No More Patches

I'm fucking done with PayPal not sending notifications half the time, and I'm fucking done with the Post Office losing my shit - even Priority mail with Tracking. I don't have time for this fucking shit.  If you haven't rec'd a recent order, please let me know ASAP at SewEccentric@yahoo.com.  If you don't let me know, I can't make it right for you.  If you have a solution to my problem, LOVE TO FUCKING HEAR IT.


Guest Post by Russ: Columbia Shorts

Super excited to feature a guest post by fellow costumer Russ.  Be sure to click on the photos to enlarge - they have an amazing amount of detail! This method will definitely bring your shorts to the next level whether you are making them from scratch or simply trying to modify something off the rack.

It is my belief that in looking closely at the Mick Rock photos, the method used for edging Columbia’s ribbons reveals itself: overlocking/serging. This conclusion was drawn by several factors: First, the edging cannot be a 100% solid in color, since in practically all reference photos, even the far edges of the ribbon shimmer at times. This lends the idea that the edges are stitched in some way; with windows between the stitches allowing the base of the lamé to shine through. A rolled hem doesn’t create the right shape or thickness. Folded edges using a ribbon folder or overlaying a satin-edged organza ribbon creates too solid of a line for my preference and again this method does not let the lamé shine through on the edges. Upon further examination, the Mick Rock photos indicate an edging that in my view can only be achieved through overlocking. Note how the edging looks sort of rough and slightly uneven (Fig.1).
The material used appears to be a woven/satin lamé/sometimes called ͞lurex͟. The same type of lamé was used on several costumes for the Transylvanians as well (in particular, some of their lapels), which lends to the idea that there was plenty of this material to use during the construction of the costumes for the film. To test this theory, I cut a 5/8͟ wide strip of satin lamé, backed with a black fusible interfacing for durability, and fed it twice through my overlocker (knife setting should be off). It was a perfect match to the Mick Rock pics: creating a two-toned look with little flecks of the lamé peeking through the edging. Here is an image of some sample gold ribbon compared to a photo in the Mick Rock book. The golds are an exact match. My ribbon looks out of proportion, since it is closer to the camera but it is 5/8͟ wide, which I believe to be an accurate width (Fig.2). Furthermore, with the interfacing fused and stitched in, no amount of tugging in any direction was budging the ribbon’s shape or integrity; which means these are going to
last for many years.


Quick 'n Dirty Janet Dress

Sometimes you don't have time, skills, or funds to attempt a Screen Accurate costume. So you break it down to it's simplest elements. What's crucial and what isn't?

Well for Janet's pink dress, I'd say the color is crucial. It's what stands out the most. Something that has a high neckline and zips up the back is also important, but I'd say less crucial. Sleeves are not important because she wears a sweater.

So here's a dress I found on eBay ($12.88). I picked it because of the color and because it was fitted on top and loose below the waist.  The fabric is completely wrong, but that's not crucial. It's also too long, but it's easy to shorten.  You don't even need to sew the hem, look for fusible hem tape.  Glue it if you have to!

With some pink gingham fabric you can cut out a "Peter Pan" style collar and cover an existing belt. Hers is 1/2" gingham, but it's not a critical detail. Wal-Mart usually has 1/4" gingham in pink.

You could stop at that point, but a couple more details will finish it nicely. The easiest is the flower-shaped buttons that go down the center of her dress from her neck to waist (Wal-Mart also sells these).  Just glue those suckers on. You can also add some white rick-rack down side fronts, and a big round slide-buckle to the belt.  The easiest thing is to just have the belt close with velcro in the back - easier for the quick change after the proposal, and for clumsy Riff Raffs.

The sweater completes the look and you have a half-decent Janet costume in a pinch!


