DIY Embroidered Patch Denim Jacket

An exceptional seed was planted when Alessandro Michele took the helm at Gucci just about a year and a half ago. The seed sprouted into a menagerie of unparalleled beauty and vibrant romance and honestly, we’ve fallen so deep into Gucci’s Garden, we may never want to find a way out. Butterflies, ants, snakes, tigers, swallows, hummingbirds, bees, and flowers have been a recurring theme in each of his collections, each serving as modern day totems that adorn silk bombers, denim, knits, dresses and handbags. When a collection of men’s jackets, adorned with a mix of embroidered motifs, debuted at Gucci’s Pre-Fall 2016 collection and the introduction of a do-it-yourself service at select Gucci locations, that was it. For months, I was consumed by desire. But then I was hit by the reality that Italian-made craftsmanship comes at a price. And so began my search of patches and appliqués. For weeks, I started gathering pieces to build my own garden and it wasn’t until I struck gold with a strikingly similar snake patch, that I finally decided to put them all together onto a vintage denim jacket and share the resources I worked so hard to find. It’s still a work in progress as I hope to add more patches as I find them and try my hand at embroidering a monogram but here it is so far . . .

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YOU’LL NEED:

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Some patches are sold with an iron-on backing already attached. Some are just appliqués without an iron-on backing. This is where Steam-A-Seam saves the day. I love this stuff and not only is it incredibly easy to use, I think has a better permanent hold than iron-on patches. And yes, it is machine washable once it’s fused onto your fabric! It’ll come in 9×12″ sheets on Amazon but your local fabric store might sell them by the yard too. The sticky, fusible sheet will come sandwiched between two sheets of paper. The white top paper will remove easily and the gridded bottom paper will need to be peeled off once your appliqué is attached. First, remove the top paper and stick the bottom of your appliqué to the Steam-A-Seam. Roughly cut around it. Place a plain piece of paper under the appliqué and another on top. This is to prevent the fusible glue from melting all over your iron and your ironing board.

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On the highest heat setting, place the iron over the paper and the appliqué. Press firmly (steam is optional) over each section for 15-20 seconds. Let the appliqué cool for a minute before peeling away the top paper. Now that the appliqué is attached, cut around it.

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Then turn the appliqué over and peel back the gridded bottom paper. You’ll notice the back of the appliqué is now sticky and ready to iron on.

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Once all the patches and appliqués are ready to iron on, arrange them on the back of the jacket.

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Then, with one patch at a time, start ironing them on. Place a piece of fabric, like a thin dish cloth or scrap piece of cotton, over the top of the patch. Press the iron firmly over the patch, for about 30 seconds over each section.

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Allow it to cool completely before checking to see if it sticks. If you test it too soon, the glue won’t have time to set. If you want, you can always reinforce the patch with a straight stitch around the border of the patch for that extra hold. It’s especially helpful with the heavier, stiffer patches.

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Repeat the steps with the rest of the patches. You can always turn the jacket inside out and give it some extra heat from the backside, as well.

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And there you have it! Your Gucci inspired embroidered denim jacket is DIY’d!

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(photos by HonestlyWTF & Ashley Batz)

Leave a Comment

43 Comments

  1. Alesia wrote:

    So beautiful Erica! Thanks for your sharing tips/secrets 🙂

    7.19.16
    Reply
  2. Jennifer wrote:

    Erica, what size jean jacket did you buy? Medium or Large?

    7.19.16
    Reply
    • Erica wrote:

      @Jennifer, I bought a large men’s jacket but might have to take in the sleeves a bit, they’re HUGE! Wanted a medium but had a harder time finding one that was long enough in the torso.

      7.19.16
  3. cass wrote:

    What a fun idea!! Thank you : )

    7.20.16
    Reply
  4. barb wrote:

    Goed day
    Its very easy. Also you can make soort of brooche from the same mediumsized patches, then you van change them ..
    I HAVE USED THEM ALL MORE THAN 1 YEAR AGO en its attractive

    7.20.16
    Reply
  5. Josine wrote:

    Fab to see denim jackets like this on your blog hun! My whole team used to wear denim when we got out of school. I bought dome awesome patches whilst in Cambodia a few years ago, and have added to them with some that I sourced on ebay(! ) here’s the but, I’ve never really had the guts to sew them onto anything I wear now. … but you’ve just given me the qudos that it could be really cool. So thanks babe x

    7.20.16
    Reply
  6. Thu wrote:

    This was absolutely amazing! Why didnt I think about buying patches on etsy?! Well, tomorrow i am going to use my mother in law’s embroidery machine to make patches to make on my denim jacket! 🙂 Thanks for the tip on steam-a-seam. I think I have some but I had no idea how to use it (I found it at goodwill and thought it’d be useful at some point!) Lovely DIY!!

    7.21.16
    Reply
  7. Mun wrote:

    Absolutely amazing and so simple!

    7.24.16
    Reply
  8. 4Styler wrote:

    It’s awesome tutorial! Love it so much. You inspired with your great job 🙂 I will try it at weekend, thank you) If you don’t mind – we share your tutorial at out fashion forum http://goo.gl/hWa1xk

    Thank you again, it’s great job!

