Adding a Patch or Appliqué to Lycra

So I’ve been using these lovely stretch Lycra baby wraps from Little Owl extensively for my son since he was two months old. They’re so easy to tie and they support your baby like a dream, plus they come in absolutely stunning colors! However, the tag that marks the center of the wrap is a little dinky and not very cute, and I would have issues finding the top of the wrap when I would do a front carry and needed to bring the center over his back. So I knew I needed something more substantial.

So enter adorable iron-on patches! I bought two from Etsy sellers, both featuring bees (our family totem animal!) and perfectly matching the red and light blue wraps I have. I have the “Save the Bees” scouting patch made by Timmerman Prints and another from The Cactus Princess. While the one from the latter shop is beautiful, the patch itself is kind of just this screen-printed piece of fabric with iron-on backing cut into a circle so it’s not that durable feeling. I definitely suggest if you want one of these patches you go with Timmerman Prints, the patch feels weighty and professional quality!

Working with iron-on appliqués and Lycra can be challenging for novice seamstresses. I know it’s tempting to just iron on and go but sometimes the backing of a patch doesn’t hold up to the stretch and will just peel off. So my method is a little more complicated, and requires either hand sewing or a machine to really get a durable finish!

If hand-sewing you will need:

  • patch
  • prewashed Lycra fabric (optional but I prefer to wash to reduce any chances of shrinking)
  • embroidery hoop (trust me it’s a lifesaver!)
  • glass head pins
  • thread that matches your patch border
  • size 10 sharp all-purpose needle
  • non-steam iron

Take your Lycra and put it in the embroidery hoop. DO NOT STRETCH THE LYCRA; it MUST be as relaxed as you can make it, or the patch will not sit right. Using the pins, pin your patch to the fabric to secure it where you want the patch. With my project, I just placed the patch over the existing tag. Thread your needle. Using a backstitch or very small running stitch sew around the edge of your patch, removing pins as necessary. Once finished tie off your thread, cut, remove the fabric from the hoop, and iron over the patch as instructed.

I find the backstitch or a very tight running stitch to be best when hand sewing as it’s incredibly strong and doesn’t come off.

For machine stitching you will need:

  • patch
  • prewashed Lycra fabric (optional to wash)
  • glass head pins
  • thread that matches your border
  • basic sewing machine (mine is a Bernina B350 but a basic Singer or Brother model works)
  • iron

Set your machine to a running stitch with your preferred tension and length options. I just use the default, personally. If your patch is irregularly shaped you may want to set your machine for freeform sewing. Pin your patch to the fabric to secure, and then thread your machine. Slowly sew around your patch, removing pins as you go. When finished sewing backstitch the seam on your machine, cut the thread, and iron over the patch as instructed.

Both methods work fantastic and the patches have been super secure on my wraps! If the iron-on backing ever comes loose I can rest easy knowing the patch is sewn and won’t budge. Plus they look adorable!

Check me out on Ravelry, or buy my soap and support my crafting!


Leapin’ Liam Blanket: FINISHED!


But the blanket is 100% done! I decided not to do a fancy border or anything, instead just turning over the raw sides and stitching them up. I felt that both time constraints and the want to create a simple blanket for a boy helped me make this decision, and the parents LOVE it. Next time we visit our cousins (which should be soon!) I’ll be definitely taking photos.

In the meantime, I’ve become pregnant myself! So I’ll be getting to work on the next baby blanket project soon. I’ll be doing the Rippled Security Blanket by Underground Crafter for that, in a sunny pale yellow and aqua color palette from Yarn Bee’s awesome Soft and Sleek yarn collection! I love blue and yellow as a color combo so I an itching to try it out.