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Secrets of Sewing On Badges

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  • #16
    Personally, I've never had a badge magiced patch come off. A little loose around the edges once in a while perhaps.

    And using a solvent and a wire brush always gets the residue off for me. That reasonable as far as I'm concerned.

    So showing new parents the Badge Magic option seems reasonable to me. If they prefer to sew, fine.


    • #17
      One of the useful things about the Tiger Cub program is that it allows you to educate parents in useful Cub Scout details.

      The reservations about having Tiger Cubs sew on a patch are probably well taken. But perhaps Tiger Cub partners could be given that task as an exercise while the Tiger Cubs themselves do something needle and threadish.

      It would be nice to have a way to combine a simple parent and son project like that, but I'm not sure how to do that.

      Using leather lacing around a piece of leather with a big needle for that purpose might be more suitable for Tiger Cubs.


      • #18
        Badge Magic is a mixed blessing. Quick and neat, but it eventually fails and , in my experience ALWAYS leaves a residue. Dry clean, goo be gone, WD40, even tried alcohol and kerosene and gasoline (!), always a stain or residue.

        Big Safety Pins. ALways have some in my kit.

        When I came back from the National Jamboree, I had a collection of awarded and traded for patches. Took my red jacshirt, arranged patches with pins, took to a tailor, and had them sew'em on. Cost about $90. but much better job than I could do, both wife and mom-in-law said it's yours, you do it...

        I do handsew some and have nothing good to say about the plastic backing on the BSA patches. Maybe it helps preserve the patch, keep it straight and neat, but I have to tell you, none of the patches from my younger Scouting career are less neat without the plastic. Just as important to me, just as interesting to my Scoutson.


        • #19
          Eagle92 mentioned the magic word: stapler.

          I staple the patches in just the right place, then sew. Easier and more stable than pinning (at least for me).

          Once I'm done sewing, I use my pocket knife to very carefully straighten out the ends of the staples...out they go...and patch is firmly in place.

          Other than that, it's all trial and error. Better sewing with each new patch.

          Can't forget the pride in doing the job yourself.


          • #20
            1. I take a strip of double-sided tape to anchor just one part of the patch, say the top half or third of patch.
            2. Next, I start sewing the rest (bottom in this case) of the patch. Don't sew over tape area (top of patch).
            3. Patch is now anchored on bottom by stitches and top by tape.
            4. Peal back patch top and remove tape.
            5. Now complete sewing top of patch.
            6. Done


            • #21
              My technique, refined by experience:

              1. Thread sewing machine with clear nylon thread on top and uniform-matching thread in the bobbin.
              2. Set the machine to a zig-zag stitch, I use one that is 2mm by 2mm. Zig-zag stitches are easier to rip out if the patch needs to be removed later, and it seems like they always do. Zig-zag is also easier to control around curves and it will hold down the edges of weirdly-shaped participation patches.
              3. Spray the patch with temporary adhesive and stick it in place. This stuff is awesome and evaporates away in a short amount of time, no residue or discoloration.
              4. Sew around the edge of the patch, with the zig on the inside of the raised stitching on the edge of the patch and the zag falling off the edge of the patch. Overlap the start and end stitches by a few. Trim threads.
              5. An extra hint - sew together unit numbers with the zig-zag first, then sew the whole thing to the uniform. The number patches may need a little trimming for good alignment.

              I am teaching my sons to sew on their own patches by hand. It requires a sturdy needle and thread to match the uniform looks best, IMO, as you can use stitches that barely show on the right side. I teach them to bring the needle up to the right side, catch a little bit of the satin stitch border, and poke the needle down again just a little ways from the entry point. Repeat all the way around. No need to go through the plastic backing.

              I don't think Tigers have the dexterity to sew their own patches. Few parents sew well enough. It seems like Grandma usually does the patches. We have brought in sewing machines and offered patch sewing services with good success. I've offered to teach the whole troop how to sew on patches but there is no interest.


