Uniforms for Fall 2006

Without Baseball coaching to fill my evenings, I've been looking at making the jersey's for the Phantoms in the Fall 2006 season. In the past, we've either gone for quality (trying to look competitive) or ulitarian (getting tired of new gear). We used to have a light blue and white basis to the uniforms. But last fall, I took us to a red and black stripe pattern - think AC Milan. What I saw in the ads was this:

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I would have prefered a narrower stripe. But the real killer was the service offered by the provider and the fact that the black did not extend to the back. We had 4 teams pick red and black for their colors. If he black had gone to the back, we wouldn't have had to wear targets for half of our games.

So last Spring, we started wearing purple and black. I happen to like purple first and then orange as far as colors go. We already had an orange team in the league.

We paid $18 for the jerseys and they held up better than I thought they would. But then again, this was only for 1/2 the year. (The Ajax jerseys actually have held up the best - the material is of high quality.

For the 3v3 tournament, we designed our own jerseys - half the kids had not played for me in the Spring. I blogged about the jerseys and how I lost out on the design battle. We ended up looking like this:

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We achieved the look by spending $2.99 per kid shirt at Hobby-Lobby. We also bought some tumble dry Desert Purple and Orange spray bottles for $1.99 each. Note that you really have to check prices, at one of the stores, the bottles were priced at $4.99. The bottles were made by Sei:

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I was happy with the result, but wanted to go to the original design that I had proposed. So I went back and got 3 child shirts and 1 adult shirt. I wanted to experiment.

The first result was a painted version of the ajax style. I laid the shirt out on a ladder and sprayed on first the puple and then the orange. I wasn't to happy as I was afraid the dye might seep through or run. The purple tended to splotch more, i.e., solid clumps would come out.

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You can see a lot of white, especially where I wasn't willing to see the colors mix. It isn't shown here, but the back stripe of orange is bigger and dominates. Because of the other team in the league, I'd prefer the purple dominate.

The second try was with rubber bands to seperate the striped areas. It really looks bad:

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Evidently the back was on top and got the majority of the spray. Notice how my earlier fear of leaking through a layer is misfounded. I think this would have turned out better if I had been dipping it. Also, I really did not want the white to show as much. My wife likes the more traditional tye dye look here, but I guess I want a more finished product.

The next look was another paint scheme, based off of the 2004 Rangers' strips:

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You can see there is much less white in this version. I took a long box (about 3 ft), with 8 in width and 8 in depth. I pulled the shirt over it and was not as concerned about leakage. You can see in the second picture that I needn't have worried that much. The underside is pretty white.

Both the Monster and one of his soccer buddies like this version. The organge is there, but not dominant.

Finally, for the adult shirt, I went back to a tye dye approach - this time I made sure to soak the thing with as much dye as possible. When I emptied a bottle, I would pour the remaining product onto the shirt. You can see the deeper purple splotches on it:

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Also, I tied off the sleeves and made them orange. I found that with more material, it was easier to dig into the wad and get more coverage. But when I pulled the rubber bands off, I found that the back was once again on top and the front suffered for it. You can see the orange really provides minimal coverage on the front versus the back. I had run out of orange dye, but I took the remaining purple dye and spray painted a bit. You can see it in the detailed version (side shot). Look at the eveness on the upper front versus the chaotic lower front.

With this Sei product, you dye the material and let it air dry. Once it has done that, you heat dry it, either with a hair dryer or a drying machine.

I'd like a more even distribution out of the pump. I'd also like bigger quantity bottles. I'd probably mix up my own dye solution and use a pump from Lowes. I don't have anything against the Sei product, I just want to get more dye on the material - to get it to seep in.

Of the approaches, I'd pick the painted approach over the tye-dyed look. With the box, I think either the ajax or striped style would be easy to do, i.e., I could eliminate the white between the colors in the ajax.

All in all, it was a fun way to spend a few evenings - and my son got a new wardrobe for both the pool and practice.

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