[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site. Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through the end of the month, although Paul is still on the clock over at ESPN and may be popping up here occasionally.]
By Phil Hecken, with Wafflebored
Our old friend Wafflebored contacted me when I put out the call for reader submissions/article ideas with one he felt might best be run during Paul’s sabbatical, since his concept jersey features a certain hue of which Paul is not especially fond. As with all Wafflebored’s excellent DIY’s, this one is another beauty.
Anatomy of a DIY: LA Kings Hybrid Jersey
The original LA Kings jersey from 1967 might be my favourite sports jersey of all time. Purple paired with yellow is just magic, and the crown logo is beautiful. I even like the later version with the Flyers-style stripes running down the sleeve, but the original still looks best to me.
Many years ago I bought this jersey logo at a flea market. It was a little rough, and had obviously been removed from a well-worn jersey, but I couldn’t resist picking it up. It has sat in a drawer since then. This dates back to before I started sewing seriously, but I imagined one day I would put it on a blank jersey and be done with it.
Recently I decided it was time to do something with it. I could have made a copy of one of the actual Kings jerseys, but I like making things you can’t buy in stores. In this case, it’s easy to get one of the reproduction jerseys, so came up with the idea of using the crest on a hybrid jersey featuring the pattern of the 1996 Burger King jersey, another jersey I like a lot.
The first task was getting the pattern correct. If the swoops, or stripes, or whatever they are aren’t 100% correct, the jersey will look off. So I pinned a piece of brown paper the exact size of the jersey I was going to make to the wall, and used a projector to shoot an image of the actual jersey onto the paper. I then cut it up to make the patterns you see here:
I then cut all of the pieces out from purple and yellow mesh, making sure to reverse the pattern for the back. Here are the finished front and back panels:
Next up is the collar, which is usually the hardest and most time-consuming part. In this case it’s a simple v-neck with crossover front. The collar is first pinned then loosely sewn in by hand. It’s then flipped over and pressed.
I thought a while about which player to put on the back or the jersey. While I was tempted to use Rogie or another high-profile King, I decided to use Mario Lessard, since I like the more obscure goalies. Plus, I thought the number 1 would look good against the jersey pattern. I made cardboard templates printed on my computer.
The original Burger King jersey has the “Chevy” logo as shoulder patches. Since I can’t replicate the level of detail of that logo, I made a simplified version using the “LA” from the current logo. I hadn’t worked with twill that small but it was no problem.
The sleeves came together exactly the same as the body. I always add sleeve numbers before attaching the sleeves to the body, as its much easier.
And it’s done! A super fun project.
Awesome job (as always), and thanks for sharing! If you don’t already, you should follow Wafflebored on Twitter and you can also check out a ton of his other projects here. What do you guys (and gals) think of the purple & gold?
For those who don’t wish to click the links, Graig paints baseball heroes (and regular guys) from the past, and is an immense talent.
Occasionally, I will be featuring his work on Uni Watch.
Here’s today’s offering (click to enlarge):
Title: “Chief Prospect”
Subject: Mickey Mantle, 1951
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 22″ x 28″
This Mickey Mantle painting was a rough one to get through. Obviously the image is pretty instantly recognizable from his famous 1952 Topps card, which still remains one of the baseball card hobby’s most famous issues – undeniably the most popular post-war card in existence. The ubiquity of that image notwithstanding, it was important to make sure that this painting didn’t really look or feel like that treasure on too many levels. I’ve always found that particular set to be a bit too pastel-like and unrealistic in its coloring (especially that yellow bat), so I wanted to make sure the artwork was far away from those hue choices and as close to real-life as possible. I’d made a few color studies of the thing over the last 10 years, and it was only semi-recently that I finally “figured it out”.
The main issue was that the original photograph that I was using as reference was taken with a flash. So, you have that hot Phoenix sun shining down on Mickey, and then a flash bulb lighting him from below and bleeding into those shadows. That combination created some tough problems to sort out, especially since the photography method had all but flattened Mickey’s form out. Everything that as lit from the flash had to be cooler in temperature than what was being lit from the sun, and the photograph kind of exaggerates how bright those shadow planes get (especially in his face). I had to make sure that although he was being lit from two sources, one of them would win out in the overall hierarchy of light. In this case, what was lit artificially stayed a bit deeper in value than I might have originally planned it to, making that flash factor a bit less obvious. As a result, I think his features (as well as those of the bat and jersey) really pop where they should, and at the same time, sit in the space well enough.
