[Editor’s Note: Paul is on vacation this week, but today we have a DIY project from reader Matt Malinoski. Enjoy.]
By Matt Malinoski
I love the look of 1960s Red Sox jerseys with the copious amounts of red trim on the headspoon and sleeves. The problem is I can’t find a replica with the correct McAuliffe lettering — the letterforms are always subtly wrong. So last fall, using an old Lady Kenmore sewing machine that my grandmother had given to me, I set out to make my own 1967 throwback jersey with matching pants.
Going into this project, I had no prior experience with a sewing machine. I learned how to sew by watching videos online and practiced sewing trim and letters onto a cloth diaper before I tried it on an actual jersey. Even then, I destroyed two jerseys before I found a technique that worked for me.
I bought a blank Mizuno jersey from Amazon. They also make matching knee-length pants that I wear for softball and I wanted the fabric to match.
Next, I scaled and printed my vector drawing of the lettering and numerals, which I then traced onto thick construction paper to make stencils using a lightboard — a narrow set of letters for the red and wide for navy [for all of these images, you can click to enlarge]:
I don’t have a heat press, so I bought rolls of red and navy self-adhesive tackle twill fabric. I traced around the stencils onto the fabric with a white colored pencil and cut out the letters and numbers with scissors:
For the headspoon and sleeve trim, I bought several yards of 1/8″ red rayon soutache. It’s very inexpensive, but hard to work with and prone to fraying:
Luckily, my sewing machine had a buttonhole foot that can be used as a cording foot. The protrusion in the middle of the foot stays in the groove in the soutache:
The sleeve trim was difficult because I first had to use a seam ripper pop the existing seams where the sleeve was sewn together, and then stuff the end of the trim in the gap that this created, and then start sewing it onto the sleeve. It was a challenge keeping the trim straight along the edge of the sleeve because the soutache is also prone to wrinkling if it’s not held perfectly still:
I used a red thread in the needle above the fabric and a white thread in the bobbin underneath so that the stitch couldn’t be seen on the inside of the sleeves. After the trim was sewn on the sleeves, I used white thread to sew the seam back up. Each sleeve took about two hours:
The headspoon was tough, because it’s about seven yards of continuous trim. So if the soutache frayed, I had to rip it all out and start over. In this picture, I folded the soutache at the endpoints and sewed over it to prevent fraying:
Another obstacle was that there were a couple of seams so thick that I had to turn the clutch wheel by hand to get the needle to pass through all of the fabric. At one point I actually broke a needle doing this. All in all, the headspoon took about six hours to complete. Here’s an example of one of those thick seams:
I stuck the letters onto the jersey but also secured them with pins because the adhesive didn’t stick as well as I would have liked:
I then sewed the lettering onto the jersey with a zigzag stitch and sewed the red and navy outlines through the fabric. Each letter took about 30 minutes. The numbers were comparatively easy, because they were comprised of all straight lines.
I chain stitched the player’s name onto the shirttail by hand using a needle and three strands of embroidery thread. Again, I learned how to do this by watching videos online. It’s not as hard as it looks, as long as it isn’t rushed. This took about two hours to complete:
The pants were very easy to do. I had to pop a few seams where the outer leg seam met the waistband, stuff the end of the trim in the gap, sew the trim down the leg, sew the seam back up, fold the end over at the bottom of the leg, and sew a couple of seams across the end of the soutache to keep it from unraveling:
Here are the final results — not bad:
And here I am wearing it. There are no 1967 caps available, the cap I’m wearing is a 1946”“54 style, which was also worn with this style jersey from 1951”“54. The stirrups came from Robert Marshall, of course:
By Brinke Guthrie
The World Series starts tonight in KC– you might have read about it- so we’re all Series today. We’ll start off with this 1972 A’s @ Reds game program– I was at this game. Riverfront was barely two years old at this point, and already hosted an ASG (1970, weeks after the stadium opened) and now the Series, the second of four it would host during the decade.
Onto other Giants and Royals items:
• KNBR is still the home of the Giants, as they were back in the 1980s when you could sport these on your bumper.
• Here’s a 1970s orange Giants replica pullover — they used this as a throwback a few years ago and I wish they’d use this on a regular basis. Such a cool look.
• Here’s a 1960s Giants inflatable doll — “when it’s squeezed it makes a squeaking noise.” OK then.
• Got Milk? The Royals George Brett hopes you do, and here’s a 1980s growth chart to track your progress. If milk wasn’t quite your style, here’s a promo mug for Miller Lite with the Brett tie-in. Love the use of the yellowy-gold background on this 1970s Royals thermal cup!
• We’ve got a DeLong hooded Giants parka here- I had a Reds version of this and let me tell you, it felt and wore great.
• Here’s a George Brett Puma ad sans MLB branding — “If you’re not the predator, you’re the prey.”
• If you’re wearing this 1980s Giants sweatshirt — it leaves little doubt as to who you are pulling for.
• Very nice looking Reebok Royals pullover — these were made — if my memory serves as I had a Cowboys one — with a neat smooth type of microfiber or…something. Well made.
• KERO-TV in Bakersfield held a Series party in the early 1960s, and these pens served as party favors.
• Here’s a 1970s Giants Bullpen Buggy still on the card!
• Cheer on the San Francisco Giants (at the Stick) with this 1960s Rah-Phone plastic megaphone!
