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Patchery

Discussion in 'Do-It-Yourself & Gear Modifications' started by Exploriment, May 21, 2018.

  1. Exploriment

    Exploriment Loaded Pockets

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    The library in my city has a maker space. Including a Janome embroidery machine.

    So I started making myself patches.

    (And let me just head everyone off at the pass. I have no interest in selling or trading any, and I don’t want to make custom patches for anyone. This is just a fun hobby for me, and lets me make patches that say something about me. Thought folks here would dig this small selection of the ones I’ve done in the last year.)
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    Lion I just did as a gift for a friend.
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    A 40 year obsession. The Golden Section.
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    Another, even older obsession.
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    I've been a Guust Flater (or Gaston Legaffe - depending on which side of the Flemish Walloon divide you came down on) fan for a very long time. It still has the capacity to make me ache from laughing. That deserves a patch!
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    One of the first things I made. A patch of the logo of the tattoo shop I work at.
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    Death's Head Moth.
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    Crummy first attempt on the right, lovely new one on the left. Let's call them, Roundel, RCAF, Embroidered, Mk. 1 & 2.
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    Better shot.
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    Triskehelions.
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    Gift for a Star Wars geek friend. (He has two stormtrooper outfits and is a member of the 501st Legion.)
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    Being a giant, I’ve always had an affinity for the Wookies.
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    You might be surmising I have a love for Lego. You would be correct.
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    This one's really special to me. 20 years ago my friend Andrew had a little club night, and the late great Scott Harder did the art work for the posters / cards. Made a patch of one element on the first one he did. Love how this turned out.
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    The logo for Carolyn, the apprentice at our shop.
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    Maze Skull.
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    Screw you Che and all the clueless enema nozzles wearing your face on a shirt.
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    Hard to tell from the photo because of the inch height difference, but same size as a SAK scale.
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    I really love Victorinox Swiss Army Knives.
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    I’ve always been into synths. Wanted to play around with variegated thread as well.
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    Another patch experimenting with variegated thread.
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    Technics turntables have been a part of my life for a long time.
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    Being a proud Amsterdammer, one of the patches I've wanted for a while is a crest of the city. I like it partly for how bold yet simple it is. It's like heraldry and post modern graphic design had a night of drunken sex and this is its offspring.
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    And after making an Amsterdam crest, I decided I wanted a flag patch too.
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    Canoehead. Portage sign.
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    I’ve been using Macs for 30 years, and the early days (and the iconography) are still my fave.
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    Fitting since I spent 30 years in the print trade.
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    Bold and simple. The best approach to this medium.
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    Glad I can load the music I love from the thousands of records and CDs I own on to a hard disc. But cassettes will always occupy a fun place in my memories.
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    Double whammy annoy the hippies patches. Diemaco, later to become Colt Canada, makers of fine firearms.
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    My logo on a Kifaru Express.
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    First version on the left, and improved version on the right.
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    Hail Satin!
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    Really detest that plastic poppy. I’ve written to the Legion several times over the years, asking if they could make an embroidered one. Don’t seem interested. So I made one. I’ll still happily throw money in the box in November. Just didn’t want that plastic and pin thing any more.
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    Definitely archaic tech, but still have a soft spot for it.
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    Spiraloctotentacle.
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    Rendezvous on Champs Elysées
    Leave Paris in the morning with T.E.E.
    Trans Europe Express
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    By pressing down a special key
    It makes a little patch for me.

    Huge Kraftwerk fan.
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    My pal Jay’s funky, beaty dubby, recording project.
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    Skully ranger eyes, using a skull I drew 25 years ago for a typeface.
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    Skulls are cool and all, but spirals are a little more me.
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    ASF deserves a glow in the dark patch.
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    How much do I love my Leatherman Wave? Enough to want to make a patch of it.

    Some things I’ve learned.

    There is quite a learning curve to this - even with 30 years of graphic design experience under my belt. Lots of failures and screwups along the way.

    A file for printing and a file for embroidery are two very different things. If I was to make stickers out of an image, it's a fairly straightforward proposition. Embroidery requires some planning and often rebuilding of the file. Trapping and bleeding needs to be accounted for. Whether something is grouped or joined is a factor.

    I redraw every image (if it isn’t a vector file already) as a vector file. I need to have full control of every element. One of the things that drive me nuts is how things spread out way beyond the line you drew. Tight spaces and things like counters in letters are especially problematic. I have to open everything up and enlarge things to work around it. I still haven’t figured out if there is an easy way in the embroidery software to fix that spread.

    Letting the computer convert a JPEG you find on the internet into an embroidery file is :censored:. I’ve always known auto-trace is crap, an this is more of the same.

    I will often set up files with very bold, contrasting colours. Since I choose the thread colour, it doesn’t matter what they are on the screen. The screen on the embroidery machine isn’t so good, and if you have several very similar colours, it’s really tough to discern. this way, the bright green is the light grey, the pink is the medium gray, and the light blue is the dark grey. Even if it’s all going to be black, four different colours makes it easier to decide the sequence each element is done in.

    Bold will hold. Just like the old tattoo adage, finicky, hyper-detailed imagery doesn't translate so well to this medium. (Or at least with my knowledge level of the software I have up till this point anyway.) I find iconic images work best.

