PRIVATE NICHOLSON LEARNS TO PATCH - a step-by-step guide to an essential soldier's skill


STEP 4 - Attatching the Patch

Now comes another part where preparation can make or break your happiness level for the next 60 minutes.

First thing, turn your breeches inside out.

Next, place the patch (with the raw edge of the seam edge down) over the hole (see picture) and pin in place.

Now turn your breeches right side in. Carefully observe the hole. (Brackley, get your mind out of the gutter!)

In looking carefully at your hole, you can see if there are any gaps between the hole and the patch that will make your life miserable. The patch should completely cover the hole and leave enough room that you can turn over the edge of the hole to sew down later.



STEP 5 - Basting and Stitching

Basting your patch is a step that can easily be skipped if you are working in the field, or have enough experience under your hat.

However, for large holes basting is a good idea. Basting is making a very fast and loose stitch around the hole in order to keep the patch from moving around while you stitch the edges down. The basting stitch gets removed later so looks aren't important. In fact, it's easier to use an off-coloured thread, as you can see it better during the removal process.

Once you've basted the patch down, turn the breeches inside out again.

With an even running stitch (in and out seam, see Housewife section for resources) sew the edge down all the way around. Study the picture to the left carefully and note the size and placement of the running stitch as well as the ugly basting stitches (blue thread) holding the patch in place.


STEP 6 - Sewing down the edge

Once you've sewn the inside edge, turn the breeches back right side in. In the picture to the left, you should be able to make out the inside seam.

You are now ready to fold the hole edge in and sew it down.

In the case of this project, the fabric (hemp drilling) is very thick and therefore very difficult to sew down with a running stitch. We've used the easier (much more uncommon in the 18th century - we hope the stitch police don't catch us!) whip stitch to secure the edge.

When you are patching linen shirts and the like, use a running stitich at this juncture. (or we will turn you in to the stitch police and they will exterminate you!)

Again, if you are confused about which stitch is which, consult the books listed in the Housewife section.

STEP 7 - Le Voila!

Yer done! Isn't it beautiful? Feel free to run wild in the woods and encourage women to try and take them off with their teeth! Once they have found out that you are a real man, and have sewn your own patch, they surely will want to. There's nothing hotter than a guy who sews his own patches.

Remember to iron it when you are done.

Now that you've practised on the knee, you'll be able to repair the nasty teeth rips at the crotch. (We all know that's where crotch rips come from, right?)


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