Wednesday, December 22, 2010


All I want for Christmas is to never see another roll of gold braid again!

My sailor realized last week that he had no jackets with his Lieutenant (LT) stripes on them, and asked me if I would please, please upgrade his Lieutenant Junior Grade (LT JG) jacket. Silly me, I said "How hard can it be?" Ha! A LT JG has one thick gold stripe on the sleeve, then one thin gold stripe. Above that is a gold crest. A LT has two thick gold stripes.

This picture is actually a cadet jacket sleeve (I think), which has just one tiny stripe on it. The LT jacket is in use today, but this one was in the closet here.


Well, if you are ever asked to do this work, this is what it entails:

1. remove the old thin stripe- the ends are secured in the under arm seam, so you have to open that
2. remove the gold shield
3. open the stitching holding the sleeve lining to the sleeve at the wrist
4. carefully measure one fourth of an inch above the bottom stripe and pin the new thick stripe in place
5. stitch it down
6. hand sew the shield back on
7. hand sew the under arm seam again, making sure to enclose the ends of the braid. This is actually my least favorite part, and showed me that I need to work on my couture hand stitching, specifically the nice even ladder stitching that's best for this.
8. hand sew the sleeve lining to the sleeve again

I did it all while watching Top Gun on the DVD player last night. Hey, if you're going to be sitting on a sofa surrounded by gold braid, you might as well revel in it! The one good thing that I see coming out of this is that for the first time ever I could look at the uniforms in the movie and tell from the striping on their uniforms what rank the actors were playing. ;) The Sailor & I have been together for ages, but coming from the communistic dot-com world, I tended not to pay a whole lot of attention to what ranks had what gold stripes on, until I was forcibly introduced to it via a few hours of hand sewing. ;) I can now spot a LT from across the room!

(this is my sailor on his bridge during a public affairs tour of the NYC harbor- wearing ODUs instead of fancy gold trimmed jackets (; )

dan on his bridge

You know what's coming this spring? That's right, he becomes a LT Commander (Lt Cmdr)... which is three gold stripes. Oh boy. I'm tempted to tell him to send the jackets to a military tailor, but that is really expensive. I have trouble justifying spending that much when I can do it, although now I rather see why it costs so much with all the hand sewing and precision.

In more exciting news, I'm still cranking away on Christmas present sewing, and there will be photos of those soon!

Happy Holidays, and good luck on the tail end of your holiday sewing!!


Vicki W said...

I remember when my DH was in the Navy and I made the mistake of telling him not to take his uniforms to a tailor for that stuff. I sew, I can do it! Ugh. I hated that task!

Ruthie said...

Wow! That must be love :-)