Playing for my township’s softball little league for 8 years I racked up a lot of baseball shirts, each with the name of a local sponsor. I played for the “Medicine Shoppe” for at least three years, a few embarassing years with McDonald’s written across my threads, and at least one year for “Croydon Sofa and Mattress Factory”. Since I started in first grade, many of them were tiny. The numbers that returned to me year after year were 7, 11 and 17. One of the appropriately-sized shirts that has survived until now was the good old Croydon one, which I planned to sport around town here in Scotland. I wore it while visiting my parents in the Spring and upon washing it, lost all the paint from my “7”. This visit, I repaired it. I cracked open the acrylic paints, placed cardboard inside the shirt and carefully taped around the sides of the number to ensure clear edges. So far so good. When it had dried enough, I used the hair dryer to deep-set the paint and then removed the tape. Viola! It was almost perfect! There was a tiny blur at the top of the number where the tape was not sticky enough, but I planned to doctor that up with a q-tip and maybe some nail polish remover.
Satisfied with my refashion, I packed my shirt in my bag and flew home that night. Somewhere across the ocean, things went all wrong for the little shirt. I don’t know if it was the drastic temperature changes or if it wasn’t actually dry after several hours and a hair dryer, but the paint stuck together and peeled off in some places while stacking up in others. I may look around for some white acrylic paint or I may just wear it as is, because sometimes, “failure” equals “vintage”.