Sometimes embroidering directly onto a garment is impractical, impossible or simply ineffective. Creating your own embroidered patches is an easy alternative for these situations. You can directly sew your design into organza fabric rather than a finished garment. These can then be cut out into patches and sewn onto almost anything. They're easy to create and surprisingly beautiful, with results quite comparable to their traditionally embroidered counterparts. And with this method of embroidery, you can precisely position without opening seams, embroidering over lumpy seam allowances or worrying about exact placement when hooping.
What you will need
Besides general machine embroidery supplies (good quality backing, embroidery design, thread, embroidery needles), you'll need polyester organza to serve as a base to stitch on. One additional item will help you make perfect appliques: a heat tool. This may be a wood-burning tool, a stencil cutter or a multi-purpose tool (available at most craft stores).
The heat tools have different tips, and you'll probably find that the one with a very sharp point is easiest to handle. This tool will melt away excess organza around the outside of the embroidery, leaving the outlines intact and providing a soft and pliable applique you can attach to almost anything. Keep a very damp sponge in your work area while melting the organza to clean the tip of the tool and remove any melted organza that might otherwise stain the embroidery thread
Almost any design can become a patch. When you evaluate a design, look for open areas or any areas of straight stitching that could be troublesome. Resist the obvious thought to remove tile organza around the straight stitching. Straight stitching isn't stable enough to withstand wear and tear, and the organza will eventually work its way out from under tile stitches. It's also best to leave the organza in the open work areas.
Organza is very stable and stands up well to a heavy stitch count design. Dark colors will show through with light colored thread, so choose a neutral color organza that will work well with most designs. Leave the organza in the open areas of tile design to add dimension and stability.
Although a great base fabric for embroidered patches, organza still needs to be stabilized. Use either water-soluble backing or a professional-quality, tear-away backing. Try to match the backing to the garment fabric so the design will blend into the background. Usually one layer will suffice, but if the stitch count warrants a heavier backing, use multiple layers. It will still provide a soft, pliable applique. Hoop the backing and organza together in a hoop large enough to accommodate the embroidered design.
Note: Slippery organza will be easier to hoop if you first adhere it to the backing with a temporary spray adhesive.
Once the design is stitched on the organza, remove it from the hoop, and gently remove excess backing from tile back. Remove all backing before melting the organza. The backing will leave a gummy residue on the heat tool and can mar the embroidery. Use tweezers to remove any backing caught in small areas. Although it's generally not recommended to clip the tlrreads on tile back of a design, clip any that may show on the front. Leave some thread tails that can be tucked behind the applique once you attach it to the garment. Use the heat tool to remove excess organza from around the edge of your design. This is the exact same technique used in professionally manufactured custom embroidered patches.
Run the tool approximately 1/8" away from the design edges. Don't get too close, as polyester embroidery threads will melt from this heat source. Rayon embroidery thread can better withstand the heat of the tool. Once the organza is melted, the applique boasts stable edges and secure outlines.
Attaching the patches you've created
Always use a thread color that matches the design outline. Then machine stitch appliques in place using a narrow zigzag. Or hand-sew to secure using small overcast stitches.
On sleeves or pant legs, the circumference will be the deciding factor for how an applique is attached. For example, on the featured garment, too-narrow sleeves prohibited machine-applied appliques. When attaching multiple appliques on a single garment, use the same technique throughout for the best overall look. Once all the appliques are in place, attach any desired trims and buttons.
Article Source: How to Create Your Own Embroidered Patches