And of course, when looking at the painting, one will always think of that famous card, but if he/she can enjoy it on a different unrelated level, then I’ve definitely achieved my goal.
Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.
By Anthony Emerson
Baseball News: Appropriately gaudy Margaritaville Night unis for the Norfolk Tides, the Triple-A affiliate of the Orioles. The unis will make their debut on Aug. 25 (from Ian Locke). … Not uni related, but too good not to post: Two New Jersey brothers found a trove of baseball cards, including five ultra-rare Mickey Mantle cards, one of which was valued at over $1 million (from Ted Arnold). … Two players were wearing completely different jerseys despite being on the same team at the 14U Championship game (from Erik Fowler). … I’m not sure what (if any) playoffs/championships are at stake here, but Mike Styczen‘s kid has an A+ stirrup game but wore the wrong alternate jersey yesterday. … Tremendous Astrodome shot glass find at Goodwill by Jim Vilk.
NFL News: The Chargers released their 2018 uni schedule. The most important bit: powder blues are making appearances in back-to-back games on Oct. 7 and 21 against the Raiders and Titans respectively. The game against the Raiders will be in London (from Brock Jackson, Kenny Saidah and everyone else who sent this in). … The Saints are wearing white at home against the Eagles on Nov. 18 because Sean Payton lost a golf bet to Doug Pederson (from Gil Neumann III). … Here’s a good shot of the Jets in the 1978 preseason wearing their then-new green helmets with their previous year’s unis (from Joe Sumpman).
College/High School Football News: Did you know that some schools had SNOBs back in 1974? I didn’t. Fulton High School in Knoxville, Tn., wore them in the 1974 Tennessee AAA High School State Championship Game (from @UniformSnob). … Jack Trice Stadium’s field is getting a corporate name, Iowa State announced yesterday. The stadium itself will retain the name “Jack Trice” (from Derek Lilleskov).
Hockey News: In an unsurprising and totally deserved move, the Coyotes will retire Shane Doan’s No. 19 Feb. 24 — against the Winnipeg Jets. Doan, of course, started his career back when the Coyotes were the first iteration of the Jets, and stayed with the franchise through a relocation, a name change, lots of losing, threats of another relocation, iffy ownership situations, league administration and a bankruptcy. Few players are as intimately interwoven with a team’s history and identity as Doan and the Coyotes (from Mike Chamernik). … The Blues will reveal their new third jersey at their annual Ice Breaker event on Aug. 26 (from Jacob Bischoff).
NBA News: The Bucks revealed their new court design yesterday (from Mike Chamernik and Brian Kerhin). … The Grizzlies keep teasing us with sneak previews of potential new changes (from Evan Winburne).
Soccer News: Leicester City have launched their new third kit (from Josh Hinton). … West Bromwich revealed their new change and third kits — and one of them’s in Uni Watch colors! (Also from Josh Hinton). … The Premier League is updating their referee kits (again from Josh Hinton). … An odd NOB for Real Madrid’s Raúl de Tomás, first and foremost that his NOB is only initials, and secondly that there are periods after the “R” and “D” but not the “T,” which is strange to say the least. The NOB also appears to be uncentered and it looks like the space is too large between the “D” and “T” (from Pádraig T Watson). … ESPN appeared to forget what Tottenham Hotspur’s crest looked like during their coverage of Spurs’ friendly against AC Milan (from @SoCalMindset). … Clemson men’s soccer has revealed their new kits (from Blake Toy). … River Plate had their new home and away kits leaked to Footy Headlines. … So was Roma’s third kit. Nike’s ugly contrasting sleeves rear their ugly heads again. … Manchester City’s new all-black minimalist pre-match kit is not exactly getting rave reviews. … Tuesday’s MLS Homegrown match against Tigres UANL’s U-20 team featured a Tigres player inexplicably wearing No. 286 (from @AVKingJames).