The jersey in Tinker to Evers to Chance is a meticulously crafted replica of an actual 1906 Cubs uniform. It’s made by Paula Weaver, the country’s preeminent manufacturer of vintage baseball uniforms.
Before Paula starts making a pattern, she does a bunch of research, gathering photographs and drawings from the period in question. She’ll also use written records and descriptions. From there, she’ll figure out which of the historical patterns matches closest, then make the necessary changes to fit the size and style needed.
The Johnny Evers jersey used in our production is representative of the typical early-1900s style. Some notable features:
- The fabric is wool, not polyester
- The fit is baggy. (Since wool doesn’t have the same stretch as polyester, uniforms had a loose fit so players could run, jump, swing, and throw freely.)
- Four buttons extend far down the front
- There’s a simple collar (collars went out of vogue on baseball uniforms after the early 1900’s)
The woman behind the jersey is Paula Weaver, and she’s the go-to person if you need a period baseball uniform.
Paula got into the historical sewing business when her husband joined a Civil War reenactment group. One reenactment event involved a game of old-time baseball, and a light bulb went on for Paula. Today she sews about 85% of historical uniforms in the country. Her work includes uniforms for vintage baseball clubs, movie and TV wardrobes, special projects for Major League Baseball, as well as for theatres like MRT. It’s not uncommon for her to work 12- or even 15- hour days, but with a job that perfectly combines her loves of sewing, history, and baseball, she doesn’t complain too much.
STUFF YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT BASEBALL UNIFORMS:
-Some early jerseys included a pocket; they were eliminated, as the ball would sometimes fall in during play.
-Narrow belt loops were ditched in favor of wide ones, because infielders would grab at them when trying to stop a runner
-In the 1880’s, uniforms weren’t buttoned; they were laced up in the same manner as shoes.
To learn more about Paula Weaver and vintage uniforms, visit www.baseballamericaspastime.com