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Re-Patching a Dress Uniform


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#1 ww2vault

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 06:42 AM

Hi,

I received an enlisted mans dress uniform from a lady and it has been wiped clean of insignia and patches pretty much. With the uniform came a photo of the veteran wearing the same uniform with the patches and insignia still on it.

Now insignia can easily be replaced on a uniform, but patches are something I haven't thought about replacing before. I would think it could be done, but how hard could it end up being?

I know I would have to look for some WWII vintage patches, and if I want to take it to the next level, some WWII vintage thread as well. Does anyone know how to sew it by hand though? http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif I would very much like to restore the uniform to its original form, instead of leaving it as a plain uniform.

- Jeff

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Edited by ww2vault, 23 September 2008 - 06:45 AM.


#2 Teamski

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 06:59 AM

Well, look at it this way, you will learn how to sew just like the soldiers in the trenches had to, hehehe..... It's not that hard, just pin on the patch with 2 pins to keep it in place and loop the thread in even spaces around the edge of the patch. You can use 100% cotton heavy guage thread and it will work perfectly fine. The good thing is that his patch looks like a typical US made version, so you won't have to go searching for an Australian made one.

-Ski

Edited by Teamski, 23 September 2008 - 07:00 AM.


#3 GIKyle

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 08:14 AM

To add to what Ski said, it looks like the patch is machine sewn in the painting- if it looks that way from the holes in the coat (Look at the lining as it is easier to decipher, you may want to go that route to really hit the restoration details... I ran into the same problem years back and learned to sew as a result-- but for the machine sewing jobs mom was there to the rescue!

Kyle

#4 baker502

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 12:10 PM

I would just put the patches on with safety pins and put a note in the pocket that they were replaced. You could always just use 2 sided tape to, otherwise somebody might think you made up the uniform. I wouldn't sew them on that is evil and should not be done to any uniform missing insignia, it then becomes a humped together uniform not a restoration. On the note put that you replaced the patches so the next collector doesn't get bent out of shape that the patches, even though they are identical to the ones in the photo and are WW2 vintage were not the ones the guy had on in the photo.. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbdown.gif

#5 Stinger Gunner USMC

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 01:17 PM

I would just put the patches on with safety pins and put a note in the pocket that they were replaced. You could always just use 2 sided tape to, otherwise somebody might think you made up the uniform. I wouldn't sew them on that is evil and should not be done to any uniform missing insignia, it then becomes a humped together uniform not a restoration. On the note put that you replaced the patches so the next collector doesn't get bent out of shape that the patches, even though they are identical to the ones in the photo and are WW2 vintage were not the ones the guy had on in the photo.. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbdown.gif

I'm sorry but I have to disagree. IMO replacing the patches on the Uniform and documenting what you replaced and why does not hurt the value of the item nor its historical integrity. To define conservation: repairing an object by non permanent means. Museums sew muslin tags into cloth items in their collections with catalog information. Thread can be removed easier that it is applied and has been discussed in many threads on this forum regarding replacing lost insignia, creating tribute uniforms for personal reasons (ex: a father or grandfather). If Jeff intends to restore this uniform for his collection and not to attempt to resell it to an unassuming buyer for a profit, as I know he wouldn't do, then I see no problem doing so.

#6 ww2vault

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 01:40 PM

I would just put the patches on with safety pins and put a note in the pocket that they were replaced. You could always just use 2 sided tape to, otherwise somebody might think you made up the uniform. I wouldn't sew them on that is evil and should not be done to any uniform missing insignia, it then becomes a humped together uniform not a restoration. On the note put that you replaced the patches so the next collector doesn't get bent out of shape that the patches, even though they are identical to the ones in the photo and are WW2 vintage were not the ones the guy had on in the photo.. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbdown.gif


Ski, Kyle: Thanks for some good tips. There is almost no indication at all that there use to be a patch on the uniform from the outside sleeve, but there are some loose threads on the inside of the sleeve saying there use to be.

I guess I will try and look at a couple other uniforms I have and see how they are sewn on, then I will try and replicate what I see. I admit that I am no natural born sewer either, but I am pretty confident I can do I good job. Whenever I get around to completing the sewing I will post pictures for you guys to comment on.

Baker: I do admit that you do have a point as well. All of us collectors have our own preferences on how we like things to be and I respect that. For me though, that wouldn't be my cup of tea.