• Seen a lot of NFL plaques by Kentucky Art — but this 1970s Giants version is the first I’ve seen for an MLB team.
A Most Unscientific Poll…
Yesterday in the comments, I mentioned how sometimes success in a particular uniform can affect whether or not people perceive that uniform to be “good.” I pointed to the Mets “racing stripe” uniform of the 1980s as being an example of what (in my opinion) was not a particularly good uniform — but since the Mets achieved great success in that uniform, fans loved it. I personally feel that’s just not a good looking uniform, but maybe I’m wrong.
So, last night, I posed a very unscientific “poll” on Twitter, asking folks which is the better uniform — the “plain” Mets button-front, or the “racing stripe” uniform. I fully expected the Mets uniform I grew up with (the button-front) to be far more popular than the racing stripes. I was wrong.
Here’s a look at that tweet– as of last evening, “FAV” (favorites) far outpaced “RT” (retweets) by a more than 2:1 margin.
Better Mets uni: plain button-front or pullover with racing stripes? RT for plain, FAV for stripes pic.twitter.com/zylxNfZkEU
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) October 20, 2014
I figure much of that can be attributed to both the unscientific nature of the ‘poll’ and the fact that twitter users skew younger … if that’s your first memory of the Mets or Mets uniforms, you probably prefer it — I know I have a certain fondness for many early and mid-70s uniforms that today many of you look back upon with dread, horror or surprise. But I’m curious what the Uni Watch Community thinks. So I’m going to ask you guys the same question, just in poll form. Take a minute to vote, won’t ya? Thanks.
Uni Watch News Ticker
[Today’s ticker was mostly written and compiled by Garrett McGrath]
Baseball News: Kansas City Royals hats being emblazoned with the World Series logo (thanks, Phil). … Matt Duffy of the Giants has a cool Duffman sticker on his bat knob (from Mike Engle). … GQ compares and contrasts three eras of Royals and Giants uniforms before the start of the 2014 World Series (thanks, Phil). … “Last night, I spotted a box of Super Pretzel in the grocery store freezer and noticed Mike Trout on the outside,” says Chris Bruno. “I noticed a few things about the jersey right away; they obviously didn’t have permission to keep ANGELS on the front, but it also has the 2012 All Star patch and the Majestic logo clearly visible on the sleeve. Seem that this was taken during All Star week in Kansas City.” … Check out these cool artist renderings of some notable World Series moments (from Mike the Intern). … San Diego State University will be wearing this Tony Gwynn patch next season (h/t @UniNationBlog). … Is this a photo of the old Philadelphia Athletics? Nope — it’s the Congressional Republicans, in an undated photo (from Sully).
NFL News: New New York Jets wideout Percy Harvin will wear number 16. What do Brad Smith and Vinny Testaverde fans think? (thanks, Phil). … TV station uses a photo of Gary Payton while talking about Peyton Manning’s TD record (from Gordon Blau). … “This may have been on Uni Watch before, but what a beautiful piece of memorabilia!” writes Leo Strawn, Jr.. He adds, “Of course, we all know that the pro football title game was called the “AFL-NFL World Championship Game” prior to the game being called “Super Bowl”, which wasn’t until the third contest, the AFL’s first historic win. Here’s the listing in case you happen to have an extra $2400 laying around you don’t know what to do with.”
College/High School Football News: Louisville will wear these helmets on Thursday. … Do you agree with this list of five throwback college uniforms that should be permanent? (thanks, Phil). … The Fighting Illini are wearing “Gray Ghost” alternate uniforms on October, 25th. … NJ.com is having an online pool to determine the best high school football helmet in the state (from Fred Provencher). … There is a brand of pretzels in the UK called “Penn State Pretzels.” The story is explained here (from William Yurasko). … Next up in the S&S decal brigade is Fresno State, who’ll be wearing that on November 1st (thanks to Jared Buccola). … Also with the S&S thing is the University of Incarnate Word (h/t UniformNationBlog). … The Utah Utes have a new matte black helmet.
Hockey News: The Buffalo Sabres are retiring legendary netminder Dominik Hasek’s “39” jersey in the new year (thanks, Phil). … Cool Colorado Avalanche franchise jersey history from The Hockey Writers, including a bit about the Quebec Nordiques period from 1979-1995.
Grab Bag: Mascot Watch: A search engine for team mascot/nicknames from high school to the professional (from Ed Westfield, Jr.). … Article about high school mascots in Southern New Jersey (from Kurt Esposito). … An article summing up all of the ads on uniforms phenomenon (thanks, Phil). … How one audio company competes with the big brands (from Tommy Turner). … Is Reebok on the block? (from Brinke). … A five-year-old Shiba Inu (that’s a breed of dog), with a significant social media presence, does a brisk business in sponsored posts and endorsements (from TommyThe CPA). … The new NBA D-League Austin Spurs have introduced home and away uniform wordmarks (via Conrad Burry).
And that’s all for today — big thumbs up to Matt Malinoski for that amazing DIY article, Brinke for the CC, and Garrett for the ticker. Ek’s on ticker duty tomorrow, and I’ll be handling the loading and piecing together all the entries for the rest of the week. — Phil
“Yes, I am insane. What sort of sane person puts “The” before their own first name?”
— The Jeff.