    7.26.16
    Reply
  9. Saw this on the Gucci runway and was thinking of doing a tutorial for the blog too! 🙂 But you’ve beat me to it 🙂

    8.2.16
    Reply
  10. Anna wrote:

    Looks beautiful! I have been looking for that snake patch for the longest time! Can I ask wear you purchased it? It looks like a perfect size. Many Thanks 🙂

    8.13.16
    Reply
  11. Katie wrote:

    Love this post, but have you seen TheLondoner has taken your design plan a little literally? http://www.thelondoner.me/2016/08/diy-embroidered-denim.html

    8.18.16
    Reply
  12. maggie wrote:

    Hi ! I love this but I can’t seem to find a snake patch anywhere – the link you provided is to a different patch. I wonder if you can clarify where one can get one???

    Thanks!!

    8.19.16
    Reply
  13. Alexis wrote:

    I cannot find the snake patch anymore! I don’t find it anywhere on the net, help me please !

    8.31.16
    Reply
    • Erica wrote:

      @Alexis @Maggie I’ve been searching through and through and it looks like they are no longer selling it. Maybe because it struck too close of a resemblance to the original? Will definitely update the link if I ever come across another.

      9.1.16
  14. Chiara wrote:

    Beautiful idea! I want to reply this on my Levis jacket , but I don’t find the snake patch and the bee patch! Anyone Can help me? Thanks

    9.25.16
    Reply
  15. Jasmine Stells wrote:

    Thanks for sharing this because I myself am currently in the process of getting my patches together to make my own version of the Gucci jacket as well. These tips on the best way to apply the patches are amazing!!! Thanks for this and is there a way I can share my jacket with you as well once I’m done?

    10.22.16
    Reply
  16. berenice rene wrote:

    I’ve been looking for the middle flower patch everywhere and can’t find it, where is it from ??

    10.30.16
    Reply
  17. Deshawn Robertson wrote:

    Where to buy the snake and tiger patches

    11.24.16
    Reply
  18. Erica wrote:

    I’ve just updated links to a tiger, snake and bee patch!

    1.9.17
    Reply
  19. Jackie wrote:

    I really love your page. The only question I have is I’ve purchased in the past patches & the quality hasn’t always been great, it’s so frustrating as it takes so long to have them shipped to the Uk could you recommend or anyone recommend, thank you so much & keep up the good work ✨✨❤️

    1.31.17
    Reply
  20. Sean wrote:

    Those patches are terrifyingly close to the original, right down to the direction of each stitch. Kudos to you (and those highly enterprising Chinese manufacturers) for finding them! I read on Vogue that Gucci gets them hand embroidered in a workshop in Mumbai, and for some of them it is hard to believe – the patterns of some would take even an experienced embroiderer a good few hours at least. I myself have tried my hand at hand embroidery and it is a painful but rewarding process.

    2.13.17
    Reply
  21. Mary wrote:

    Gorgeous tutorial! I love how you placed them. I buy my Gucci patches from kbazaar.etsy.com

    2.28.17
    Reply
  22. Connie wrote:

    Hi Erica!
    I cannot tell you how much I LOVE your blog and well, everything you do! I am wondering about the patches on the jacket that has the tiger as more of a profile shot as I am noticing there are two versions of the jacket posted. The version with the tiger side profile has incredible flower patches (lotus flower?) and I’m wondering if you can help provide the link to those flower patches? Thank you so much for sharing your talent and creativity with us and essentially helping us to copy you!
    -Connie

    3.2.17
    Reply
  23. Asumpta wrote:

    This looks really good. I plan on trying it out

    4.18.17
    Reply
  24. key wrote:

    All these great patches you can get at our shop “kbazaar” on Etsy.

    8.8.17
    Reply
  25. Adis wrote:

    Awesome tutorial! I really think it’s dope! But Where did you get the cursive lettering from?

    10.2.17
    Reply
  26. Aimee Aimee wrote:

    3D Puff Embroidery Digitizing

    Thank you for a great explanation. I was looking online for a similar idea and really appreciate it

    10.18.17
    Reply
  27. goran wrote:

    hallo
    can you pleas tell me or share a linke where i can buy the patches ,
    this what use is really good quality
    thanks

    10.28.17
    Reply
  28. Eric,

    You just saved my $$$.

    What a fantastic way to create a GUCCI like jacket on my own. Thank you for the detailed walk through from the beginning!

    Cheers
    Maria
    P.S. I just shared the post on twitter 🙂

    10.30.17
    Reply
  29. Erikka wrote:

    Erica,

    Do you think the same technique will work on a sweater? I am dying to recreate the Gucci Bee sweater.

    11.15.17
    Reply
    • Erica wrote:

      @Erikka Oh, good question! Patches can be complicated on knits. I think as long as the sweater is tightly knit and has enough weight, the patches should hold up fine. I would just be cautious about going overboard as to not weigh it down. Good luck!!

      11.15.17
  30. 12.24.17
    Reply
  31. Amphasis wrote:

    Lovely, I love all your DIY, but where did you get all the patches?

    5.23.18
    Reply
  32. Beverly Baker wrote:

    How do I get all these patches?

    7.9.18
    Reply
    • Erica wrote:

      all of the patches are linked above in the supply list!

      7.9.18