Unlike some collectors here that have their collections stored away, I like to take mine out and display them at various school, VFW Posts, and special events. So to bring his plain looking uniform, while in some cases would be ok, just not would sit well with me.

Also, had I not received the picture of Mr. Hackett where I couldn't see the insignia or patches he had, I may have let it go. Now though, I would like to restore the uniform to it's, "original" condition.

There are some things that you should be proud of that I am doing to help out the next person in line that may buy this uniform. I was already planning on adding a note with the uniform saying that I modified it, which I do with ALL items in my collection that I modify. I also chose to use vintage materials that aren't reproduced pieces.

For example, if I aquire a uniform with a missing button on the front, I try and find a vintage, not reproduced, alternate to add onto it. I know some collectors like to keep their items completely unfooled around with, and I realize that and respect it, but I like to do things a little different. I do appreciate your input on this matter though. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

- Jeff

Edited by ww2vault, 23 September 2008 - 01:58 PM.


#7 Lee Ragan

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 11:43 AM

I'm sorry but I have to disagree. IMO replacing the patches on the Uniform and documenting what you replaced and why does not hurt the value of the item nor its historical integrity. To define conservation: repairing an object by non permanent means. Museums sew muslin tags into cloth items in their collections with catalog information. Thread can be removed easier that it is applied and has been discussed in many threads on this forum regarding replacing lost insignia, creating tribute uniforms for personal reasons (ex: a father or grandfather). If Jeff intends to restore this uniform for his collection and not to attempt to resell it to an unassuming buyer for a profit, as I know he wouldn't do, then I see no problem doing so.

Gunner, I agree with you. Nothing wrong with a restored uniform. Hell, museums do it, so what's the big deal? Replacing missing insignia with correct period insignia is a common practice. Going the other route the collector ends up with a stripped down jacket or one with the patches taped on it! Either way, with that you can display a naked jacket (big whooptie-do), or one that looks all kluged-up with patches safety pinned on or taped on.
You decide what you want this to be because it's going in your collection.

#8 FightenIrish35

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 12:13 PM

Vault,
From the image look to see where the ribbons bars sit on your uniform,you may have to look really hard or possibly hold it up to the light to see if light comes threw at any spot. Worst thing,you wont find any holes where the ribbon was but you can identify which ribbons you need to look for. It looks like your guy had the long bar that could hold 3 ribbons on it.

#9 Captainofthe7th

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 01:31 PM

Hey Jeff,

I do this quite often. My Uncle's Ike jacket had his Sgt chevrons taken off, so I sewed his originals back on. I also bought a new Ike jacket to replace my grandfathers. Sewing is not hard to do, but it's good to practice.

Rob

#10 ww2vault

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 03:53 PM

Vault,
From the image look to see where the ribbons bars sit on your uniform,you may have to look really hard or possibly hold it up to the light to see if light comes threw at any spot. Worst thing,you wont find any holes where the ribbon was but you can identify which ribbons you need to look for. It looks like your guy had the long bar that could hold 3 ribbons on it.


Hi Michael,

Yes, unfortunately, no matter how hard I look, I can't seem to see the holes where the ribbon bar(s) went through. I think you are correct though that this was one complete long bar. How do I go about getting a vintage one and putting the ribbons on it? The funny thing is that even on the outside of the sleeves you can't see any holes but on the inside lining of the tunic sleeves there are pieces of loose thread where the patches use to be.

- Jeff

Edited by ww2vault, 24 September 2008 - 03:54 PM.


#11 FightenIrish35

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 03:59 PM

Hi Michael,

Yes, unfortunately, no matter how hard I look, I can't seem to see the holes where the ribbon bar(s) went through. I think you are correct though that this was one complete long bar. How do I go about getting a vintage one and putting the ribbons on it? The funny thing is that even on the outside of the sleeves you can't see any holes but on the inside lining of the tunic sleeves there are pieces of loose thread where the patches use to be.

- Jeff



Well Jeff,I think best thing you can do is post in the wanted section and hopefully someone will have an original extra bar and possibly ribbons. If not you can always look on ebay for original ww2 ribbons but you never really know. There might actaully be a way to tell if they are fake so maybe someone else can chime in here and let us know how to tell if they are fake or not?

