Wednesday, August 31, 2011

jersey fix

This post is for my mates who wear the same jersey as I, but if you have ventured here through IndieTutes, Hello!  Welcome to roller derby.  Sorry for the cussing.

We have this small issue with our jerseys.  First of all, they aren't ours.  Our team is a development team and it is assumed that at some point most of the players will be moving to another team eventually.  To cut down the costs on jerseys, it was decided that we'd all wear loaners with generic numbers on them that can be passed along to another player when the times comes. 

This is working pretty good so far except for one aspect.  Our jerseys do not naturally flatter the derby girl form.  The jerseys are meant for men: broad shoulders, narrow middles.  We are women playing a sport that favors players with ample junk in the trunk.  What ends up happening is that the lower part of the jersey hugs tight to our middles, emphasizing our belly jelly while the armhole folds into flaps that make us look like a bird in flight and the shoulders continue to flare out an inch past where our shoulder's end.  The final effect is of a portly dictator of a polyester producing country in discount epaulettes. 

My country may be small and only exports polyester, but we have big guns.
Photo by Fatal Fantasy, Winnipeg Feb. 2011
How do you alter something to fit without changing the original form?  We can stitch, but we can not cut.  Most of the sides have been taken in to fit their individual hosts at this point, but the problem with the extra wide shoulders and flapping arms has been ongoing.  With the flag on our shoulder, putting darts in that area has been impossible without it looking seriously awkward.

Fatal Fantasy - Nightshade, ref, and super geek - had previously addressed the shoulder/flapping issue by ye ol' hockey tape around the shoulders fix. 

Hail! to the crow queen
Photo by Argent Dawn Photography, Red Deer March 2011

After reviewing some photos and videos of past games, Fatal decided that trying to force two pounds of polyester into spaghetti straps wasn't the most alluring option and handed it over to me to solve while we were laying track the night before.  All I could think was, I don't bloody know how to fix this!  If I did, do you think I would be skating around with shoulder fins?  

Fortunately my dithering was distracting to others because Lady Laceration - Nightshade's co-captain, jewelery maker and hydration activist - came over to see what I was gaping about.  A bit of fussing, pinching, and generally making Fatal standing in her jersey feel like a questionable melon in the supermarket, Lady suggested we gather the material below the shoulders with elastic.


Excellent idea.

This is what I did.  Seven inches below the shoulders I drew a parallel line with tailor's chalk.  Then I cut a piece of clear elastic to the desired gather.  Regular elastic, maybe 1/8" or 1/4" would be good too.   My desired elastic length turned out to be slightly shorter than the shoulder width. 


With the elastic stretched and sewn in, the final result is this:

Less flap, more boob.
photo by Adam the derby widow Aug, 2011.

Remember to use a round tiped needle (for stretchy fabric) if possible to prevent the fabric from tearing.

In theory, as with the taken in sides, this should come out without damaging the jersey.  I'm still trying to come up with more ideas to continue shaping the jerseys, but I'm a little stumped at how to create more room through the midsection.  Might have to just spend some time with this playlist instead (thank you Teri Fying).   


  1. So for us hopeless souls who didn't even know that there was such things as round tipped needles, and who only has wine and condiments in her fridge; are you willing to hire out your awesome sewing services??

  2. Of course. As long as you keep your pickled carrots to yourself.

  3. Oh Oh! side or back vents. Totally work on my scrubs. I am incredibly gifted in the jelly belly/trunk junk department.