59 Club Patches and Pins

59 Club patches and pins are supposed to only be worn by 59 Club members.  You don't have to own a motorcycle to become a member and membership is for life. Clive C. asks that the community please "get your 59 patches from the club only and help keep ones of the club's main sources of income flowing. The patches will be authentic as they have never changed the design."
Click here to visit their website.
Individual membership is  £18.00
The 8 cm patch is the one you want (about 3-5/32") for £5.00 (a little over $6.00).
The pins are £5.50


Brad's Underwear (Research)

Brad's Jockey underwear is referred to as a "Y-front" and features a "full rise", which was most popular in the 50's and 60's and already waning out of style in the early 70's.  While the Y-front is still manufactured it's hard to find anything beyond a mid-rise today.

As with all knit-wear there is a bit of distortion in the garments dimensions while being worn; places where it's intended to stretch more than others.  With that consideration, the leg of the inverted Y is nearly equal, but perhaps slightly shorter than the side seam.

Barry Bostwick is nearly 6'4", so the waistband would probably come all the way up to the naval on most men of average height.

The length of the center front (when worn) from the center of the waist down to the bottom of his *ahem*, is roughly the same span as the width of his waist.... creating a very "square" effect.


Quick 'n Dirty Denton Patch

Click to enlarge
Need a Denton High patch ASAP?  You can make an iron-on!  You'll need a package of Dark Fabric Transfers (I recommend Avery brand, #3279).  Follow the directions in the package to print this image on your transfer.  The patch image should be 3.65" across.  It will look great on stage and in photos.  If you decide you want to add the real thing later you can stitch it right on top of your iron-on.


Frank's Badges (Placement)

This list was made by Steve M. and has been in my Flickr folder for years...  just needed to migrate it over to my blog. I have a separate blog entry detailing each badge with individual pictures.

Frank's Right Side  Frank's Left Side 
1. Panther
2. Norton
3. BSA
4. BMW
5. "Here For The Beer"
6. Checkered Flag
7. Triumph
8. Outdoor Holiday Show 1971 Colex
9. Dresda Racing
10. 6-5 Rock n Roll Club Special
11. England Rose
12. Checkered Flag
13.  Matchless
14. 1971 59 Club Motorcycle Shows
15.  Unknown.  (see blog entry)
16. CZ (medium blue)
17. Dresda Racing
18. Royal Enfield
19. 1969 BMFBrighton Show
20. Dresda Racing
21. Jawa
22. BMF
23. Silverstone
24. Isle of Man
25. Nurburgring (white middle)
26. Blue and white checkered Triumph
27. Master of Mallory
28. TriBSA
29. Norton (red)
30. 1971 BMF Olympia
31. 59 Club membership
32. Norton  (black)
33. Think!
34. Checkered Flag
35. Blue & White Checkered Triumph

1. Wimbledon 1972
2. Sunbeam
3. Checkered Flag
4. Petty Officer 2nd Class (under collar)
5. Butlin Clacton 1967
6. CZ (medium blue)
7. England Rose
8. Husquvarna
9. Jawa
10. Norton (black)
11. Concorde
12. 1966 Earl’s Court 59 Club Ally Pally
13. 1971 BMF Olympia
14. Scott (royal blue)
15. 6-5 Rock n Roll Club Special
16. Jawa
17. Triumph badge (blue)
18. Dresda Racing
19. Triumph Checkered Blue & White
20. Jawa
21. Jolly Roger
22. Red Café Biker (light blue)
23. 1968 Stanford Hall Rally
24. UK Hells Angels
25. Boy scout badge (fleur de lis)
26. Colex 1971
27. Ton Up Kid
28. Triumph
29. Oval Union Jack Checkered Flag
30. Matchless
31. The Vincent
32. Black Jaguar
33. Matchless
34. Fulham Anglers Club
35. Husqvarna
36. 1971 59 Club Motorcycle Shows
37. CZ badge
38. Triumph Checkered Blue & White
39. Checkered Flag
40. Norton (red)
41. England Rose
42. Dresda Racing 


More Patches On The Way!

Really excited to have a new embroidery machine, new software, and the ability to explore new design methods!  Some patches have been ever-so-slightly resized.  I pretty much make all the patches on Frank's jacket except for the 3 that are easy enough to find on eBay (Sylvester, Roadrunner, and Triumph).