#12 Bugme

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 08:06 AM

Jeff, I'd have to agree with most everyone here, You got the photo, you've got the uniform... documented restoration is the way to go. It looks like you have a ribbon bar with a Good Conduct, American Defense and ETO(with two stars). I've got all three of these that you can have to get this project started. I'll PM you. As for the sewing, find a seamstress in your town. I live in a city of 13,000 and there are four of them that I know of. So, you shouldn't have a hard time finding one. they will sew a patch on for you for only a few bucks and then it's done right. They will place it correctly and will either hand sew or machine sew for you. You won't regret the few bucks you'll spend to have it done right and without all the frustration that you'd have doing it yourself.

#13 ww2vault

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 11:28 AM

Hi Scott,

Thanks for the tip! I will have to check around town and see if there are any good seamstresses. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif Also, the ribbon bars would be greatly appreciated.

Though, I don't think the ETO is correct. For one, the 5th AAF is a Pacific based division, also some one wrote on the back of the photo the ribbons that he won. He was awarded a Presidential Citation, Good Conduct, American Defence, and Asia-Pacific ribbons. :) Now with the Asia-Pacific ribbon in the photo, it does look to have what I think are two stars, not sure.

Edited by ww2vault, 25 September 2008 - 11:30 AM.


#14 1stDivVet

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 12:48 PM

I restore uniforms all the time.. Never adding, only replacing.. Nothing wromg with it whatsoever.. I have a guy here who has original ribbons and mounts.. He's pretty affordable. Has the larger Navy/Marines type too.That's gonna be a sharp piece when you are done with it..

Fins.

#15 FightenIrish35

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 01:04 PM

Now that im going its a wierd pattern of ribbon... it goes Good conduct,Pacific(no stars),and the american defense with 2 stars? Now how can that be recieve twice? http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif

#16 Bugme

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 02:38 PM

Hi Scott,

Thanks for the tip! I will have to check around town and see if there are any good seamstresses. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif Also, the ribbon bars would be greatly appreciated.

Though, I don't think the ETO is correct. For one, the 5th AAF is a Pacific based division, also some one wrote on the back of the photo the ribbons that he won. He was awarded a Presidential Citation, Good Conduct, American Defense, and Asia-Pacific ribbons. :) Now with the Asia-Pacific ribbon in the photo, it does look to have what I think are two stars, not sure.


Jeff, I was looking on my small office laptop and with a blurry picture so it looked ETO. I guess I was looking so hard at the ribbon, that I missed that the patch was 5th AAF...oops :blush: Anyhow, I've also go an Asia-Pacific ribbon for you and even have a few extra stars. PM me your information for shipping.

#17 nkomo

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 03:20 PM

Jeff,
I see nothing wrong with repatching the uniform in question. You have the picture and know what patches you need to replace. Go for it!

I am in the process of restoring a Korean War 187th RCT/2nd ID uniform. You can see where the insignia has been removed and all the insignia was included in the auction. Seems that the family had taken all the insignia off the uniform to make their father a shadow box display. Very nice gesture on the family's part, but a real pain to put back together. My wife loves sewing, but HATES sewing patches onto WW2/Korean War vintage Ike jackets. She is sewing the patches on by hand and swears it is some of the hardest sewing she has ever done. She doesn't go all the way through to the lining. That may make it a little more difficult. Pinning on the patches is the best way to go though. Hope this helps!
Arch

#18 ww2vault

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 05:18 PM

Now that im going its a wierd pattern of ribbon... it goes Good conduct,Pacific(no stars),and the american defense with 2 stars? Now how can that be recieve twice? http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif


Huh, it's hard to tell by the photo but it kind of does look like it is in that order. I don't know if the person that wrote the ribbons on the back of the photo, wrote them in order or not, but they wrote it, Pres. Citation, Good Conduct, American Defence, and Asia-Pacific.

Also, I have another question. The left collar brass which is visible, it appears to say US on it. When I looked at some of the other AAF uniforms that people have posted here, the round brass disc is the wings and the other side is the US. Which side is correct?

- Jeff

#19 FightenIrish35

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 05:56 PM

Huh, it's hard to tell by the photo but it kind of does look like it is in that order. I don't know if the person that wrote the ribbons on the back of the photo, wrote them in order or not, but they wrote it, Pres. Citation, Good Conduct, American Defence, and Asia-Pacific.

