Create Typography Inspired By Embroidered Patches

THis is an aritcle written by Erica Larson for Adobe Create magazine: Though patches have been commonplace for decades, I’ve loved watching designers and illustrators take advantage of the medium’s recent surge in popularity. I’m particularly inspired by the work of Ben Goetting, who fuses his graphic design background with wonderfully irregular chain-stitch embroidery and a punk aesthetic. Listen to our interview with Goetting while you look at his work and follow a tutorial to make some of your own patch-ready type.

We don’t all have a vintage chain stitch machine, so I used Adobe Illustrator CC to compose typography around a graphic I created in Adobe Illustrator Draw, and then I gave the text the hand-drawn feel of the illustration.

patch jack 1

Step 1: In Illustrator, draw a circle with the ellipse tool. Choose the Type on a Path tool (underneath the Type tool), then click on your circle to add some placeholder text. Replace this with your own message, then center-align the text from the Control panel. If the text doesn’t land where you expect, don’t worry—we’re about to fix that.

Step 2: To position your message, press Esc to exit the text tool. Rotate the circle so the text is where you want it. You can also hold Shift while you rotate to snap the text to the top-center.

patch jack 2

Step 3: Now you can go wild with the typography. It’s helpful to apply your font first and then make the point size bigger. I used Brothers OT Bold from Typekit, adding letter spacing quickly by holding Option (Alt on Windows) and pressing the left and right arrow keys.

Patch jack 3

Step 4: If you’re really fancy and using a font with OpenType features, you can highlight individual letters to access alternate characters. Just click one of the alternates to swap it with the default. Then hug a type designer for the privilege of choosing from three different letter Q’s. (And discretionary ligatures! And swashes!)

Step 5: You can stop here, but I wanted to better unify the typography and the illustration. First I softened the corners of my text to match the round brush I used in the drawing. Zoom in on your type, and go to Effects > Stylize > Round Corners. Check the preview box, then experiment with the corner radius until you get something you like. I used a value of 0.03 inches, but settings will vary with the size of your art.

Step 6: For a handmade quality, go to Effects > Distort & Transform > Roughen. Check the preview box and the Smooth option, then play with the Size and Detail sliders until you get a subtle effect. When you zoom out again, you’ll see that the slight change does a lot to bring the text and image together.

Step 7: Almost done. If you want to send your artwork to a printer or manufacturer, right-click on the text and choose Create Outlines. This ensures they will see your design exactly as you intended it (and that you won’t get an angry email asking for a proper file). Outlining also means you can’t go back and edit the message, so save a live (un-outlined) version if you think you’ll change your mind.
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It doesn’t have to be complicated. Let the digital artists from The Chicago Embroidery Company help you design words (and pictures) that make your custom patch project sparkle.  Visit us at c-emblem.com , send your sketch to sales@c-emblem.com or call 312/664-4232.

On 100th birthday, Martha Mabe is on the job — sewing on embroidered patches

Working at London [OH] store each day is her ‘fountain of youth’

By Gary Brock – gbrock@civitasmedia.com
This month’s Patchplace is an article from the Troy Daily News in Troy, OH

 


Martha Jane Mabe works on a London High School jacket at the Mabe’s Clothing and Athletic Apparel store on South Main Street in London. (photos by Gary Brock | The Madison Press)

LONDON, Ohio — Martha Jane Mabe sat in front of her Consew sewing machine, carefully applying the school patch to the London High School jacket.

It was Wednesday afternoon, May 17 at Mabe’s Clothing and Athletic Apparel, the downtown London business that has been a part of her family for almost a hundred years.

It was a special day for Martha, and she said she was determined to be on the job that day of all days. Wednesday was her 100th birthday.

“I wanted to be able to work on my 100th birthday … if possible. It is very important to me. I wanted to make sure that no one made me do it, not my kids — nobody. I wanted to do what I want to do,” she said. “I did this all on my own.”

Carefully turning the London track and soccer varsity jacket on the sewing machine and applying the sports letters and patches, Martha talked with pride about her family’s business and her desire to work each day.

