A Hockey/Football Hybrid Jersey

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I love the idea of combining eras, sports, really or anything else I can think of.  For this jersey, for a fictional hockey team called the Bowheads, I added slatted canvas sleeves to resemble the same materials used in early football pants.

This carries on the idea I first came up with on the Fin Whales jersey, which is a vintage jersey that was designed to be more durable than the flannel and wool materials used on the originals.  I really like the canvas pants football players used to wear, so I found some nice tan canvas and sewed in the slats, which are just two popsicle sticks glued together.  There is also a thin layer of felt to give it a little bit of padding.  I used popsicle sticks as the original pants used slats with rounded ends so they wouldn’t tear through the material with use.

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The body of the jersey is green melton wool.  I used a tan fold over cotton braid for the collar, and added a lace-up collar.  I made a mistake when sewing on the braid, so I had to make a cover piece for the front of the collar, which actually looks quite good.

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For the cresting, I had some thick tan polyester felt.  I have to admit the real felt does look much better than the melton wool I normally use, and if I could find stuff like this in more colours I would definitely use it.

For the numbers on the back, I really like old jerseys where they would sew more than just the outside edge.  In this case, I used an old Habs jersey worn by Jacques Plante as the basis for these numbers with the zigzag stitching on the inside of the number.  Definitely an easy way to add a nice vintage look to a jersey project.

This jersey almost didn’t happen, as the popsicle sticks were just barely small enough to fit through the arm of my sewing machine – they just barely made it.  The most surprising thing about this jersey is it is extremely comfortable to wear, the canvas sleeves conform to my arm very comfortably.

An Art Deco Affair

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I love vintage sports jerseys, especially old baseball jerseys, but I have never understood why the basic design didn’t change for decades.  As far as I can tell, from the 1920s or ’30s, baseball jersey remained almost the same until the late ’60s.

For me, this is all the more baffling considering the great eras of design the baseball jersey went through.  For example, art deco influenced the design of almost everything from the 1920s through the early ’40s, and yet somehow sports uniforms never felt this influence.  In fact, I have never seen a sports jersey with significant art deco influence, if even just in the cresting.

So, I decided to make a jersey that could have been worn during the art deco era.  I would go so far to say if I was a sports team owner in the 1930s, this is what my team would have worn.

This jersey is similar to the Fin Whales design below, in the sense it’s a hockey jersey but made from thick wool material.  I completely designed it from scratch, and used three really nice oxblood buttons with a concentric design to replace the lace-up collar.

The team is called the breachers, and the logo represents a breaching humpback whale with wings replacing its pectoral fins, art deco-style.

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The oxblood, tan, and brown colour combination looks great, I think it really suits the era it was meant to depict.  This was a really fun jersey to make, and I plan on revisiting  art deco styling in future projects.

The Fin Whales – An Early Complete Jersey

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Here’s one of my early full jerseys.  I had been making the novelty stuff for a little while, and decided it was time go for it.  The problem for is I’m mainly a hockey fan, and I wanted to make a vintage-style hockey jersey, but of course the early jerseys were knitted sweaters and I don’t knit.

The solution was to come up with a back story to explain how a hockey jersey like this came to be.  What I came up with is this: some time in the late ’40s or early ’50s, a team called the Fin Whales in a rough-and-tumble league on the east coast decided they needed more durable jerseys.  The knitted type tended to come apart during altercations, which was expensive for the team as they had to continually repair and replace them.  They contacted a local apparel manufacturer to make these jerseys out of a thick, durable wool fabric.

To make the jersey, I found some really thick off-white melton wool fabric in a local store.  I already had the trim materials from my collection of melton wool fabrics I use as cresting materials.

Due to the thickness of the material, I used a simple seam and finished the inside edges of the fabric with a zigzag stitch.  Overall the jersey has a really nice heavy, durable feel that seems like it would suit the backstory.

One of the advantages of making jerseys from scratch is you can make structural changes to the entire garment, not just the logos or cresting.  In this case, as my fictional team was in a tough league, I added button-up tearaway sleeves which predicted the rise of the velcro variety in the late ’80s and early ’90s.  These would open up during a fight, which would free the player’s arm to continue throwing punches.

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This photo shows the tearaway arm detail.  I used a fold over braid to finish the edges of the sleeve, as the material was so thick I couldn’t roll it over.  I used off-white for the length of the sleeve, and blue for the ends.  The buttonholes were done by hand, as I have have definitely not mastered doing them on my machine

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I really like these rounded-style block-shadow numbers, so that’s what the jersey wound up having.  The dark navy and royal blue look great together on the off-white bases – similar to the ’67 Penguins jersey, one of my favourites.