Also, I have another question. The left collar brass which is visible, it appears to say US on it. When I looked at some of the other AAF uniforms that people have posted here, the round brass disc is the wings and the other side is the US. Which side is correct?

- Jeff


Im not sure the correct answer but i know in studio photos sometimes they have it on the left side. He is a picture from a grouping of a Frank Cameron from the 77th division

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#20 Stinger Gunner USMC

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 08:07 PM

Huh, it's hard to tell by the photo but it kind of does look like it is in that order. I don't know if the person that wrote the ribbons on the back of the photo, wrote them in order or not, but they wrote it, Pres. Citation, Good Conduct, American Defence, and Asia-Pacific.

Also, I have another question. The left collar brass which is visible, it appears to say US on it. When I looked at some of the other AAF uniforms that people have posted here, the round brass disc is the wings and the other side is the US. Which side is correct?

- Jeff

The ribbons in the photo are in fact Good Conduct, Am Defense, and Asia Pac with 2 stars, in that order
as for the collar disks, keep in mind that some vets were reassigned or unassigned directly post war and wore US brass on both sides.
I have an Arty grouping to a vet who was WIA and finished the war as a desk jockey in the HQ and he wore double US brass. But still wore his Arty piped garrison cover.

#21 ww2vault

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 05:29 AM

Well I have a question for everyone. I have now acquired some vintage ribbons, (Thanks to Bugme. :) ) and also some vintage Tech Sergeant chevrons. The 5th AAF patch is on its way so now I need to find some WWII vintage thread to sew the patches on. Does anyone know of some names of 1940's thread companies or where I could possibly find 1940's vintage thread? Thanks.

- Jeff

#22 warroom1

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 06:17 AM

Ski, Kyle: Thanks for some good tips. There is almost no indication at all that there use to be a patch on the uniform from the outside sleeve, but there are some loose threads on the inside of the sleeve saying there use to be.

I guess I will try and look at a couple other uniforms I have and see how they are sewn on, then I will try and replicate what I see. I admit that I am no natural born sewer either, but I am pretty confident I can do I good job. Whenever I get around to completing the sewing I will post pictures for you guys to comment on.

Baker: I do admit that you do have a point as well. All of us collectors have our own preferences on how we like things to be and I respect that. For me though, that wouldn't be my cup of tea.

Unlike some collectors here that have their collections stored away, I like to take mine out and display them at various school, VFW Posts, and special events. So to bring his plain looking uniform, while in some cases would be ok, just not would sit well with me.

Also, had I not received the picture of Mr. Hackett where I couldn't see the insignia or patches he had, I may have let it go. Now though, I would like to restore the uniform to it's, "original" condition.

There are some things that you should be proud of that I am doing to help out the next person in line that may buy this uniform. I was already planning on adding a note with the uniform saying that I modified it, which I do with ALL items in my collection that I modify. I also chose to use vintage materials that aren't reproduced pieces.

For example, if I aquire a uniform with a missing button on the front, I try and find a vintage, not reproduced, alternate to add onto it. I know some collectors like to keep their items completely unfooled around with, and I realize that and respect it, but I like to do things a little different. I do appreciate your input on this matter though. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

- Jeff

replace the patch and restore the uniform to its former glory

#23 1stDivVet

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 07:27 AM

Well I have a question for everyone. I have now acquired some vintage ribbons, (Thanks to Bugme. :) ) and also some vintage Tech Sergeant chevrons. The 5th AAF patch is on its way so now I need to find some WWII vintage thread to sew the patches on. Does anyone know of some names of 1940's thread companies or where I could possibly find 1940's vintage thread? Thanks.

- Jeff


Clarks is what I usually use.. Go to antique shops and look for bags of thread.. I think the last one I got was $3 and I got about 20 spools of various colors. I look for the ones with more black, tan, white, and OD..

Fins.

#24 FightenIrish35

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 01:57 PM

I would look for the older brand stuff at fleamarket/gargage sales,maybe craft stores. A test you could do is bring a black light...if it glows you want difrents thread. I cant wait to see the final outcomeeeeee!111 http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

#25 Kurt Barickman

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 06:04 AM

You see it on Ebay once in awhile for sale.

KUrt Barickman


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