Born Martha Jane Moody in Madison County, she has lived here almost all her 100 years. “I was born on Xenia Road just outside of town and lived there practically my whole life.”

The business has been part of their family since 1919, just a couple of years after she was born. Her husband, Robert, was a partner in the company with founder Wilber Hume. Martha’s children are: David, Robert, Rebekah, and James, who has passed away; 10 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandson.

On her 100th birthday, Martha didn’t hesitate to discuss her years of working at the family business. But all the while she continued to work on the London High School jacket. She said that sometimes threading the needle can be a challenge when she starts her work. “I sometimes have to ask Dave (her son and owner) for help,” she said. But on her birthday, her eyesight was sharp. “Well, I was lucky. I got it on the first try,” she said, and started work on the many patches that adorn the cloth and leather jacket.

All the time she talked, the sewing machine continued to whir and she moved the jacket around, taking care to get the patches and sport letters in the right locations. “You have to pull the lining and everything. It can be bulky.” She pointed out that she once sewed and embroidered a 5XL jacket. “That’s the largest jacket I have ever done.”

She says all the jackets she sews and embroiders are different. “It usually takes three to four hours for each one.”

She has been doing the sewing and embroidery work from about 1970. “I do this because I enjoy doing it. I used to do all the embroidery work by hand, on the hand machine. But not any more. I just don’t have the time.”

About a month ago, she took a fall and injured her back. She was off a few weeks, but said her time away from the daily routine of work took its toll on her. “I can see people staying at home and getting stagnant. But that wasn’t for me.”

She said she would never consider not working as long as her health allowed.

That’s no surprise to her son David, who runs the South Main Street business.

“She is very down to earth. She appreciates hard work and loyalty,” he said. “She tries to help people out as much as she can. She is very sharp. Physically she is in very good shape. She comes here to work about three hours a day.” He said she just gave up driving her car a few months ago. “It was her call. She just didn’t think she had the strength in her legs to apply the brakes. She had a pretty defined path or home to here (the store) and back.”

He said he is very proud of his mother. “Not everyone has a chance to work with their mother for 43 years. I see her about 300 days a year. She is just a wonderful person. She helped me with raising my kids. She was always there for all of us, helping in every way she can.”

He said it is her daily sewing and embroidery work at their store that has “kept her going the last 20 years or so. My father passed away when he was 69, and the work has kept her motivated.” He said working at the store has always been her call.

“It is her fountain of youth, her magic elixir. Instead of sitting at home, working has been good for her physically and mentally. She worked all of her life, there wasn’t much time for vacations.”

He said she is, “One of a kind. I’ve never known anyone like her and I don’t think there will ever be anyone like her,” he added.

When asked about the future, Martha paused and thought a moment.

She said she may stop coming in to work every day, “Probably this fall.” But she don’t want to call it a retirement.

“I just do as I feel. I come when I feel like it, every day,” she said.

When she is not doing the store’s sewing and embroidery work, what does she enjoying doing? “I used to love getting out and mowing. I do a lot of thinking while I’m mowing,” she said.

Her advise to those wanting to live a long life? “Always stay busy. That is what has been best for me. It is very easy to get stagnant and not do anything. If you enjoy what you are doing and you are helping someone, then do it. I can see people saying that when they retire, they just don’t do anything. But I don’t want to be that way. I want to be self-sufficient and do as much as I can and take care of things,” she said.

She said she never smoked, never drank any alcohol. She added that longevity ran in her family, with a number of siblings living into their 90s.

“I have worked all my life. I feel work never hurts anybody.”

She said the London community has been very good to them and their business. “I always to try to buy everything I can from London businesses,” she said during an informal birthday gathering Wednesday that included Mayor Pat Closser and members of the Downtown London Association, who brought a cake to celebrate her 100 years.

Son Robert Mabe echoed his mother’s feelings about the London community. “We owe this community a debt we can never repay.”

 

Martha Jane Mabe sits at her work station at Mabe’s Clothing and Athletic Apparel in downtown London Wednesday (May 10, 2017)on her 100th birthday. She said she wanted to work on her birthday, a job she says she’s been doing almost every day since about 1970.

