Sewing on Boy Scout Patches

Created: 02:49 PM on Monday, November 07, 2011

Boy scouts have always had uniforms ... and our uniforms have lots of patches.  Sewing is a basic skill for self reliance, and one that Scouts can practice by sewing on patches.  It's really pretty easy to get good results, and increases our pride in our uniform. 

Where do I put the patch?

There's an official BSA insignia guide for all types of Scout Units here =>

How to sew it on

  1. Prewash the patch.  This can soften the patch making it easier to work with.  The patch may also shrink, so it's better to shrink the patch before sewing it in place.
  2. Gather materials -  You'll want a needle (around a #10), thread that matches the edge of the patch, thimble, staple, white glue or pins.
  3. Getting started
    1.  Cut off about 24 inches of thread.  
    2. Thread the needle and tie the ends together with a square knot or sewing knot.  
    3. I put the thimble on the middle finger of my dominant hand and use it when I need to push hard to get the thread through the patch.
    4. Start the sewing process by poking the patch from the back and pulling the thread through, before applying the patch to the shirt.  The idea is to hide the knot and loose ends between the patch and the uniform.
  4. Pin the patch - You don't want the patch to move while you're sewing.  You can use pins, or even glue it on with white glue (the glue washes out), but I prefer to just staple the patch in place.  You can pull the staples as you go if they're in the way.
  5. Stitching
    1. The thread is already through the patch from step 3.  Start by going into, then out of the uniform about 1/16th of an inch out from the patch.
    2. Poke down and side ways through the edge of the patch, then in and out of the uniform again.  Lather, rinse, repeat.
    3. For extra credit, create one of the running knots shown below.  The knots will keep the patch on even if some of the threads are cut.
  6. End knot - Pull the last stitch through to the back of the uniform.  Under the patch, run the needle in and out of the uniform and then loop the thread around the needle.  When you pull the thread through, this will tie a hitch knot in the thread. Repeat this several times, then cut off the excess thread.
  7. Show off to your family and fellow scouts.




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