leather vest

Sewing a patch on a vest is very easy, as you can see for yourself from the steps we have discussed above. Here are a few smart tips on how to sew a patch that will make your task even easier.

  1. The holes that you will create in the vest and patch with the needle are permanent. Therefore, plan the stitches you will make carefully to leave no room for error. 
  2. Sewing leather is slightly different from sewing any other fabric. it can be as tricky as sewing burlap fabric. That’s why you should practice first. It is better if you practice the stitches first on a scrap of leather.
  3. Make sure that the stitches you make are close to each other. If the stitches are not close, they will get caught in something easily and rip your vest off. 
  4. We suggest that you don’t use safety pins to keep the patch in place, if possible. Most safety pins can’t pierce through leather, and if they do, they end up leaving holes and damaging the vest. 
  5. If you are going to attach the biker patches once in a while, you can sew leather patches on by hand easily. In case you are thinking of attaching a lot of patches, or are starting a small business, you can take a look at the other methods.

You can use leather glue to fix the patches. Plus, you can also use a sewing machine to sew leather. However, not every home sewing machine is capable of sewing patches on leather, so you have to get a high-endleather sewing machine. You can iron on patches as well.


A woman sewing a piece of leather on her sewing machine


If you like wearing vests, you would love the way customized patches make them look and feel. You can use leather patches to brighten up the vest as well as convey a message at the same time. Applying a patch to your favourite vest is not a complicated task. As long as you have a leather needle and thread and a creative will, you can easily learn how to sew patches on a vest. The steps we have given above will help you customize and reinvent your leather jacket.

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