Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mens Jeans, model A-2, version 1

I based the pattern for these on the previous men's jeans I made a month or so ago. For this pair I changed the pattern a little and reduced the taper to try and make them a little more straight below the knee. Also shortened the rise and made the top block a more fitted. Too fitted actually, they're a size too tight. For version 2 I'll lengthen the rise back to where it was and loosen things up a bit. The yoke is kind of deeper than modern jeans because it's based on the 1947 501; might shorten it a little. Oh yeah, I had some issues with the tack buttons so this pair has sewn buttons and tack buttons.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Simple Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is good stuff - tasty and healthy it's full of beneficial pro-biotic bacteria. For folks in colder climates it also used to be an important source of vitamin C during the winter. There's several variations on how to make sauerkraut but here's a very simple recipe for a quick sauerkraut that I learned while working on an farm several years ago.

1 Head fresh local cabbage
1 Tablespoon salt

One large jar (like a large-mouth Mason or Ball jar), ceramic crock, or any sort of container that's not metal or plastic.

1. Chop or shred the cabbage, removing the heart if you'd like to.
2. Add about an inch or so of cabbage into the container.
3. Sprinkle a little salt on it.
4. Pack the cabbage down very firmly with a wooden mallet or small glass jar.
5. Repeat 2-4 until you've used up all the cabbage or can't pack in any more of it.
(If all goes well the salt will pull out the water in the cabbage and create a brine that should cover over the top of the cabbage. )
6. Secure a cheese cloth over the opening of the container. If it's glass put it in a paper bag.
7. Place in a quiet place out of direct sunlight and with a relatively stable temperature.
8. Check a minimum of twice a day to make sure the cabbage remains under the brine. Push down the cabbage with a clean utensil as needed.
9. After 2-3 days it should be finished and ready to eat. Stores well under refrigeration for a few weeks or more.

Ice Workers, Maine

Thrift Store Collaboration

Sort of a collaboration between an old Ely brand cotton chambray shirt and me. I overdyed it gray, added enameled metal buttons, and hemmed it. What's great is that I found two of the exact same shirt at the thrift store, so this one is for me and the other one will be taken apart and a pattern made from it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Men's 40's-50's style black denim jacket

Well, this is my first pattern thought up and made entirely from scratch for myself. Rather than going for something easy I guess felt like a challenge. So I tried to make something similar to pictures I've seen of the Levi's Type II jacket. It came out okay, but since I had to guess how some parts were constructed it has some fit and sizing issues, particularly around the neck/collar. Attaching the tack buttons by hand was a unique challenge as well.

Last night I found an 80's-90's Levi's jacket at the thrift store for about $6 so I'm going to try and make another version of my Type II style jacket and use the Levi's as a reference, maybe make a pattern off of it too.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


For the past year or so I've been occasionally buying vintage/antique metal buttons off of ebay. I told myself that I wouldn't pay more than 10 cents a button, including shipping, and I've been able to stick to that until recently; seems that more folks are buying these great old buttons and driving the price up 3x's or more, not that I blame anyone, these old enamel buttons are pretty awesome!


Here's a few historic images related to my home turf.

St. Johns River Steamer

Culbreathe Isle Beach, FLA. Circa 1922

Carl Hedstrom, c0-founder of Indian Motorcycles. Unknown location, but it has to be the south and along the coast somewhere.

A mighty beard.