Friday, July 28, 2006

Patchjacket - The Reckoning (part 1)

This is the first repost in a series detailing how I built my ultimate metalhead jacket over a period of about six weeks last fall.


The following post is a chronicle of the first major additions I made to my jacket. This is still a work in process and will continue in at least 1 more post.

0: Removal of the logo. This jacket was purchased as a special in the basement of the Dresden Karstadt on the same day I got my Running Wild and In Extremo tickets. However, the maker was slightly trendy, not being Lee, Levi, or Wrangler, and I had to blow the logo off the left pocket as being insufficiently metal. Since the jacket fit, didn't cost, and was the right color, cutting a few stitches was a small price to pay.

I got home from In Extremo and added the pin seen on the right waist strap in later photos.

This was the first day of major additions, and included a TON of difficult sewing. All 3 patches added today were very demanding; the back patch due to sheer size, the Wacken strip because it wasn't really a patch, and the shoulder cap because of where I had to sew.
1: The raw jacket, front.
2: The raw jacket, rear, with In Extremo pin.
3: Poor-resolution closeup of the In Extremo pin. There were two other shots of this that came out even worse due to stupid-bad reflection.
4: The back patch, placed. This is a bad angle.
5: Back patch affixed. Sewing this on tool about 3 and a half hours.
6: Wacken '05 strip, pinned. This "patch" is actually my wristband from the festival, with its ends folded back under to form a single strip, just as wide as the top of the pocket. I got this idea from a guy I saw at Wacken who had his festival wristbands done up similarly on the waistband of his jacket. I gave it a different spin and set it up like a military "salad bar"; further "service ribbons" will be added above and possibly below.
7: The Wacken strip, affixed. Note the extremely tight stitching.
8: Back view of the Wacken strip, showing my chicken-track hand stitching.
9: Euro-only Slayer patch, pinned. This is the top patch on the left shoulder; while the back patch is the jacket equivalent of the biceps for tattoos, the shoulder tops are important as well. If Life In Vain has a patch of their Red Sox logo, it will go on the right shoulder. Nuclear Blast has a note on this patch that it is not allowed to be shipped to the US. That makes it even cooler.
10: Slayer patch, affixed. This was a royal pain to sew because, lacking red thread, every stitch had to be made through the black borders/seams on the patch. Doing this took the entirety of the Germany-Turkey Cup test, less the points where I was watching replays of shots instead of listening to the announcers and concentrating on where I was pushing sharp bits of metal.
11: Finntroll flap, pinned. This is the heart of patchjacketing: making up your own stuff. This was just a normal Finntroll patch, but just the right size and just flexible enough to do something wild with. Bending the edges around the lower edge of the pocket flap, we get a metal version of the various patches that I encountered in my time as a Boy Scout. This makes an absolutely unique covering for the right pocket flap.
12: Front jacket, set up for Sunday.
13: Back base plan. These three patches will basically go on as placed. I like symmetry, even if it means turning logos on their sides.

The second day of major additions; only 5 patches, but some tricky sewing.
14: Finntroll flap, affixed. This was the most physically demanding sewing I had to do on the jacket to date, as it involved, on the folded-over portions, going through 4 layers of denim and 2 layers of patch. This was hardcore thimble work, and each fold took 20 minutes to stitch while I was able to do the entire rest of the patch in a total of 25.
15: The three base patches, pinned. The Morbid Angel patch is cockeyed because it was mismanufactured; I was able to partially correct this when I finally sewed it on.
16: Opeth patch, affixed. One down, two to go. The combination of normal color, conventional shape, correct manufacture, and thin backing made this the easiest patch that went on today.
17: Dissection patch, affixed. Two down. This was moderately difficult due to slightly larger size and the fact that, like the Slayer shoulder device, I had to go through the seams on every stitch.
18: Morbid Angel patch, affixed. Note that it is now nearly in line with where it is supposed to be against the Dissection patch, and only slightly off the waistband seam. Sewing this on was to a certain extent an exercise in pulling this patch into correct shape.
19: Jacket front view.
20: Maiden superstrip, pinned. This type of patch is called a "superstrip, and is usually worn across the shoulders, which is where I originally planned to place this. However, there's too much space between the back patch and the seam, where I was planning to put this one, and the seam is curved, making this look weird as it tried to follow. So I put it at the base, and not only was it exactly wide enough to fit on the waistband, but in this location, it also draws attention in to the Dissection patch.
21: Fun with calluses. The ones on my fingers were bothering me, so I took a break, and I had to put the needle somewhere.
22: Maiden superstrip, affixed. This was a long patch to stitch, on which I used about 9-10 feet of thread. The whole seam along the top is through four layers of denim plus the patch and was a real pain in the ass; the bottom was less intense, just nearly as long as a backpatch short side.
23: Jacket back view. Notice how your eyes are drawn towards the square of silver surrounded by black. Some may say that the Dissection patch is undermining the backpatch, but I prefer to think of it as dual-focus. I really like Dissection, and almost did this as a Dissection jacket, but in this world there are people who will assume that if you wear a band's gear, you share their politics. This may be true for bands that suck, but Dissection is not one of those. Hypocrisy does not have political problems, so this is a Hypocrisy jacket, but I also still wanted it to have a strong Dissection presence.

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