 

Bike Week visitors patch up for Daytona rides

A Patchplace reader sent this nice story about the importance of embroidered patches to bikers and Bike Week, written by Casmira Harrison of the Daytona Beach [Fla.] News-Journal:

Posted Mar 15, 2017 at 4:34 PM Updated Mar 16, 2017 at 11:46 AM

By Casmira Harrison

DAYTONA BEACH — The return home from Vietnam was so emotionally taxing, for years biker Jules Shubuck kept his military service mostly to himself.bike weeks day

“I was in the closet, so to speak,” Shubuck said. Then, in 2006, he rode from California to Washington D.C., to the Vietnam Memorial. During the “Run for the Wall,” Shubuck rode with veterans and met others along the way. Connecting with his brothers helped him regain pride in his military service, and he bought a Vietnam service patch at the Wall.

As part of the 76th Annual Bike Week, Shubuck is wearing that service patch in a place of honor — over his heart. People see the patch and connect with him.

“I have reached out to so many veterans here on the street that saw the patch that were also there,” said Shubuck, recollecting how they welcomed each other home. “It was kind of rough when we came home.”

Shubuck arrived from Pennsylvania with others from Murrysville Alliance Church to hand out Bibles along Main Street. He pointed to his church patch as his favorite, but says his Patriot Guard Rider patch is a close second. Patriot Guard Riders attend the funerals of fallen U.S. servicemen and servicewomen to show respect and have in the past guarded military families from protest groups.bike week day

Patches — and the traditions they’re steeped in — are a staple of Bike Week. For some, the real estate on a vest — or cut — is a sacred space reserved for those pieces of stitched fabric, earned over time in a motorcycle club. But for many others who roll into the motorcycle mecca each March, the trip isn’t complete until they’ve solidified it with a new patch.

One of the busiest places for patches during Bike Week is PatchStop, which has six locations: two on Main, two at Daytona Beach International Speedway and two at Bruce Rossmeyer’s Destination Daytona, said Office Manager Cristina Kibler. Its home base is on the second floor of an office on Main Street.

By the time the last biker rides away from Volusia County, PatchStop expects to sell between 10,000 and 15,000 patches at just one of the Main Street locations, Kibler said.

“Everybody buys about 3 pieces each time and we usually average about 300 to 400 sales each day,” Kibler said, adding that many of those have been patriotic, political or pro-gun. “Right now, one of the biggest things that we’re selling would be the Second Amendment patches,” she said.

But patch vendors don’t survive on Daytona’s Bike Week alone. Rallies are a nationwide occurrence and the PatchStop crew will barely get a break before Kibler and her team split into two teams and head to to Leesburg Bikefest and the Laughlin, Nevada, River Run.

“We’re on the road four to six weeks at a time,” said Kibler, who estimates they attend about 25 rallies a year.

Patches = storiesbike weeeek

Neil Durfey chose a few more patches to add to his vest, including the official Bike Week 2017 patch. He brought his bike down from Buffalo, New York, and will be heading back to the frigid north soon.

“I collect every time I come,” said Durfey, who also snared one with a masonic logo and adding that that one had a more sentimental meaning. “My dad was a mason,” Durfey said.

Like Durfey’s and Shubuck’s, each person’s patches contain stories.

PatchStop seamstress Heather Williams has heard a ton in her six years sewing them on for customers, and she loves when someone finds something they’ve been looking for.

“There was a guy last night. He was a firefighter in 9/11. He walked in and saw this patch up at the top,” Williams said, pointing to a patch with the number 343 embroidered on a firefighter’s helmet and gas mask along with the job’s tools of the trade. “His wife walked in and she started bawling.”

“There’s so many, many, many examples of stuff like that,” Williams said, wishing aloud how she’d like to video record each time she heard a memorable story at her sewing machine.

Colors outlawed

On a ride along Main Street this year, one might notice something conspicuously absent from the landscape.

The brand of the outlaw biker — denoted by the “1%” patch worn over the heart — was a rare sight. In fact, a large percentage of Main Street gawkers and partiers replaced the motorcycle club cuts with Harley Davidson sweatshirts and plain, black leather.

