The jacket itself was a gift from my daughter back in 2013. She knew I liked kpop and kdrama and was trying to find me something that I might like for Christmas. The white jacket had the machine embroidered BigBang patch already on it, and she also bought me some other BigBang goodies, like a wristband and photo cards. Basically it was a BigBang Christmas which was cool with me. I didn’t, however, have a chance to wear it out much. So when I bought my concert tickets for a BAP concert I wanted to wear it, but obviously couldn’t without a BAP patch on it. (Although I like BigBang the most, there are multiple groups who I think are amazing and thoroughly enjoy.)
I had done some basic embroidery before but it was not a particular hobby, more a I’ve learned it, that’s cool type of thing but decided a BAP patch was in order. It took quite a while for me to make and foolishly I didn’t note how long it took to make. It was placed prominently on the back of my jacket, but the design was a little wonky. I then thought that perhaps I should have one on the front to balance out the original BigBang patch. I also added a small patch to commemorate the actual concert. My embroidery skills were somewhat lacking, but the intent was there and some of my earliest patches are still my favorites.
And so it began. I slowly started adding patches for groups I liked, groups I had seen in concerts, and sometimes just because a group had an interesting logo. If I have anything I’d like to see improved in the world of Kpop it would probably be the logos, so many groups just have their name in a fancy font. Come on guys be a bit more imaginative. Look at VIXX, that was a fun patch to embroider. Or Lovelvz.
Although having said that, Infinite changing their infinity logo so often is a bit of a pain and I probably won’t be making them another patch until I can actually see them in concert. Sometimes I couldn’t find a good idea for a patch and made my own design based on something that was apropo for the group. The RunningMan, the 2PM one, and one of the BAP ones come to mind. Or for GD I made this patch.
Each regular size patch takes me between 8 and 12 hours to make, the large BigBang patch in the middle back of the jacket took over 40 hours, and is based on an album cover. Some of you embroiderers could probably make one in less time, but I was going through bouts of bursitis, tendonitis, calcification of my shoulder and even at one time a frozen shoulder, which slowed me down a bit.
The total time for the jacket is over 800 hours over the past almost two and a half years, and while I’m fairly close to running out of room, I’m nowhere near finishing all the patches I want to make. Plus there’s always new groups coming up through the ranks. Right now I’m working on Monsta X and finishing up the small patches that indicate where and when I’ve seen each group. I’ve seen over 30 Korean groups perform at least one song live, for example at MCountdown, plus at Kcon, and Concerts, and have another concert to go to in July. At some point soon I may have to look for another jacket, a larger and longer one in order to fit on all the patches.
The jacket has received some attention and I have been interviewed in LA, Dallas, and Austin although I don’t know if those interviews ever appeared on TV or in print. (If you have seen photos or interviews of my jacket please let me know. I’d love to see them.) The jacket has travelled to both LA and NYC and even went on a trip to Korea.
The jacket has almost its own personality and people sometimes smile or wave to me at concerts probably more from the fact they recognize the jacket than for anything else. Making the jacket has been time consuming, although usually I work on it when watching TV, or waiting for appointments and when travelling, particularly on long plane rides. The name of kpop jacket lady rang true for me when I overheard two girls talking about me at a concert and they described me as ‘the jacket lady’. That has now become a part of who I am; Kpop Jacket Lady.
Edited Oct.13 2016. So the original jacket made its last trip to Korea last month and has now been deconstructed, and version 2.0 is taking shape on a Korean made jacket from Myeongdong. Deconstructing the Kpop Jacket.
Have a great day everyone.
Photo credits to me. Please do not copy or use without permission or accreditation.