Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl patches highlight work of Independence small business
A longtime Independence seamstress shop received a large rush order last week, one with plenty of detailed, precise work.
The women of Stitchin Post had anticipated it, though – had hoped for the work, even, and not simply because of the business.
The shop received the task of sewing the Super Bowl patches onto the Kansas City Chiefs’ jerseys. That meant 85 patches in about one day’s time last time, and certainly each one is more than a simple patch to repair a hole in a pair of jeans.
“We actually did the Super Bowl patches last year,” said Tracy Dinwiddie, one of the shop’s three employees, “and the year before we were so ready to do the patches, and the doggone Patriots got them. We had prepared for it.”
“Maybe next year will be the third time,” adds Linda Marker, the shop boss.
The Stitchin Post has done some work for the Chiefs for several years.
Dinwiddie said she had reached out to the Chiefs and Kansas City Royals, and Allen Wright, the Chiefs’ longtime equipment manager (and William Chrisman High School alum), contacted them when the team needed a new seamstress. Sometimes, the work involves a specialty patch during the season, or prepping the jerseys in advance for training camp and the regular season, and many times it’s a relatively simple mend after the normal wear and tear of the NFL season.
“We’ve just never publicized it,” Dinwiddie said of their prior work, adding that the Chiefs do use other shops sometimes for the work.
“We all three are football fans, and when the camera zooms in close enough, I’ll go, ‘Oh, we worked on that jersey!’” Marker said
For the Super Bowl patches, every player’s jersey gets one, including players on injured reserve who won’t play, such as offensive linemen Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher this year or safety Juan Thornhill last year.
“Some of them are anticipating trading one (jersey),” Dinwiddie said, “so we did two or three of them.”
Sewing on the patches involves unique consideration for each jersey, as the size and curves of the area to sew will be different. The jersey for a relatively smaller player like receiver Tyreek Hill, for example, isn’t the same as that of a massive lineman like Schwartz or Chris Jones. Dinwiddie’s mother, Lynne Obara, handles most of the patches, and Dinwiddie and Marker said she has a remarkable eye to keep the work precise and not have to measure as much as many others using the needle and thread.
“Getting it perfectly straight – she still measures some – but it’s crazy that she can do that with all the intricacies,” Dinwiddie said.
“That’s her specialty,” said Marker, who will take most of the other traditional jobs, such as patches and alterations, when Obara has to concentrate on a large amount of jerseys and patches. “She does a beautiful job of that. She knows how to work with all the corners and curves.
“They’re different sizes and some different styles, but we try to make them all look perfect.”
The women all say it’s a neat blessing to see the product of their work on national television, or in all pictures and video leading up to the big game.
“It’s just really special that they’ve chosen a small business like us,” Marker said. “We feel very privileged.”