Here’s another easy uniform solution to make space for more patches. You can add ribbons for extra patches to the neckline of any vest or tunic. I’m demo-ing this on a Daisy vest, but this solution can be done for any level.
What you need:
- The vest or tunic you want to alter
- Any kind of ribbon – I like this grosgrain
- Clear thread and a thread that matches your ribbon
- A good starter sewing machine – you could hand-sew this project but a machine is so much faster.
- Your pile of extra patches
Do you need a machine? (yes!)
This is my #1 top recommendation. The features for the affordability can’t be beat. Today’s sewing machines – like this one – are automated and much easier to use. Badges are one and done, guaranteed!
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This one’s easy
First cut a length of craft (or any kind, really – but I like the grosgrain texture on this one) ribbon about two inches longer than the length of the vest. Here, I’m going to place this ribbon right in the middle of the vest so that is where I measured. Then lay the patches out and move them around until you find an arrangement you like. You can leave some ribbon showing out the bottom, but here I chose not to. I discovered I could get about 6-7 standard sized patches on the back of a daisy* vest.
Make sure to load the top of your machine with clear thread. This makes this project go super fast! Use thread that matches your ribbon in the bobbin (If you don’t have a good match it’s okay – it will only show on the underside of the ribbon. Set the vest aside; we will attach the ribbon to the vest last.
start sewing your ribbon
Start sewing from the bottom of the ribbon with whichever patch you want to be the lowest. I’m using this Earth Day wedge patch. About a half inch or so from the bottom of the ribbon, attach the patch using a few back and forth stitches like this. One of the best things about clear thread is that “good enough” looks exactly the same as “perfect.”
Then, keep the needle down and turn without cutting any threads. Set the next patch up against the first, sew from the first patch to the second to attach them together and to the ribbon at the same time, turn again, and run another few back-and-forths to attach the second patch to the ribbon. This will keep them securely fastened.
Now you can cut the thread [I love the auto-cutter on my Baby Lock!]. You just attached the first (bottom) patch, and the next one (sort of, it’s still loose at its top end). From the back —
Now you repeat this process as many times as you want until most of the ribbon is used up or until you run out of patches. Sew the top of one patch and the bottom of the next patch, then cut the thread and go to the next one. Keep working your way up the ribbon. Trim all the dangly threads as you go. I love how fast and easy this project is!
Now, you want to save about half inch of ribbon at the end to finish it off and attach it to the vest. Tuck the edge under the top of the last (top-most) patch and stitch it down. Run over these stitches a few times for extra strength! Because now we’re working upside-down from before, I switched to a red bobbin thread to match the border on my last patch, but you don’t need to; a few stitches in another color won’t be very noticeable.
Almost done! Line up that little tab of ribbon with the neckline of the vest. I used a pencil to mark where I wanted it to go. Use a strong back-and-forth reinforced stitch to attach that bit of ribbon to the neckline. Go over it as many times as you want.
All done! I told you it was easy. 🙂 You could add ribbons for extra patches across the entire neckline if you need more, as many you could fit in – even open up the shoulder seams and add some in!