Category Archives: repairs

B-3 Leather Bomber Jacket Alterations

Some surprises revealed inside this WW II era B-3 bomber jacket while altering it for our famous military museum client.



Before and After: A size 48 B-3 bomber jacket shortened 4 inches.

A beautiful jacket in outstanding condition. I altered its length for a military museum client on the east coast.   The Heddels company provides a nice historical overview of jacket types created during WWII and other campaigns. Check it out. Good summary of various jacket designs and adaptations for particular uses.


General Patton in his B3 bomber jacket. Pic from the Heddels site.

And check out General Patton here in his B-3 bomber jacket! Pic from the Heddels site.

Before alterations: Our client taped the back, indicating the position where he wanted the horizontal top-stitched trim pieces to be moved. B-3 bomber jacket in really amazing condition. It’s rare to find vintage pieces this nice. A pleasure and an honor to work with such a cool piece of history. 

All the lower pieces needed to be removed, then carefully repositioned about 4″ higher and restitched through their existing holes. I ordered some specialty thread from Germany and waited about five weeks before it arrived to do all the new top-stitching.

The factory that originally made this bomber jacket ran 3/16″ green cotton cord under every top-stitched trim piece! Its color made me scratch my head a little- pretty interesting. Functionally, the cord fills in the ‘ditch’ created where separate pieces of sheepskin have been sewn together.

Map pocket on the lower front left also had to be removed, then repositioned 4″ higher and reattached.

A 1″ x 2″ leather tab is top-stitched for reinforcement at the base of each side of the zipper, next to its pull and stop. These tabs had to come off and also be repositioned and restitched 4″ higher.

The horizontal leather trim pieces now are repositioned and stitched directly under the tape line. The jacket’s almost ready for me to turn its lower edge up to top-stitch.

Vintage separating zipper in great shape. No rust or broken teeth. The whole zipper had to be removed and repositioned. I shortened it from the top, actually cutting it after removing several teeth. then prying off its top brass stops, then re-crimping those into their new positions. Some dicey surgery. I searched high and low for suitable, shorter replacement zippers, but alas. There were none I could buy anywhere online or in person. Superb that this original zipper was in such great shape!

Lower front left looks naked without its map pocket, now removed.

B3 bomber jacket before and after its alterations- shortened about 4" total.

B-3 bomber jacket before and after its alterations- shortened about 4″ total.


Meanwhile… over at the American Rust Company in Salt Lake City, another B-3 was there, longing to go home with a loving new owner! If that’s you and you’d like me to give it some love, I’d be thrilled to work on another of these jackets. I still have the matching specialty thread plus the industrial machines to sew it. This jacket below needs some good leather reconditioner, some stitched repairs plus a new zipper. Rust never sleeps!


Here’s another jacket I spotted around the same time- at the American Rust Company in Salt Lake City. It’s small- about a size 38.

Tattered map pocket needing some TLC and restitching. I reached inside and found a pack of vintage filterless cigarettes!

The American Rust Company features in-store items every day on their media sites! They accept credit card call in, PayPal and Venmo as well. They even do shipping and curbside pickup! Give them a call at (801) 671-3882.


Spendy spendy- but eager to go home with a loving collector! Let me know if you wind up as its proud owner and I’ll give it the repair and restoration attention it deserves:)

Costume Restoration: Vintage Mr. Peanut

Vintage Mr. Peanut costume, restored and ready for action.

Melissa’s vintage treasure needed some help.  Hraefn Wulfson restored and repainted her beloved Mr. Peanut costume and now her family can enjoy him for generations!


Before: Mr. Peanut’s paint is worn and his internal load-bearing areas need strengthening because of splits and cracks!


First, all of his broken armseye edges, glue and foam remnants have to be removed-


Next, Hraefn fabricates new ABS plastic support structures and installs them into the armseyes using brand new rivets plus comfy new foam where this costume rests on the wearer’s shoulders-


Owning the urban landscape and ready to go home:) Freshly repainted and structural integrity saved! Plus, he gets a brand new monacle and his old scratchy metal screens replaced with new soft fiberglass screens.


Melissa, lookin’ like a Boss Mr. Peanut, ready to greet the trick-or-treaters on Halloween!

HMA (Hide My Ass) Commercial Costume Design: Chamber Media

Many good, innocent people lost their clothes in this fun commercial that underscores how vulnerable you are whenever using unprotected public wi-fi. For client, HMA (Hide My Ass) app.


Thank you to KJMagnetics, a great resource for the rare-earth, neodymium magnets we used in our effects. Thank you also to props wiz Wray Featherstone- your off-camera choreography made the execution of all our breakaway wardrobe possible. Turns out, too, that saving all our metal corset stay ends and bits for all those years was essential. Awesome concept, crew and content:) Thank you,  Chamber Media!