    Use the material colour as a design element. I try to avoid filling large areas with stitches

    420 denier packcloth works fine for me. I have lots of scraps from my various projects and it works well.

    Avoid 3D satin. It creates prominently raised areas, but often at the cost of puckering the hell out of fabric.

    I don’t have access to a Merrowing machine, I cheat by drawing in a line in Illustrator, cutting very carefully to the edge and the singeing it with a lighter, and then colouring it in with a marker or acrylic paint.

    And the making of the patches is kind of fun. Sewing the Velcro on after is the sucky part.
     
  2. Nick4305
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Nick4305 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Hat off for your works !
    Cast my vote for Gaston Lagaffe.
     
    Last edited by Nick4305, May 22, 2018
    #2 Nick4305, May 22, 2018
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  3. Lellobeetle

    Lellobeetle Loaded Pockets

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    I like the Victorinox patches. What does this patch signify?
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  4. Exploriment

    Exploriment Loaded Pockets

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  5. Lellobeetle

    Lellobeetle Loaded Pockets

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  6. Municipal_Jedi

    Municipal_Jedi Loaded Pockets

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    Great stuff. I love that poppy patch it's really slick looking.
     
  7. karlito
    • +1 Supporter

    karlito Loaded Pockets

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    Great work, the wookie patch is awesome! I'm glad to see you back and posting your work again
     
  8. Exploriment

    Exploriment Loaded Pockets

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    My job has become rather all consuming, but I still manage to make some of these every so often.

    The colourful gew-gaw I get out of it is fun, but the real enjoyment lies in the problem solving and getting better at it.

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    I've been experimenting with multiple layers. Create several pieces and then let the machine join them together.

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    Humanity has achieved many amazing things. The Hubble Space Telescope might be one of the more amazing technological feats.

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    Additive and Subtractive colour spectrums. RGB and CMYK. The two of them have played a role in my life for 30 years.

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    Ambigram for my niece.

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    The logo of International Rescue from the terrific 60's animated sci-fi show, Thunderbirds.

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    I read the books and enjoyed them, but thought this was just a fantastic symbol.

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    The moon surface is an applique of glint fabric, and the stars and planets are glow in the dark thread.

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    Something I've done many times, and want to encourage others to do as well.

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    Given most of my job involves work for Boeing, (and I just liked the logo) I made a patch.
    Despite this being just one colour, I broke it up into three separate elements and assigned them different colours to force the machine to stop and stitch each one separately. Gives it a little bit more texture.

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    I'm not as big of a fan of Apple as I once was, but I've used their products for a very long time.

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    Once I figured out that I didn't need to fill the entire hoop with fabric - I could just tape or glue a smaller piece to the backing material, I realized I could use glint tape. Glow in the dark is fun for a photo shoot, but really, it's kinda useless. Glint is much more useful. My logo in variegated thread on 2" glint tape.

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    When Lester B. Pearson suggested Canada adopt a new flag, this was his suggestion. And it ended up being the runner-up pick. Always wished this had become our flag.

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    I'm a Legobertarian. I just want to be left alone to make things out of Lego.

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    Bus in the city I live in, and a fanciful route.

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    Grew up on Belgian bandes dessinées. Tintin most famously.

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    The militia unit in this city 100+ years ago was the 13th Batallion. Given I'm a triskaidekaphile, I couldn't resist. A very stylized homage to their cap badge.

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    In Mike Mignola's Hellboy universe, the Soviet equivalent to the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defence is the Secret Sciences Service. Made this as a gift for a friend who's a Hellboy fan.

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    This one has become one of my faves. I rarely use the 3D Satin effect, but it worked wonderfully on the nose to give it a bit more depth and texture.

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    Plastikman.

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    Playmobil Vitruvian man. My dad used to go to the Nuremberg Toy Convention all the time, and one year he brought me back a little construction figure. Blue save for a pink head, orange hard hat and a shovel. The first Playmobil figure. I got a bunch of others. Loved that toy. Many years later I introduced my nieces and nephews to it. As much fun for me as for them.

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    A Velcro backed Velcro logo on Velcro. How meta is that?

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    Some will get it.

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    Collleague at work's surname is Prasher. Made him this.

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    Made a desert camo variant of the RCAF roundel for a friend.

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    A friend's design company. And just a great logo.

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    Made a patch for my tattoo shop, the original pink one, the updated white one, and because I could, a stealthy ninja goth version.

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    Just a symbol I like.

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    This is an image in the corner of a poster that hangs in our tattoo shop done by the great John van 't Hullenaar for the 25th anniversary of Flying Dutchman Tattoos. He's one of the elder statesmen of the art in Canada and a good friend to us. Decided to do this Delft's Blauw themed piece as a present for him.
     
  9. karlito
    • +1 Supporter

    karlito Loaded Pockets

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    I'll say it again, "I'm glad to see you back and posting your work again!" Its been too long.
     
  10. Jean

    Jean Loaded Pockets

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    Would that Poppy, the single layer design, be mass producible?
     
  11. Exploriment

    Exploriment Loaded Pockets

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    Yes. (In theory, any of these are mass producable.) Those ones are fairly straight forward. It was the second thing I tried doing. It's the Canadian Legion's design, so beyond doing one for myself, it never went any further. If they want to mass produce it, go for it. I wish they would.
     
    #11 Exploriment, Jul 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
    That Movie Guy likes this.