Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Type II style Jacket, v.2 (part 2)

Ingredients: Organic 13oz raw (unwashed) denim from Cone Mills with hand-peened copper rivets on the sleeves and pockets; four colors of thread, mostly 100% cotton; and tack buttons from a distributor in L.A.

I used the old-fashioned style of felled seam, the kind where one of the two rows of stitching is covered by the fold of fabric. The fabric itself is very textured and interesting, and contains a lot of little slubby bits of cotton plant material. I'm pretty stoked that the cotton is organically grown as well; far better for everyone and everything involved in the process, and it's "more vintage" because organic is how everything used to be grown before WWII. I'm expecting this piece to wear and fade really well.

All in all I'm pretty happy with this project. It's the most complex piece that I've built yet, and I had a few challenges, but it came out looking pretty much how I wanted it to. The only real problem is that the armhole is about 1/2" too small so it's a little snug on the underarm. Also, I ran out of "donut-hole" buttons. I'm considering ordering another 3 yards of the same fabric and some more buttons; version 3 should be close to perfect.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

late 1940's Type II style jacket v.2 (part 1)

I'll have to wait until "the photographer" gets home from work before I can get some better shots, but since I'm pretty happy with this project here's a few images.

Birthday Label

One of the really great and thoughtful gifts that I received from my family this year for my birthday. My Dad sent my Aunt one of my designs for my brand label and she used the embroidery function on her sewing machine to make this for me. Very cool. This was a good year for seeing how crafty and creative my family can be!

Birthday Shirt

My birthday was recently and this homemade shirt was one of the really great gifts that I received from my family this year. My Aunt is still using the same pattern that she bought in the early 1970's to make western shirts for folks in the family. Back in the day she even used to sell them to a local store. Really great stuff! Good timing too since I've been growing a 'stache as part of an informal contest at work.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Shipyard Workers, Maine

couples denim

The new jeans I made for Katie's and my A-1's a few months in.

Womens Slim Jeans, pt. 2

Here's some action shots of the jeans that I made Katie recently. I like the look overall, but I guess this variety of stretch denim from Cone Mills isn't very stretchy at all, so I've had to go back and loosen things up so she can do things like sit down and pick things up off the ground without staunching blood flow to her legs. I feel pretty close with this pattern, the next version is going to be a good one.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


A funny sort of irony about me making my own clothes is that most of my waking hours are spent wearing a uniform.

Chore Cap/Railroad Hat

I made this a while ago but only got around to taking photo's this evening. All fabric from the thrift store, including the selvedge chambray inner band.

Civilian Conservation Corps pt.2

Lately I've been seeing more and more images of the C.C.C. popping up on on various blogs. Rising Sun is even making some dungarees directly inspired by the government issues given to new enrollees. All in all it's great to see more people showcasing the contributions that the C.C.C. gave to this country. I've admired the blend of quality craftsmanship and aesthetic appeal that just seems to radiate from C.C.C. projects ever since I can remember. And as it's turned out I've now got some attachments to the C.C.C. that I wouldn't have imagined when I first marveled at the rough- hewn beauty of their stone and wood work - I work for the National Park Service (the organization that largely oversaw and greatly benefited from the project), and I used to work for the W.C.C. - the Washington Conservation Corps, and recently I found out that my grandfather worked for the C.C.C. as a linesman. So, as a part of the 75th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps you might see some more images of corps members and there projects on here from time to time.

Blue Ridge Parkway, 1938

Blue Ridge Parkway, 1938 (note guy smoking a pipe while setting charges)

Mesa Verde, 1935

Sorry for the small, low resolution images, I haven't figured out how to make things big yet. You can find all of these and more at the NPS Historic Photograph Archive.

Women's Slim Jeans

New jeans for Miss Katie. Ingredients: American-made Cone Mills denim, 11oz, 1% stretch; donut hole tack buttons; hand-dyed chambray pockets; hand-peened all copper rivets; seven different thread colors.

The stitching is kind of rough on these, I don't know, I guess I really should get another machine for denim, but I just keep plowing on through with the ole' White machine. Have I mentioned how challenging it is to draft patterns to fit women's curves?!