Ad Stuffed With Nudity and Shaved Back Hair Makes a More Serious Point About Wifi Security

Crotch Maintenance and Repair (NSFW?)



Here’s a jeans repair process that help soooo many people!


It’s not always glamour projects and new wardrobe in the costume studio! Favorite jeans and thunder thighs eventually lead to maintenance and repair situations. We perform quite a few of these procedures here!


I’m using my own jeans here to show you (this is Jen). And my jeans here are women’s 515 Levis. The butt area fabric is worn pretty dang thin and there are already some holes in the inner thigh areas.


These repairs always remind me of making riding breeches and jodpurs with extra fabric on purpose in the seat and inner thigh, in advance of someone needing it.


First,  turn the jeans inside out. Stick a tailor’s ham underneath the crotch/butt area so it’s elevated and you’re staring straight down at it.  Flatten out each area at a time, then drape and trace some muslin pattern pieces for areas that need coverage and reinforcement. You can create your pattern piece’s mirror-image by folding the muslin in half, then cut.


Keep your new patch pieces as flat as you can, as well as the jeans’ crotch area.




Be thrifty. Make your patches from legs of other recycled jeans that are a good color/texture match.


Below, I’ve already cut my first patch piece from recycled black denim and have glued it in place. I used barge cement because it was on the table and handy.  Almost any fabric glue will work. If you glue your pieces, it’s easier to stitch them on than if you’ve pinned them. Put some weights on them and let them set and dry before sew.




To reinforce this butt area I’m making two of these pieces and I’m avoiding the jeans’ existing flat-felled seam areas here so the layers won’t be too bulky for my sewing machine.


You can feel the seams underneath the areas you’re tracing.  You get better results with multiple pattern pieces. They’ll lay flatter and you’ll achieve a better overall result.  A pants crotch/butt is a curvy area and there’s no way to do this with just one pattern piece!








Below: All my patch pieces are cut out and glued down. You can see my chalk lines defining the shape and borders. I’m attempting perfect butt symmetry here.




Now get your free-arm sewing machine threaded up in a matching color and stitch your patches on. Keep all your fabrics flat and pucker-free. It’s why you are applying two or more patches rather than one big patch.




I straight-stitched them on, then went around a few times with a zig zag stitch. I want the patch edges to not curl up or fray. If your machine has a low gear like this great old Viking does, use your low gear in the bulkiest areas for more control, power and less chance of needle breakage.


Enjoy your repaired, reinforced jeans! This process is good for those old favorites where you (or your client) don’t mind a bit of frankenstein-ing.






I’ve had these jeans for years and they’ve already been through some previous alterations.  I lowered the back pockets (which were too high on the booty) plus shortened and tapered the legs (which were too long and too wide).


When I removed my jeans’ back pockets to reattach them, I did this when they were new, so it’s almost impossible to see the previous stitching marks.




When it comes to jeans, women seem to be pretty picky about what works for us and what doesn’t. I think it’s a universal refusal to unquestioningly accept whatever manufacturers put out there!


Maybe sometime in the future I’ll re-dye these jeans with some nice, intense intense fiber-reactive dye. That’ll get them nice and black again like when they were new!
My old faves…. sigh.

Barf Pockets

Definitely as awesome as they sound.
Sometimes all a costume needs are the final detailed additions– in this case, new POCKETS!

Heroically, two pairs of khaki trousers sacrificed themselves to become the new pockets and dropseat we added to Bill’s existing coveralls.  Now he is the essence of “Barf” from Mel Brooks’ hilarious Spaceballs film.

Thanks, Bill for having us make your new pockets and for sharing your photos.

May the schwartz be with you!

Photos: Mark Loertscher Photography









Art Direction and Costuming: Punk’s Dead

Punk’s Dead: SLC Punk 2 (2016)

Our shops and personnel provided art department & costume services for director James Merendino’s sequel production to his cult classic SLC Punk.
Art Director/Associate Producer Hraefn Wulfson provided production design services including specialty prop and set design, plus sourcing and builds with the help of our teammate Russ Adams. Assistant Costume Designer Jennifer McGrew and her crew provided patternmaking, costume construction, tailoring, fittings and alterations for visiting designer Fiora Boes.
Crowdfunded in part through its Indiegogo campaign, Punk’s Dead demonstrates how effectively an already-loved commodity can be marketed to its fan base plus attract new audiences. The film debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and was purchased for distribution. Live theatrical premieres around the U.S. were followed up by the film’s release in digital format where fans everywhere can purchase and view this sequel about the original film’s next generation.
Punk’s Dead IMDB page, with photos & posters plus complete cast and crew listings.
View trailers and more on the Punk’s Dead Youtube channel.
Follow Punk’s Dead on Facebook.
Follow writer/director James Merendino on Facebook.