“Big Ben” Bowers, a member of the Leathernecks motorcycle club out of Central Florida, was one of the few wearing his colors on Main with a few of his club members.

“You know why, right?” said Bowers. “Because we’re not welcome.”

Bowers was referring to the “No Colors” rule for bars on Main. While occasionally you’ll see a few motorcycle clubs sporting their territory on their cut, the emblems are usually stowed away in bikes for a Daytona Beach run.

Bowers said even though his is a military club — United States Marine Corps, to be specific — as long as the vest is a club cut, he can’t wear it in a bar. “But we’re not going into a bar,” he said. “We’re just hanging out here.”

Too many patches?

Beyond signifying the solemn loyalty to biker clubs, patches have different meanings for different people.

“It’s about experiences,” said Larry Watkins, who was visiting Daytona from Port St. Lucie. After moving south, he noted he needs to replace his Maryland patch with a Florida one.

He also has a patch from his time stationed in the Philippines. He likes that one because that’s where he met his wife. “For everybody, it means something different,” Watkins said.

Joe Miller, who two weeks ago moved to Daytona Beach from Ohio, said he has four vests.

He has an entire vest dedicated to his involvement with the Patriot Riders, another for “odd sayings,” and yet another for his Air Force service.

The service vest is where his favorite patch lives.

“It’s in memory of my father,” Miller said. “He was in the Army for 13 years. Served in the Korean War and died of complications from Agent Orange.”

bike-week-daytona-florida-20140308

Don’t Need “Snowpocalypse” To Create Your Own Embroidered Patch

Here at The Chicago Embroidery Company in the Windy City, we know a thing or two about snow.  But while we just finished the least snowy January here in 117 years, we also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the city’s largest ever snowstorm, 23 inches on Jan. 25-26, 1967.

Our friends in Boise, Idaho, have been deluged with the white stuff this year, and have the right idea, commemorating the event with this cool Snowpocalypse embroidered patch.snow1

This story, written by Katy Moeller of the Idaho Statesman, tells how the idea for a special patch came about.  The woman who designed the emblem, Chrysa Rich, is selling the patches, with a portion of the proceeds going to charity.

Don’t have an epic snowstorm in your area?  You can commmemorate ANY special event or occasion with a unique embroidered patch.  Here at The Chicago Embroidery Company, we’ve helped customers create patches for birthdays, weddings, golf outings, bike rides and many other events.  Send us your design, even in rough form, and our art department can help you produce an embroidered masterpiece for less than you may expect.  Contact us at sales@c-emblem.com, visit our website, www.c-emblem.com , or call 312/664-4232.

 

Celebs Inspire Embroidered Fashion Patch Trend

Today we learn more about embroidered patches as a fashion accessory ,

thanks to Rachel Torgerson at US Magazine:

Embroidered patches are the latest detail to take the fashion world by storm, invading the closets of celebs everywhere.

From Margot Robbie’s out there embellished boyfriend Zoe Karssen jeans to Gigi Hadid’s DIY-inspired weekender bag, we’re seeing this trend infiltrate every degree of celeb street style outfit.

Emmy Rossum played up her Topshop trench with a red, patch-decorated crossbody bag on March 21 in L.A. Whereas Demi Lovato’s Zadig & Voltaire Tackl Army Overshirt did the opposite, and made her two-piece outfit a little more casual, on March 22.

The decals on Rihanna’s leather jacket added a pop of color to her otherwise all black outfit on March 26 in NYC. By contrast, Keke Palmer’s denim number by Levi’s toned down the bold red look of her bright Alessandra de Tomaso sheath at the 2016 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.

The best part about this trend? It’s a cinch to update pieces you already own in no time flat. Just place an embroidered design (like the options from 3×1.us) on a pair of jeans, cover with a thin towel and press a hot iron over the area for 30 seconds — and you’re in on the trend too.