              • #22
                The two most valuable things I learned from this thread is the idea of using staples to hold a patch in place and catching the thread wrapping the patch rather than going through the whole patch.

                I'm thinking of a Tiger Cub activity that would give Tiger Cubs the chance to sew a button onto something while their parent partners practice sewing a patch onto something.

                Some parents are skilled with a needle and thread, others not. Showing Cub Scouts and parents good ways to sew on badges seems like a good thing.

                I'd also consider asking one of those skilled people to bring in a sewing machine to help sew on badges once in a while.

                Now.... what could be used as a project that a Tiger Cub would need to sew on button on to complete? Temporary patches often have a loop that will fit around a button --- maybe you could add a button for that kind of purpose.


                • #23
                  Sew the buttons on a Den Flag, and then the Tigers can hang things on their buttons throughout the year.


                  • #24
                    The various type of "Magic" stuff is banned from my house!

                    Took me hours to get that crap off the inside of my dryer ... and good amount of time on the patio to air out my lungs. (Temp was set to high by accident.)

                    BTW, Goof-off will remove it. Goo-gone was a mixed result.

                    If Mom wants badges on the shirt...Mom can sew them on.


                    • #25
                      1. Get thread the same color as the border of the patch.
                      2. For each stitch, come up from the inside of the shirt through the back of the border of the badge.
                      3. Once through the badge border, pull the thread through; to complete the stitch, insert the needle into the shirt outside the badge border right next to where the needle came up through the border. When you tighten the stitch, the thread should be parallel to the border thread and disappear into it, rather than cutting across it.
                      4. When inserting the needle back into the shirt (step 3), insert the point slightly under the edge of the badge so you can't see the insertion point. You shouldn't see the sewing thread at all on the outside of the shirt when done (as long as you are working with an embroidered badge edge).
                      5. After inserting the needle back into the shirt (steps 3 and 4) and tightening the stitch, move the needle over to the next stitch point on the inside of the shirt and come up (step 2).

                      Dan Kurtenbach
                      Fairfax, VA(This message has been edited by dkurtenbach)


                      • #26
                        Hello dkurtenbach,

                        This task is more of an art form than I ever would have guessed.


                        • #27
                          That's one reason I now use hook-and-loop material (Velcro brand, for example) to attach position patches, Quality Unit (or successor) patches, and council shoulder patches (I like to swap out different versions, depending on the occasion; and one of the reasons I no longer put my knots on my uniform.

                          But ironing Tiger paws onto an orange Tiger Cub shirt -- THAT was an art form!

                          Dan Kurtenbach
                          Fairfax, VA


                          • #28
                            I have used Badge Magic and notice that after washing, the edges tend to peel up a bit.

                            Instead of using Badge Magic on the whole patch, I cut the sticker down to about half the size of the patch which leaves the border of the patch not stuck down. Then after sticking the patch on so it won't move, I sew the edge down. This makes the badge magic less visible if you have to peel a patch off, although I never had an instance where I removed a patch and did not put another patch in it's place.

                            I taught this to my son which he found helpful. He changed ranks recently and just had to remove the stitches and peel the Star patch off. No harm done to the patch and the spot on the shirt gets covered with the Life patch anyway. Then he sewed the edge down and was good to go.

                            I have tried pinning it, but I still end up bunching up the fabric under the patch. On some areas like the short sleeve, I have tried a 4" hoop ring that keeps the fabric taut, however I ended up sewing it on crooked.


                            • #29
                              Another good trick for sticking badges on for sewing - washable glue stick, like the kids use. Put a good amount on the back of the badge, stick it where you want it and let it dry. Then sew. If you sew before it dries, it will slip and also gunk up your needle. But once you are done, regular washing takes care of it so no residue.


                              • #30
                                These new shirts are hard to sewn anything on anyway. The material is so light in weight, and it will bunch up a lot. The older shirts were easier.