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Cracker "Jack" Sailor Suits

When I say Sailor Jack, you are probably thinking:
But I am really thinking about:

Grandpa Jack, back in his sailor days

I am sharing this project as a participant in the sew along for Project Run and Play's: Candy Inspired Sewing but truthfully it was made for a personal and more meaningful reason.

Not only did my Grandpa Jack give us a pony, but when Al (12) and I (14) were lucky enough to have our Grandparents take us on vacation to San Diego when they were attending a naval ship reunion. This was especially meaningful to us and them because, my Grandpa had been stationed at the Naval Base in San Diego when they were very newly married. We were able to see many of the sights from their newly wed life.
A cherished memory for us from this trip was to have our Grandma and Grandpa take us to the exact park where the following happened:
Grandpa (6'1" and probably about 190 lbs.) and my Great Uncle, Dick (5'8" and 150 lbs.) switched naval uniforms so that my Grandpa could see his new baby (Momma Shaffer) and sweetheart. My Grandpa said he dare not breath or move too much for fear he would rip the uniform and my Dick cautiously stayed on the park bench for fear he would loose his britches.

When we heard my Grandpa was sick and that he would probably not be around too much longer, I felt the desire to honor his memory and our relationship by creating. I realized that we could celebrate his life by nodding at his time in the Navy. With some simple modifications to the Anchors Aweigh Sailor Romper (Affliate Link), 1 navy sheet and 2 packages of white bias tape. Al and I were able to make two sailor suits in the course of an afternoon for Ryder and Heber to where to the service.
I did have to scale the pattern up Ryder, but this was pretty simple with some great e-mail suggestions Amy from Peek-a-Boo. We also modified the pattern for both boys by extending the length of the shorts to be pants length by measuring their hip to ankle length and adding seam allowance for the hem. We left off the buttons to keep it tucked in because I wanted it to be able to fit as long as possible.
This simple sewing project meant a lot to my Grandma and to those who knew how much his time in the service meant to him. One of my Grandpa's friends approached me after the service and told me that the talents we share are a testimony of the craftsmanship of our forefathers. At first I didn't know how to respond so I just said, "Thank you."

But then as I had time to reflect on it, I realize that I have learned so many things from my forefathers (and foremothers) that gives me strength and confidence. I hope that my Father in Heaven allows me continue to create items that will bring honor to the legacy of those that have given me so much.

PS. On Friday, Al will be sharing over at Winter Wonderings the Nautical Inspired skirts she made for the girls (Boston and Ty) for the service as part of Operation Zero.

