**Apologies in advance for the not great photos, took these at night with a flash as I feel like posting tonight and don’t want to wait for daylight.
Goalies have long had an interesting relationship with their equipment. It serves the dual purposes of personal protection and puck blocking. Sometimes these issues become intertwined, and the line between the two can be confusing.
But sometimes the issues are not confusing, as in the case of flat-out cheating. That’s the topic of today, and of this jersey I just finished.
My favourite era of goalie equipment was sometime in the early to mid ’80s, during the transition from the all-leather stuff with fairly straightforward designs, to the era of modern materials. There was a period when things went a little too far, but the experimental era of how to stop more pucks was fun and lead to some really interesting designs that pushed the limit of protection vs. puckstopping. Cheater bars on gloves, puck foils, and other fun stuff came about and were often banned, and probably rightly so.
I’d often heard of tales of goalies putting webbing under their arms, or between their legs. Mind you I’ve never seen such a piece of gear in action, or in any vintage photos. It might be they were tall tales, it might be they were just banned or prohibited right away and we never saw them.
So I thought this would be something fun to make. I also wanted to make it a real, functional jersey, so I made it from polyester mesh as opposed to the vintage-looking wools I often use.
The colour selection was based on me finding a nice piece of old-stock twill cresting material. I went with yellow and green as it’s such a great look for hockey jerseys, just like the Seals or North Stars. I applied the cresting with the classic zig-zag stitch.
I used a different, wider mesh for the under-sleeve inserts, that are just there for a little extra help catching pucks. The jersey is a wide goalie cut so there is plenty extra material already. I made the inserts small enough that the jersey could be worn without the wearer looking like Batman.
I love lace-up collars so that’s what this jersey received. I happened to have some smooth green material for the collar, which means there are three different green materials on this jersey, all the exact same shade of kelly green.
Since the cresting material was a scrap, I got a little less than a metre. I wanted to keep some for future projects, so I made this jersey number 1 to conserve material.
I’m happy with the way the jersey turned out, and I really like the striping/panel design, although I think it looks better without the cheater webbing. I think I’ll use this design for future jerseys.
I suspect I will be in polyester mode for a while. I love this mesh and twill combination for a classic jersey look. I also really enjoyed coming up with the concept, so I might do a series of these, all with different forms of cheating built in somehow. A complete series of cheater goalie jerseys.
Oh, and of course, ACAT stands for ain’t cheatin’, ain’t tryin’. You can decide for yourself if you think that’s true or not.