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I love lace-up collars, so this one got a nice blue lace.  I used the same blue fold over braid for the collar, and I used metal grommets for the lace holes.  The logo pretty well summarizes my outlook on jersey design: I like fun, playful designs and vintage design elements.

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And of course, the jersey wouldn’t be complete without a tie-down/fight strap, here’s a group shot of a number of jerseys each with a button-down strap.

Even though I’ve since made a fair number of jerseys of various types, this one remains a favourite as it was the first complete jersey I made where I really felt I was getting somewhere.

Blocker Laptop Sleeve

Almost forgot to include this one, which is ironic as it’s kind of my thing: a waffle board laptop sleeve. Here’s the link to the original feature on Uni Watch:

http://www.uni-watch.com/2015/03/10/uni-watch-diy-project-a-goalie-themed-laptop-sleeve/

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This project was the perfect fusion of vintage and modern. The design is based on the blocker worn by Terry Sawchuk in Detroit, which had the label on the front and the unique hole pattern.

The back is a 2D emulation of the glove part, based on the old Cooper GM12:

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This is the only one of my projects that gets used regularly; it houses my Macbook Air and works great.

Hockey Jersey Lace-Up Collar Kit

I love vintage and newer hockey jerseys that incorporate the old-style lace-up collars. I decided to make a fictional product that could turn any hockey jersey into the lace-up style: the lace-up collar kit.

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I wasn’t happy with the way it turned out, and feel I could do better, but I sent a photo of the project to Paul at Uni Watch and he really wanted to do a feature, so here it is:

http://www.uni-watch.com/2015/03/16/uni-watch-diy-project-give-that-jersey-some-laces/

One day I’m going to revisit this one. I know I can do better as I’m just not happy with the look, plus the packaging design could be improved.

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1967 Penguins Scarf

I made this fun scarf to emulate the fantastic look of the 1967 Penguins jersey. That was the only year the logo actually featured the Penguin wearing a scarf, a detail I loved. I can only imagine it was removed because someone thought it wasn’t tough or macho enough or whatever. It’s things like this that make me tune out the sports world.

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Once again featured on Uni Watch as a how-to, you can see how to make a scarf of your own here:

http://www.uni-watch.com/2014/07/18/uni-watch-diy-project-the-penguin-gets-his-scarf-back/

A few quick notes: I love the sans-serif reverse block-shadow number from this set, especially the number one shown here. Such a unique and stylish design, looks especially good in the wonderful sky blue and dark navy colour scheme.

Yes, that is a skate lace fringe.

Hockey Shutout Puck Bags

Another “early” project, this time my NHL-themed puck bags as featured on Uni Watch.

http://www.uni-watch.com/2014/07/10/uni-watch-diy-project-nhl-themed-puck-bags/

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The idea for these bags came from my background as a recreational league goalie. I had kept a few pucks over the years when I posted a (rare) shutout, and thought it would be fun to design a way to store them and record the details of the game. The bags you see above are the originals.

I then came up with a fun concept: what if NHL teams gave these bags to goalies when they recorded a shutout, and if they did, what would they look like? The result: team-themed bags where the logo and the number zero were combined.

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My favourite ones are the Penguins ones, with the zero in the belly of the little penguin. But I had a lot of fun coming up with these. The Leafs one turned out quite nice, with the stitching detail on the leaf logo just like the old wool jerseys.

Now there’s absolutely no way a pro team would do something like this, but it would be fun, wouldn’t it?

Jersey Necktie Project

Here’s one of my earlier projects – OK it was just last year – but it’s significant because it was featured on Paul Lukas’ amazing Uni Watch blog (www.uni-watch.com). I had been reading Uni Watch for some time, and noted that Paul liked to feature DIY projects readers submitted. I sent him an email with this photo, and he replied right away that he’d like to do a feature. I provided step-by-step instructions on how I made them, you can find it here:

http://www.uni-watch.com/2014/04/08/uni-watch-reader-creates-nhl-themed-neckties/

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It took me quite a while to sort these out. I wasn’t very experienced with the sewing machine yet, and the poly mesh knit material can be tricky to work with. But they are a lot of fun and it led to a follow-up piece where I experimented with different materials and team designs:

http://www.uni-watch.com/2014/05/22/uni-watch-reader-creates-sports-themed-neckties/

The only drawback: they didn’t tie very well. The material is quite thick and doesn’t slide nicely like a silk tie would. But I did get the knot good enough for this photo from the original piece:

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I think I got ties out of my system, and looking back my technique has come a long way, but this project was a big starting point for me and also the start of Paul’s outstanding support and encouragement, which lead to several more features and hopefully more in the future.

Interestingly, Paul used this tie I sent him as a year-end prize giveaway, so somebody somewhere out there has the only one of my original designs to have escaped captivity.

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