Have you ever wondered why those elongated oval patches are placed over the elbows on sport coats and sweaters? I always assumed it was because of wear on the elbows—sort of like a patch on the knee on a kid’s pair of pants. So, as I did a little research, I found that I was totally correct!
Long before we could take an easy trip to the mall or order something online, there was the neighborhood store. Back then clothes were meant to be worn until they DID develop holes. In the 1920s college kids would take their dads old sport coats and repair the wear with leather or other materials, and thus a fashion movement was born. But now brand new items, as well as vintage-era pieces, sport elbow patches because it’s stylish! I found some cool examples while thrifting at Goodwill, and here I’ll show you how to do a DIY elbow renovation on something from your own closet (or an item you might find at our stores).
You can see in these examples of sweaters and sport coats that the shape of the patch is always an oval shape. I found a free pattern on marthastewart.com and printed it out on card stock. I decided to use a faux-suede that I cut from a thrifted shirt. But, you could choose any fabric. I attached with a fusible fabric bond and ironed them on to the sleeves, however you could just as easily use a sewing machine, or hand stitch around edges.
Now that it’s fall, this type of look just feels right for the season. Not only that, but every time you donate or purchase at one of our Goodwill stores you give back to your community.