Please forgive me for this, but I wanted to share my Grandpa's Obituary (very well written by Momma Shaffer) for any friends or family that might be reading this post and didn't get a chance to read it:
On July 13, 1930, born in his grandparents’ home in Buhl, Idaho, Jack William Hyder found his voice and began a life blessing those whom he met. As the son of Seward Adam Hyder and Dorothy Mae Franklin Hyder, Jack grew up and went to school in Buhl, and his younger years involved numerous amazing adventures with his cousins, younger sister, Mary Lou (Ross), and his grandparents of both sides.
Jack set out on his own as a teenager, taking on the life of a cowboy on the Nevada desert ranches and open range. While there, he honed his skills of gentling and training young colts and fillies, cooking beans and coffee around a campfire, and singing the beautiful music of his soul. During this time, Jack made many new lifelong friends and developed a strong desire to have a ranch of his own someday.
Helping out in an emergency by driving a milk truck in the infamous winter of 1949, Jack found himself stranded in the tiny town of Castleford. When an impromptu dance was put together for the entertainment of the snowbound, the handsome cowboy saw and pursued the beautiful school teacher and an everlasting romance began. Jack married Betty Lucille Scott on Aug. 9, 1950, on the lawn at her parents’ home in Twin Falls, Idaho. Children Karla Kay, Scott and Wade were born into this union.
Jack joined the United States Navy in 1951 and served as a barber at the U.S. Naval Training Center in San Diego, Calif. He was deployed on the Destroyer USS Fechteler during the end of the Korean War until 1955. He was able to travel to and see new views of the world as he served his country, which he often reflected upon. As a member of the VFW and the American Legion, he has continued to share his patriotism and love of country with others and to serve those who serve our country. Jack and Betty have enjoyed attending many USS Fechteler and Tin Can Sailor reunions throughout the nation over the years.
Jack operated a barbershop in Twin Falls for 2½ decades. Every day he would show up at work with a big smile, wearing a white shirt that Betty had washed, starched and ironed for him and a tie. He greeted everyone with a hearty handshake and made new friends easily while treasuring lasting relationships. In his spare time, Jack trained horses and milked the Jersey cow so the family would always have fresh dairy products and horses to ride.
In 1960, Jack and Betty bought an old farm and moved from Twin Falls to Jerome where the next adventure began. Many Sundays were spent building fence and the children were taught by example what a strong work ethic meant. Jack and Betty had taken on a lot of extra work by buying that “fixer-upper” but it never deterred them and, about ten years later as fences were built and rebuilt and the children and the number of horses and cattle continued to grow, the opportunity came to buy the adjoining property — another, bigger, older “fixer-upper” which became their home on the hill. Jack took great pride in green pastures, good fences, fat cows and frisky calves, and well-bred, well-trained, healthy horses.
In 1970, after years of night school and correspondence courses, Jack began his career in agri-business at Production Credit Association in Twin Falls as a field agent traveling to farms, ranches, and dairies throughout the Magic and Wood River valleys. Although he no longer had to wear white shirts to work, Betty continued her loving laundry magic, ironing colored dress shirts instead. In 1980, he was recruited to be the manager of Farmers National Bank in Wendell, where he made even more friends and impact on the community for more than another decade.
After his retirement, he enjoyed trading cattle at the sale yard and reviving his horse breeding operation that had originated in the 1960s with American saddlers. Those who knew him well recognized that Jack’s door would always be open if they needed sound and frank financial advice. Jack entered a new phase in his real estate endeavors, moving from acquiring more “fixer-uppers” to planning and developing his own little subdivision on the property that he and Betty had purchased in 1960. He also worked as a deputy for the Jerome County Sheriff’s office and did private security and investigation work for several years.
Service has always been very important to Jack and Betty and they have passed this legacy onto their posterity. Jack has been a member of innumerable civic organizations, including the Jerome County Fair Board, ISHSA, Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, the El Korah Shriner’s, and the Twin Falls and Jerome Masonic lodges. He has helped with the Jerome Soup Kitchen, Interfaith Caregivers, Red Cross Blood drawings and local elections. Jack sang for hundreds of weddings, funerals and community events over the years. His voice, heard and loved by many, was temporarily silenced Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, as Jack and his heavenly voice left this earth to sing in more exalted spheres.


  1. Scary, this is such a sweet post! I love all the sentiment behind the outfits (which is absolutely adorable!!) and such a tribute to your grandpa. And the picture of him with grandma?? Oh my. The best!!

  2. Isn't it how we can express our memories through the outfits we create? I love how you intertwined the challenge and your memories. Great finished product too.

  3. What a gorgeous post, Scary <3 It feels so good deep inside when you can attach something so emotionally strong to a garment.

  4. What a wonderful tribute to a special man!!! How special to use your talents in a way to honor him....

  5. I love the sailor outfits, but they are even more wonderful for what they represent! You not only gave tribuit to your grandpa, but you also gave your children something to remember him by that I'm sure they'll cherish.

  6. Oh my Scary... I had tears rolling as I read your post! This was a beautiful way to honor your grandpa. =D

  7. I really love the outfits and the story behind them. Thanks for sharing with us :)

  8. I love those! What precious memories.

  9. I love this tribute, and the outfits are wonderful. =)

  10. Such an amazing tribute! I'm so glad you included the obituary since it gives a little more insight to those of us who didn't know him. What an interesting life he led. The outfits are adorable and I can't believe we're done with just sheet and some bias tape. Very well done!!

  11. Beautiful tribute to your grandfather! And such adorable outfits. What a lovely way to honor his memory!

  12. This totally made me cry, what a wonderful way to honor his memory. I was super close with my grandmother and have always had a special place in my heart for grandparents. I'm so sorry for your families loss.


  13. love these outfits and the beautiful post! my grandpa was in the navy too, I love hearing stories about that time which was when my grandparents were engaged an newly married as well. What a great way to honor the past!

  14. I read every word of this post with admiration for your sewing skills and appreciation of your loving heart. What a beautiful tribute to your grandfather. He was a remarkable man! The sailor suits are absolutely precious and priceless.

  15. How lovely...and a lovely tribute to your Grandfather:)

  16. Oh. My. Goodness....these are to die for!!! Love, love, LOVE!!!


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