March 28, 2016

Patch Jacket

I've collected patches for a while now, but they have just been affixed to random items or sitting in a drawer. I have been looking for a jean jacket, but every one I try on seems too heavy or not to fit right.

Recently I was out shopping with my family at an outlet mall when we happened to go into the Columbia outlet store. If you don't have one around, they sell outdoor clothes, coats and shoes. They had these really comfy canvas jackets and after trying it on three or four times in that same trip, I figured I'd better get it, or regret it. I can't tell you where to get one if you want one, as the outlet store sells stuff that isn't on their regular online store.
the jacket. teal lining was a big selling point.
For being an outlet store, I was still thinking that $35 for the jacket was a bit much, especially as I wanted to modify it. I love the length on it, but there is this odd string in the center, I guess to make it gather at the waist, but it's annoying, so I pulled it out. Second, it has two really good pockets for your hands that have two different pockets in one. However it also had two pockets up over my boobs, which were odd, so I removed them carefully. Now that I had a more blank canvas (ha!) to work with, I could start planning out where I wanted to put the patches.

Thankfully I had gotten a bunch of Amazon and Etsy money, so I was able to make a huge list of things I like, figure out what I was missing, and find patches for them without going broke. I also got a custom patch to put where a name would normally be embroidered, but of my twitter/tumblr/instagram handle. In total, I probably spent a good $80 on patches alone, amassing forty some odd patches.

Figure I will give a shoutout to those Etsy shops that I bought from:
Steven Universe Gem Weapons: Coey and Shy
@Khyarete patch: The Applique Patch
Pacific Rim and OtGW Rock Fact: CuddleTurtle
Better Be Dogs: MonsterOutside
White Lotus/ATLA and The Prince from Katamari Damacy: Cherriesama
Animal Crossing Leaf: Kawaiian Pizza Apparel
Happy Milk: PatchNation
Coraline: Craftsylvania
Ash from Fantastic Mr. Fox and the Bigfoot: For the Love of Patch
I have to say, For the Love of Patch is a truly excellent store. He has and is working on some really nice designs and I really love the ones I got. I've got three or four patch ideas from shows I love, that I can't seem to find anywhere. As he also can make custom patches, at some point I am going to send him my designs.

Others I have collected include:
two Terlingua, TX/ Day of the Dead
three Big Bend National Park
Camp LaJita (Girl Scout camp near San Antonio)
Soviet Space and Recycling (from husbands old cub scout vest)
Kwik-E-Mart (Simpsons from Universal Studios, Orlando)
ThinkGeek Starbase: Texas from the Hurst Mall Location
Jukebox the Ghost (band)
Sailor Mercury symbol and Chibi figure
Ravenclaw house emblem (Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando)
Rebels Against the God crest (Angel Beats anime)
BPRD patch (Hellboy)
Ouran Acadamy crest (Ouran Highschool Host Club anime)
Eternal Scout patch (Welcome to Nightvale podcast)
Stargate SGU
Jurrasic Park
Planet Express (Futurama)
Meat Popsicle and Council of Federated Territories (Fifth Element)
Totoro with a mushroom

thread box borrowed from mom in law
As for actually applying them all to the jacket... well I hand sewed each on. Some only after removing as much iron on glue as possible, or where not possible, doing both ironing on to soften the glue and then hand sewing. As I suck at sewing this was slow going, especially on the arms. I'm sure I did it all wrong, but I used a small, thin and very sharp needle for getting through the layers of canvas, glue and embroidery and by the time I finished it was a C shape from the struggle. My fingertips will never be the same.
the finished front, for now. mostly used for odd size and my favorite ones.
I decided it would be more fun to just have them all mixed up together as best they fit, so that I wouldn't need to worry about having all the scout ones together and camping ones together, especially if I have room to add more. Instead I started looking at size and shape similarities, laying them out so they looked somewhat symmetrical and organized. 
finished back for now. symmetry emphasized
At the time of writing this, I am still collecting more patches, and have at least two more out on order. Not to mention ideas for my own custom ones I want, so I guess keep an eye out for updates as I add more.
the two sleeves, figured crests of organizations would be coolest here.
I am super in love with this jacket now. I wore it out in Austin, with only about 15 of the patches on and got compliments and smiles wherever I went. It is a great piece to start conversations and attract like minded individuals, if the blue hair wasn't enough. Can't wait for fall.

Time to complete: 80-90 hours

Update: Got several new patches. Cryptozoology as part of the set of alternative scouting badges from Luke Drozd. The tornado to my love of the movie Twister and weather science in general, from Patchtown on Amazon. Pawnee Goddesses from Parks and Rec from Ferdinand Works. 'Za Lord's Guard from the Dresden Files novels from Pop Culture Patches.