Sunday, October 6, 2013

And The Eyes Have It: Graphic Elbow Patch Project

Being a fan of pretty much all prints and designs, I couldn't be more psyched that "eyes" are having a major fashion moment this fall! So before it becomes chilly enough that my thermal shirt becomes second skin, I decided to take a moment to give it a little upgrade. This also has some holiday appeal, seeing as we are inching ever closer to Halloween, but I'm pretty sure this is going to be an any-old-day kind of shirt for me:)
What you'll need:
-thermal shirt (or jacket, or sweater)
-felt in 3 different colors
Step 1: First thing to do is make 3 patterns:
-1 small circle (the pupil)
-1 larger circle (the iris)
-1 tear drop shape with points at both ends (for the whites)

Step 2: Trace the patterns onto you felt twice (one for each elbow).

Step 3: Cut out cleanly.

Step 4: Assemble the small circle centered over the larger one and pin.

Step 5: Whip stitch together by bring the needle up the outer edge of the smaller circle and over onto the larger one.

When you're finished the two pieces will be securely attached to one another.

Step 6: Now repeat steps 4 and 5 to connect the circles to the largest piece of felt. This time you will be whip stitching over the edge of the larger circle. 

Steps 7: Repeat steps 4 through 6 on the remaining pieces of felt. When you're finished, you will have two finished eyes!

Step 8: Find proper placement on one of the sleeves. (You'll probably want to out the shirt on for this part to make sure you correctly found where the elbow sits.)

Time to stitch down! Start by sticking your hand into the sleeve. You'll want to do this to separate the front of the sleeve from the back of the sleeve, otherwise you may accidentally stitch them together. 

Step 7: Starting in the corner, push up from the bottom of the white felt with your needle and begin a simple running stitch around the perimeter of the eye.

Step 8: Every time you go back down with the needle be sure to go down just deep enough to go through the felt, as well as catching a bit of the shirt fabric. Immediately come right back up through the felt about a 1/4" away. When you gotten back to your starting point, tie off on the underside of the white felt.

Step 9: Now stretch out both sleeves flat...
... and use the placement of the first stitched eye as a guide for symmetrically placing the second. Repeat steps 7 and 8 to finish!

Yeah, eye can definitely see this thing being a new fave.

-needle and thread


  1. Thank you for this! Could you suggest a template for the marquis shape, as I can't draw a straight line? The circles I can trace from drinking glasses.

    1. Good question! Probably the easiest way is to cut a rectangular piece of paper to be 3 1/2" long by 2" wide.
      -Fold it in half lengthwise, so it now 3 1/2" by 1".
      -Make a mark 1 3/4" away from the edge, at the top of the paper (away from the fold)
      -Use a ruler to draw a straight line to that mark from each edge of the paper at the fold.
      -Cut directly on the lines you just drew.
      -Keep it folded (it'll look like a triangle) then cut the midpoint of the triangle into a curve. When you open it up it will look like an eye shape.

      Hope this helps:)