Friday, November 26, 2010

Old Florida pt. 2

Jacoby Lumber Company, Molina, FL

Hemp and Sisal Factory, St. James, FL, early 20th C.

Soldiers at Camp Tampa waiting for deployment to Cuba, Spanish-American War, 1898

Caltagirones Grocery, 10th ave, Ybor City, FL

Boxing ring at the Cuban Club, Ybor City, FL

A gathering of African-American's in Tampa, c. 1900

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kaupo Store

Playing around with Photoshop...

Old Russia

USAF Sweatshirt

I found this US Air Force Academy sweatshirt at the thrift store recently. I'm guessing it's from the 1950's-1960's due to details like the expansion gussets on the sides, the width of the waistband, the look of the tag, and unique way that the body is made. I've looked a little online but haven't found any useful information about it yet though.

What's neat about the body is how it was made. It's just one piece of fabric that is oriented with the grain going horizontal rather than vertical so that the shoulders have no seams.

I've taken measurements and notes about the sweatshirt so that I can try and make one for myself, although sourcing the heavy-weight cotton rib knit fabric for the gusset may be a challenge.

Monday, November 22, 2010


1930's-1940's Tab Collar Denim Work Shirt

One of the things that I've read most often in books and articles about learning how to sew clothing is that you must always make a muslin first when trying something new. What this means is that you shouldn't use your really nice material on something you've never tried before, instead use something cheap, like muslin (or sheets from the thrift store) in case it doesn't work out. This is very sound advice and I recommend it, and one day I hope to follow it. The two times that I've used cheap fabric to test a new pattern I've been so bored with the material that the garments were never finished.

So, this here shirt that I finished last weekend is made with some fabric that I find very interesting, is very rare, and that I probably shouldn't use to try out several new things on.

The shirt is made from unwashed, vintage/antique, narrow loom (29") denim, based on a mid to late 1930's shirt pattern, and uses similar era vintage enameled metal buttons. The fabric is medium weight, has a white/natural selvedge with a pink line, and what makes it particularly neat, to me at least, is that the warp fibers are gray rather than white. I found about 5 yards of this at the thrift store several months ago and I've been waiting for the right inspiration to come to me as to what I should do with it.

I traced the original pattern onto new paper and changed the way the front band attached, tried to modify the fit a little, changed the hem shape, and added more curve and point to the collar. I tried out a few other ideas as well, the most noticeable being the asymmetrical pockets.

Here's the shirt in it's unwashed state

I used gray thread for everything expect light blue for the pencil pocket top-stitching and black thread for the bar tacks.

I also tried to incorporate the selvedge in various places and also tried my hand at making a hem gusset. I haven't actually seem the old style hem gusset in person so it wasn't completely successful this time.

The two button tab collar came out decently, next time'll be a little better

Unfortunately there's an upward pull on the middle which causes these wrinkles to form in the center of the chest. I'm bummed about this, and I haven't yet figured out what's causing it though I suspect it's something to do with the fit at the back of the neck. This is why I need to learn how to make patterns.

The inner collar band is actually a different piece of vintage selvedge denim fabric that I found at the thrift store.

There's some more hidden selvedge inside the smaller pocket. I didn't get a good photo of it, but you can see a bit of it peeking out of the top. Along with some fibers there at the button hole that need to be cut!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rubber Neck

Apparently up until the late 19th century it was still possible to lasso a leopard from a bicycle. Though how one would remain on the bike during this sort of event remains unclear.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chore Coat

I made this chore coat/barn coat about a year ago for a friend in Tennessee. It's one of the first things I made though I just got these images this morning. Since he farms, homebrews, makes sauerkraut, and/or does odd jobs for a living it seemed like a chore coat would actually be a functional item for the guy.

It looks like the sleeves may be a little short

But he said it helps keep his other clothes clean when he goes and gets firewood and stuff.


Friday, November 12, 2010


Jeans post-wash

Here's the mens jeans after one wash. The shade of indigo is a little too bright.

Brown chambray pocket bags

Here's the women's jeans after one wash.


I probably got this from the Rivet Head blog, but these guys are such cool cats I just can't help but to give the image a little more circulation.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Women's Jeans

These are sort of a "test jean", I mostly wanted to see how they would fit. Since washing they fit better. I'm going to try to adjust a few things and then make them out of better quality denim.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Men's Jeans

Here's some jeans that I made a few weeks ago. I was going to use a store-bought jeans pattern I have, but it looked pretty baggy and "relaxed" so I made a pattern from a pair of my 501's.

Came out fairly well, and it was fun to include details like hidden selvedge in the coin pocket and different colored stitching, but I'm going to modify the pattern some - make the legs less tapered and change the top block to be a little more fitted and with a narrower seat.

Materials: raw and rigid 14oz American made selvedge denim, vintage 30's metal trouser buttons, and real honest to goodness saddle-weight burr and washer copper rivets - hand cut and finished, and guaranteed to never ever come loose.

Off-set back belt loop

I'm probably not going to keep these, so if anyone wears their levi's in the 30 to 31 waist range let me know and I'll take some exact measurements.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Old Florida pt. 1

Recently I came across a collection of images from my beloved home state of Florida. These are a few from the early days of Tampa and Ybor City.

Entering Tampa, FL circa 1900

The First Aero Plane to Fly to Tampa

Fishing in Tampa

Tampa Harness and Wagon Co. on Franklin St. 1910

The Tampa Morning Tribune Staff and Building.

The caption for this image states that it is a "school cigar factory, 1909"