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Self repair and customization


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Firstly I'd like to say that I'm not trying to take away from this site in any way and that I hope it doesn't upset any of the IJ owners. If it does, please feel free to lock/delete this thread, just toss me a PM please to let me know.

I am interested in learning how to customize my own jerseys (after a GREAT deal of practice, don't worry) eventually, even if only to sew on my own patches or repair damage. I want to start out just sewing a fake patch onto some heavyish fabric to simulate the actual process. What would be involved? Just placing the machine on Z-stitch? I swear I saw a thread about this on here before but I can't find it. Perhaps it was another site.

Thinking about it the other day, let's take arms for example. How would you sew number patches onto the shoulder using a machine? Completely rip out the arm seam to sew the patches and then resew the arm together? I'm at a loss.

Thanks guys!

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I'm sure that there was a thread about it around here somewhere but I can't remember who started it or what forum it was in. Nevertheless, when you're shopping for machines, don't go nuts. Not for your first one. Get something simple that has the zig-zag feature. Most machines do have that though so you'll probably be alright.

The main thing is to be patient. Don't rush things. Just get a good feel for the speed of the machine and how the material runs through it. Also, get a good idea of how fast the needle moves when you step on the pedal. Don't be afraid to just use the side wheel when you're starting out. Practicing on useless pieces is a good start.

As for the arm numbers, it blows. I hate it. It's by far the hardest part of the customization. You have to go into the foot of the machine from the neck hole and make sure that there's no other material stuck underneath that you'll end up sewing into. I've done that MANY times. Usually, I'll just do the arms first to get them out of the way.

Like I said initially, take your time. Be patient and get to know your machine when you buy it. Make sure you get extra needles too. You'll burn through those pretty fast when going through twill and/or patches. Also, don't hesitate to ask for advice. That's what we're here for!

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  • 1 month later...

I'm no sewing expert, but here's my 2 cents.

I got my old singer machine at a thrift shop. All you need is one that can do a zig-zag stitch (z stitch). Mine has the added benefit of a removable plastic plate - it detaches from the main flat surface area so you have a smaller surface you are sewing on and can turn an fit tighter areas like sleeves [not sure i explained that too well].

If you are sewing on patches or numbers, be sure to get a heavier duty needle for your machine - costs next to nothing. If find you are skipping stitches, it is likely your needle is too dull and you need to replace it. When sewing on patches or numbers use a fine z-stitch; if the stitch is too wide the edges of your patch/number may fray (unless the patch has an embroidered edging). If the stitch is looser either on the bottom or top of what you are sewing, you likely need to adjust the machine tension.

If you are sewing on patches or numbers, they may have a backing with glue - you can iron on the patch before sewing it on - don't count on the glue for a permanent hold. If there is nothing on the back, you can just pin it on.

For repairing small damage, just z-stitch over the hole (use a wider stitch to make sure you cover the area and a fine stitch to get all the hole). If it's a little bigger hole zig-zag one way, and the turn the hole 90 degrees and sew that way. If it's really big or ugly, you can always patch it with some jersey material of the same colour.

Like the previous poster said one of the thing to look out for when sewing is the material doubling over (especially in hard to get at places like arms).

Any questions, feel free to post or message me.

If you ever want to make your own numbers, names, and simpler crests out of tackle twill (the material that is used for making sewn on numbers), i posted some info. in the 'Show and Tell' area under 'working with twill'. I may have posted some other info., but i'm not sure if it's even at this site or if it is, where it would be.

working with twill

i usually buy my tackle twill from a seamstress that freelances for the local sports shops for their sewn numbers and customization of jerseys.

a couple places that sell tackle twill online are twill usa, and waterjet.

i have pics of most of the jerseys i have customized on webshots (user name: greyraven8)

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