Competition Jacket

Last time my friend needed a favor for his son’s upcoming Martial Arts competition, I ended up covering the whole jacket with the American flag. You can click on the link to see more of that project from Nov 2019.

Thankfully, this time all that had to be done decoratively was adding ribbons and small flags and…removing 9 extra inches in the front triagular panels. First thing to do was remove the inside and outside ties as the boy wears a belt over the jacket. The dad thought I could just fold under the excess fabric and stitch through everything…ok, he is a gardener and not into sewing.

Open the band seams and release and remove the ties:

I soon realized that the triangles would have to be removed and/or repositioned to avoid any more bulk.

Then I have to open all the front seams and along the front bands. Using my scalpel helps and on the back side, the bobbin threads/chain stitches can be pulled to release.

Here is the mess with both fronts opened:

Once released, the flat fell seams look lke this:

Both flat felled seams are pointing the same direction so only one will be repostioned and not cut away. That would be the left one:

I measure over using the old seam as a guide and thread trace for the new positon. You can see at the hems, they do not match up…geometry going on here?

I will serge 3/8 inch away from the new seam line and press it up to meet the old flat felled seam edge before stitching everything down flat again.

Left side finished, sorry no more photos, and we have the right front panel. As with the left side, the old edge will have to move 4.5 inches towards the band instead of away from it. The under side will be trimmed away and serged close to the band and the old edge stitched down flat again. In order to make the junction where the band meets the panel up higher, I had to open the band seam to get a better angle.

Here is what it looks like on the inside of the right side. Of course, all this excess will be trimmed away on both sides.

Original edge pinned along the band…notice the gap/step-down along the hem? Yeah…of course this happens…what to do? I’m going to open up the hems, all 3 rows of stitching and make them all line up. In the end, all of the hems will be covered in ribbon so it can look like a dog’s dinner on the inside and no one will know. Well,  just you and me!

The left side has a slight dip in the middle of the hem too but I’ll treat it the same way…wrestle it into submission and slap the ribbon over the whole mess!

Once the body is done, let’s pin the ribbon on the bands. It is just 1/4 inch narrower than the band so just a tiny 1/8 inch of white will show along the edges. Sometimes when we do custom work, it ends up looking so professional when things sit well and flat. If the ribbon was wider, it would have had to slide over the edge and look….well…homemade…horrors!

Ribbon bands attached, wrist ribbons attached and hem ribbons attached…the special request was to have small flags attached to the armpits so when the boy wins his heat, he raises his arms to show the flags and his pride.

There was no way I could get those flags to fit flat in the armholes so I moved them into the sleeve area and even then it was a challenge. Besides being awkward, did I mention that this jacket/ghee was made out of the thickest duck fabric on earth? Lordie, this was meant to be a tent but somewhere in a factory far far away, using industrial machines and methods, this duck cloth managed to be made into something wearable. It is mind-boggling that something so stiff that could stand up on its own would be just the thing for little boys to wear and compete in and wrestle each other to the ground

The back is left blank for attaching award patches. The ghee and all the ribbons and flags were pre-washed and pre-shrunk.

Beside sewing this week, I want to share our new housemate with you. Her name is Nadine and she was a rescue cat found with her 5 baby kitties and fostered until the shelter could find a home for her. As our local ASG makes and donates cat blankets to this shelter, it was funny to see a cabinet filled with the same familiar flannel blankets when we went to meet her.

She was the most chilled out cat and started purring like crazy as we approached her cage…OK maybe that was her way of luring us in to pet her and fall in love…OK …it worked. We took her home after her kitties had been adopted and she was spayed and micro-chipped.

We are learning to keep the doors to my sewing room shut to avoid any bridal CATastrophes.

Hoping your Valentine’s Day was pleasant and filled with little treats! Our neighbor who makes the BEST cookies dropped some by to share. Thank you so much Melanie!

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17 Responses to Competition Jacket

  1. Linda Craig says:

    Nadine is gorgeous & will be very helpful assistant to you with your sewing. If your interested there is a fun page on Facebook for Sewing with Cats
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1652139701728187

  2. Nancy Figur says:

    Great job – I love the ribbon around the edges.

    Nadine looks just like my grandcat. I have a tabby that is less fluffy and he lives in my sewing room (of course that is where he would pick for his favorite spot). Cats are such a joy.

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you, Nancy, I think once Nadine realizes that we don’t use the carpets and sofa as a scratching post, things will be better. Nothing better than sitting next to yoiur mom’s sewing machine and watching incoming hummingbirds visit the feeder!

  3. Debbie Guihot says:

    great job, my son had one of these ghees when he was competing and it also had to be starched stiffer again.It literally stood by itself, apparently it needed to make a loud snap sound when he moved.lol. My machine needles certainly di when I hemmed it up.

    • mrsmole says:

      Speaking of needles, all I could find was a size 14 and held my breath as we went over all those layers in the bands! The sport must have been invented by a man as i would not imagine a woman would design an outfit that had to be startched so stiff as to make a snap when competing!

  4. Jen in oz says:

    Although it is pronounced the same, I’ve only ever seen the name of this type of jacket spelled “gi”. I think they’re usually made of a heavy canvas type of cloth. Not sure why. Amazing how much effort goes into making them look great. Well done!

    • mrsmole says:

      Yes Jen, I think it is spelled “gi” but I thought I should type it phonetically like the clarified butter….ha ha! The washing instructions say to wash in cold water, do not bleach. Well as this was a previously owned gi, it sure needed more than a cold water wash and lots of pressing to get the wrinkles oiut and bleach to get the stains out.

  5. Lindsay says:

    That is one happy cat! I am in awe of your skills. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  6. Susan Hart says:

    Awesome job as usual even though this was probably still challenging….how else do we grow, right?
    I love doing unusual sewing jobs just to see if I CAN!
    Welcome to the COC….(Cat Owners Club) …LOL
    What a cutie!

  7. celestial says:

    I have been shortening my brother’s ghee sleeves and pant hems for years. The fabric is thicker and stiffer than a lot of cardboard. When I think of how comfortable my stretchy lycra gear is for exercising, I cannot imagine why they keep using such uncomfortable gear in martial arts. It must chafe the skin dreadfully.
    Nadine is a gorgeous kitty and she looks so alert and interested. Cats love to sharpen their claws on furniture; the only fabric they don’t seem to destroy is velvet. Good luck!

  8. M-C says:

    😁 Adorable kitty. But a small note.. Ghee is clarified butter in India, a very worthy and useful substance, a cornerstone of magnificent cooking. What you have here is a gi, a piece of Japanese martial arts clothing. It’s rightly made of the toughest canvas possible, as it spends its entire life being pulled on, no yanked, and bearing the entire weight of its owner. Anything less would tear at first wearing

  9. mrsmole says:

    Thank you, M-C for correcting me. I did mention my reasoning for the spelling in my reply above. Not all of my followers are English speaking so I chose to use a phonetic spelling. This particular gi was used in the military training for adults and quite a bit thicker than the ones I have worked on for children. Smaller sizes have been thinner fabrics like pique and much easier to sew through when adding braid and ribbon and the patches that are awarded after competitions. I think I have to stock up on 16 size needles for the future!

  10. lsaspacey says:

    Nadine is gorgeous!

  11. Nice work as always. Nadine is beautiful! Lol…catastrophe!!

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