Saturday, April 19, 2014

Next time, Matt, go to the base tailor shop

Finished product

I concede defeat.  I don't do that very often.  But either my skill level, or the quality of my thread, or my machine, ... the whole sewing stripes on according to procedure, well, ... I'm honored to do it for my son.  I'm honored that he chooses to serve in the USMC. 

The following is not meant in any disrespect to Matt's service, the service or others, or the Marine Corps itself.  But just considering a wise or foolish use of time, ... those military tailors can probably do a better job in a much shorter amount of time. 

Start with the uniforms.  Matt's hoping to get promoted to Lance Corporal soon, so he doesn't want to sew the stripes on all his uniforms.  But for Easter church, he wants to dress up and that means stripes.

Matt's Charlie shirt, sans stripes

Matt's Private First Class stripes

Finding the right thread

According to MCO P1020.34F  MARINE CORPS UNIFORM REGULATIONS, "Insignia will be   sewn on garments with thread that matches the background material of the insignia using a straight machine stitch. No other style of stitching will be used."

And according to the following diagram, the insignia is to be 4" beneath the shoulder seam and centered on the sleeve. 

Deep breath, Mary, you can do this. 

"Which way to they go, Matt?"  I know that I should no this.  I mean, how many times have I watched military related movies or seen things about the Marine Corps, right?  I should know this.  But even something so simple, I feel clueless. 

"Which way?"  "MOM!"

 "Mom, don't disrespect the uniform."

Finally I had them pinned and the correct color of thread chosen.  I had tested out the machine to make sure it was operational. 

But do you think I could get it to work right on Matt's stripes?  Nope.  At each of the pointy corners, because of the way the stripes are constructed, there are about four layers of cloth, plus the little shiny plastic backing.  And my thread broke every time I got near the corners. 

I did eventually get them on.  I worked on them for about 45 minutes.  But I advised him to take them elsewhere to be put on properly next time.  Because, sadly, the little pointy parts were probably not on very securely.

I really wanted to do this for my son. 

"I can take them into Oklee quilting, Mom, and they can probably do it."

"No, no, Matt.  I can do that.  No problem."

There must be a super secret military grade thread the use or something.  Or maybe it's their magic Marine Corps touch.  But whatever it is, there are others who can do the job more efficiently than can I.  Sigh.

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