The Mick Rock photos are some of the best references next to the film.  You get a really good look at Frank's left arm in the film, but only a couple glimpses of his right arm.  Not sure how the patches were attached to his jacket - but you can tell in some of the Mick Rock photos they are barely hanging on. If the patches had an iron-on or adhesive backing they may not have sufficiently adhered to the leather.

That 'mystery' patch on the back?  I'm still leaning towards an adhesive residue or damage from a patch peeling off. You can see plenty of details in the rest of the patches while that one is just devoid - you can even see the white dot in the middle of the "Club Rock-n-Roll" patch, so if there were letters or graphic details on the 'mystery' patch they would be visible in 4k resolution by now.

There are some great adhesives these days, but the best way of attaching patches is to stitch them down - and you'll probably need to take it to a shoe doctor who can do it with a post machine - it's a machine designed specifically to reach tight places and can sew through leather with no problems.


Covering A Columbia Hat (Alternate Method)

This is a guest post by RM - I was so impressed with her results! I think there's a little more work involved in this method, but the results speak for themselves. I have no doubt that this is the way Little Nell's was probably made because the sequin pattern on the bottom of the brim go straight back.  Also, Larry now has screen accurate gold sequin fabric for top hats and tail coats.

I started out with a plain black top hat and glued on layers of felt to make it flare out at the top, just like in Mina’s tutorial. Since I wasn’t happy with any of the gold sequin fabrics I found locally and there wasn’t time to order any, I decided to create my own wavy-line sequin fabric by tracing lines onto fabric with a cardboard template and gluing strings of sequin trim onto the fabric. (NOTE: Once I was finished, I decided the sequins weren’t close together enough so I added more sequin strings in the spaces between them.) I’m not sure how many yards of sequin trim it took—I just bought a spool of 100 meters and still have plenty left over. I chose a lightweight, semi-sheer cotton/silk lining fabric layered over a yellowish gold poly-cotton broadcloth, since that was the only way I could achieve the color and texture I wanted with the fabrics available.  I used my very most favorite glue, Gem-Tac. I made three large ovals (one for the flat top part of the hat, one for the underside of the brim, and one for the top side of the brim) and one long rectangle (for the stovepipe part of the hat). Be careful to make sure the nap of the sequins are all going in the same direction!

I glued the sequin fabric oval onto the top of the hat first, pinning it in place while the glue dried. You can see I made cuts through the center of the brim fabric pieces like a pizza—this is because on the top side of the brim, you need to wiggle that piece of fabric from the top of the hat (which is wider) down to the part where it meets the brim (which is narrower).


The 40th Anniversary

I had tickets to attend the 40th Anniversary convention in NYC, but sadly I had to cancel my plans after the passing of my father-in-law just days before. The costume I had planned for the Time Warp Ball was in the style of Marie Antoinette - a la Columbia's pajamas.  "Let Them Eat Meat Loaf!". The image on the fan is the Eddie mural on Columbia's bedroom wall, and the cameo necklace is of Frank (made with Shrinky Dinks). After all this work, I decided to wear it to the local show here in Houston that was also celebrating the 40th; The Royal Mystic Order of Chaos. I won a Funko Pop Columbia figure in the costume contest!

Ron Maxwell with Barry Bostwick
Photo Credit: Hilary Maxwell
Meanwhile in NYC I wish I could have been on stage with my fellow Boss winners awarding Ron Maxwell his much deserved Boss award. Ron has been around since... well... dinosaurs invented shadowcasting. His involvement has had an affect on so many people - he's like that crazy, fun uncle everyone loves even when the rest of the family is lobbing flaming fishnets across the divide. He's the voice of reason and the reason so many of us consider Rocky our family. His Boss-ness isn't as physically exhibited as those of us who have won for a website or hosting a major event, but he won because of his overwhelming influence in the community - which also speaks to the open criteria and flexibility of the Boss Award.

I won my Boss Award at the 4711 convention in 2011 for this blog where I share my costume knowledge and how-to tutorials. Anyone can be nominated for a Boss Award, but keep in mind that their contributions should be felt community-wide (more than just locally). The Boss committee is made of past winners that discuss all nominees and vote. Awards are handed out in person at most conventions.