Would you wear the patch trend?
patches jacket guy
At The Chicago Embroidery Company, we’ll make dynamic customized patches for you and your group.  Visit www.c-emblem.com to submit your design for a free quote, or call us at 312/644-4232.

Spring [Training] Is In The Air… With Embroidered Patches

Nothing says spring is coming more than Major League Baseball’s spring training in spring_training_fl_sample_d082515Florida and Arizona.  The Grapefruit League and Cactus Leaguespring_training_AZtpu_sample_d082515 are in full swing, spring training games complete with embroidered patches.
There’s even an official logo patch for each of the spring training leagues in the Sunshine State and the Grand Canyon state.

Baseball has a long and colorful springtrainingpatchDETROIThistory that can be traced through embroidered patches and spring training plays a special part. Individual teams create their own spring training patches, based on location or even venue.  Embroidered patches have been created to commemorate a team’s final season at a spring
training facility and are valued by major league collectors.  In 2015, the Arizona Diamondbacks wore a black KAYLA patch during some spring training spring philsgames in memory of Kayla Mueller, Spring Kaylathe young Arizona woman who died in captivity in Syria.  That same year, the Philadelphia Phillies wore a spring training patch marking the centennial of Clearwater, Florida, their spring home.

The original idea for have a baseball pre-season was the brainchild of Chicago White Stockings (today’s Chicago Cubs) team President Albert Spalding and Cap Anson. In 1886, the White Stockings traveled to Hot Springs, Ark. to prepare for the upcoming baseball season. Practicing at the Hot Springs Baseball Grounds, the White Stockings had a successful season; otspring6her teams noticed and spring7began holding spring training in Hot Springs, including the Cleveland Spiders, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Red Sox. The Philadelphia Phillies were the first of the current major-league teams to train in Florida in 1889; spring training in the Sunshine State began in earnest in 1913 with several teams.

SpringcactusleagueBill Veeck purchased the Cleveland Indians in 1946 and decided to buck tradition and train the team in Tucson, Arizona; he also convinced the New York Giants to give Phoenix a try, creating the Cactus League. Florida and Arizona now host all Major League Baseball teams for spring training,

Alberto Rosario

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Alberto Rosario wears a spring training patch.

but over the years, cities in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico have hosted, as have locales in California and other states.

Create your own baseball themed patch with The Chicago Embroidery Company.  Check out our new website, www.c-emblem.com for a quote, email sales@c-emblem.com or call us at 312-664-4232 and we’d be happy to help with a design to produce a dynamic embroidered patch for your team this spring.

Show Your Ride With Embroidered Patch

Idolized in American music, movies and television programs, the USA’s love affair with the automobile carchevrolet-parts-2Tand the open road is also well represented in embroidered patches. All of the major car companies,cardodge both domestic and foreign, can be found in embroidered artistry.

Part of the reason for this is the companies logos are some of the most iconic symbols on the planet. Just the outline of the “bowtie” design instantly conveys Chevrolet. Volkswagen’s V over W logo iscarBMW-1 immediately recognized around the world as the symbol of the German-owned car manufacturer, as is the Ferrari black stallion and BMW “propeller” circular design. carferrariEach car company has a medallion type logo for its individual brands. Usually a simple design, it is easily transferred to a distinctive embroidered patch.

And it’s not just brands that are depicted in thread and stitching. Individual carroadrunnercar models, especially the classic road cars of the 1950s and 1960s, can often be found on an embroidered emblem. Chevrolet’s time honored classic Corvette, the legendary Plymouth Roadrunner,carmustang-blue-2T Ford’s Mustang and Shelby Cobra are among the many models of automobile with their own distinctive logo, separate from the brand.

Even automobile service departments get into the patch game, with embroidered emblems adorning the shoulders, shirtsleeves and pockets of car technicians around the world.

Show your four-wheel loyalty with custom designed patches from The Chicago Embroidery Company. While there are usually hefty licensing fees

for specific brands, we can make your car rally club or auto racing team look sharp with distinctive, individualized embroidered emblems, ranging from two inches up to two feet across. Send us your design for a free quote or contact us at sales@c-emblem.com, 312/664-4232, or www.c-emblem.com