Morse Code: Check out Todd's Amazing DIY Hockey Shirseys (and more!)

Morse Code: Check out Todd’s Amazing DIY Hockey Shirseys (and more!)

Greetings and happy Saturday morning to all! I wish everyone a good week

If today’s splash image sounds a bit familiar to you – that’s because we’ve seen it on the Uni Watch before. In fact, this cool DIY Canadiens jacket was made by Todd MorsePaul showed it in an article about a year and a half ago.

Fast forward to the launch of Uni Watch Plus about a month ago. Todd was one of the first to sign up for our new service, and immediately started posting to message boards. There, he displayed some of his creations, the first of which was the Canton Bulldogs shirt:

Todd described it as “a friend’s Canton Bulldog hero shirt. Patches and lettering on a self-woven cotton shirt, done on an embroidery machine. If you don’t want to see things that were more automatic, please let me know and I won’t show.”

He added a few more of his creations later on in this thread. These two in particular caught my attention:

“Here are a couple of ’60s and ’70s Tigers jerseys. The gray I wanted to release for the team, so I used the Road and Script Jersey lettering for one year. On the sleeve there is a more flowing D letter that was used on the hats in the mid-1960s.”

I’ve always loved those one year old 1960’s Detroit Tigers main script. I know Olde English “D” qualifies to be creative, so I can see how the negative feedback from fans caused them to come back to it, but I’ve always thought it was a very neat script.

Within this thread, Todd posted more of his creations, including the Canadiens jacket that Paul wrote about, as well as a very cool remake of a shirt sold by Dupuis Freres in Quebec in the 1950s. At that point, Todd shared some of his “secrets” showing how he makes tricolor figures. Needless to say, I was particularly impressed with the vertical arched lettering he produced.

Finally, in a separate post called “Christmas/Holiday Cards,” Todd wrote “I haven’t made cards in a few years and for some reason I really feel like doing it this year. Here’s what I came up with. It’s not quite as polished, but I’d say it’s 90% From the way there. And yes, that’s my daughter’s face in the mask. Let me know what you guys think!”

The accompanying photo amazed me:

At this point, I decided I needed Todd to give us a summary of one of his creations and how he went about creating it, as well as how he got started. Chersey picked the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey, and took us through the process. Here you would like:

• • • • •
DIY Shirseys hockey game
by Todd Morse

I’ve been messing around with T-shirt design since the first time I could hold a tag. I spent my early career in sporting goods stores and gained a working knowledge of how to write and design T-shirts. I’m a self-taught science graphic designer and now do mathematical design and customization for a successful screen printing company (Liquid Custom Apparel, in Canton, Ohio). I often refer to my job as “what I should have done 20 years ago”.

In 2006 I started doing T-shirt customizations as a side business, and over the course of a few years I ended up building a skill set and portfolio that is somewhat unique to my area. One of my pride is that our teams get noticed because they don’t wear basic letters and numbers and always have a more professional look.

I started by drawing the stripes of the shirt, which were all cut out on the vinyl cutter in the store.
I’ve always been drawn to the handcrafted look of the ’40s and early ’60s leaf emblem, so I went ahead and made a version of that rather than a sharper one.

Below are the sleeve lines (not yet taken apart and spaced) along with the unwanted logo.

Apply hem lines. To properly apply the stripes, take 3 presses per sleeve and 2-3 presses per side of the shirt, depending on the size.

The number on the mylar holder

This is the logo on the mylar holder after removing the excess where the shirt will appear

Final product again!

Final product interface!

• • • • •
Some of the “tricks” I use to add images to T-shirts:

Lay the inner color layer down first to make sure the top layer leaves me perfectly fine strokes. What you see here is an example of class kissing.

Apply the top layer, there will be some overlap, but this layer is covered with the top layer. In print, this is called “fit”.

Top layer applied and ready to press.

finished product. Because we use a very light, stretchy vinyl, these two color applications are lighter and more flexible than old vinyl numbers. Since we cut out our vinyl instead of having squares of pre-cut letters and numbers, we let our teams use whatever font they want, and we’re happy to customize it that way.

Just for fun, here’s the same design on the goalkeeper jersey. I really like the color change.

• • • • •
Thanks Todd! I love getting a behind-the-scenes look at how these amazing crafts are created. I’ll take more with Todd on the way.

I know Paul talks about the benefits of Uni Watch Plus fairly regularly, but I especially love the message boards – and I hope many of you use them. Lots of our readers have amazing stories and talents, and it’s a great place to share them. Not only that, it’s just a great place to meet and greet your fellow Uni Watchers (let’s face it…we’re a group with a fairly unique set of interests, and there’s no better place to talk about each other than others who have in common!). If it wasn’t for the councils, I’d only know From Todd from his only article with Paul, but through panels (and now, in our emails), I receive to me You know Todd, and he’s a very talented guy. I encourage everyone who has signed up for UW+ to visit the message boards, and if you haven’t already, this is one of the best benefits!


And now a quick word from Paul

If you missed it earlier this week, I’m collaborating with longtime Uni Watch reader Austin Chen on our first-ever Uni Watch soccer jerseys! We’re taking pre-orders until next Friday, for delivery at the start of the World Cup. Full details here.

Also: Remember that any day when we get at least seven new subscriptions to Uni Watch Plus, I will continue to send a Uni Watch prize package to a randomly selected person from among the new enrollees on that day. Come on, weekend readers – make me proud (and send me to the post office with some prize packages to mail)!


…that’s it for the morning article. Many thanks to Todd for sharing his craftsmanship and taking a behind-the-scenes look at his techniques and talents.

Today’s tape should be posted around 9:00 AM.

Everyone has a great Saturday and I’ll join you tomorrow with the SMUW crew!



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