Friday, April 29, 2011


courtesy Death Valley NP

San Lorenzo Lumber Co.

XXL thrift store sweatshirt taken apart and re-cut to an XS-S 1940's style sweatshirt pattern. Came out okay, but feels like it's on backwards. I think I need to increase the shoulder slope in order to give a little more room to the upper chest.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

C.C.C Colorized

K's New Bag

inner pocket sized just right for chopsticks

Hand-made by Katie

C.C.C. 1933

Jeans, Model A-1, version 1, status report

It's been about four or five months now and these are starting to break in really nice. I was able to wear them for a backcountry trip into Haleakala Crater for work a few months ago and that sped up the wear and fading quite a bit. They've been washed and dried twice since I made them, otherwise just an occasional hand-wash and line dry.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Train Hoppers / Freight Riders

These were all taken in 1940, mostly in and around Bakersfield, CA.

I guess because I've ridden freight trains across parts of the u.s. it seems that every time I see an old picture of someone staring out of a boxcar something sort of grips my soul; a longing to see the other side of the common world, something new born everyday.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

1930's-1940's Cigarette Pocket Work Shirt, v.1, black & white chambray

Materials: 100% cotton black and white chambray, vintage selvedge chambray hem gussets, vintage Arrow Brand black cotton thread, olive green bartacks, vintage black enameled metal buttons including a Big Yank brand metal button on the cigarette pocket flap.

So, version 1 turned out pretty well, but as usual for a new design it needs a little tweaking. I tried a few different things this time as well, and I'm happy with most of it. The front band is a part of the shirt front, not a separate piece - it's created by doing some interesting folding. Also, there aren't any pleats on the back or where the sleeve meets the cuff. Those elements came out well and because of the shallowness of the armhole curve there's enough extra room so that one's arm movement isn't restricted. I think I figured out how to do the hem gusset as well, this one's kind of sloppy - the next one will be the one.

For the next version I'll need to increase the waist dimensions, it's a little too snug. Maybe add a little more curve to the collar shape too. Otherwise just some minor adjustments. Then I'll just need to figure out how to get a hold of some of that Cone Mills selvedge chambray, the kind still made in the USA, on the old vintage looms, the good stuff...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Indigo Test no. 1

Here's some of the results from our recent experiment in dyeing with natural indigo. I tried a few different resist techniques on a piece of muslin before dipping it into the indigo vat. The dots in the middle were done with a gel glue, and the rest was done with different ratios of beeswax and linseed oil. Neither worked as well as I was hoping, but the gel glue seemed to work the best. I'm going to try a spraying a diluted bleach solution through a stencil onto the dyed areas and see how that works next. Also need some more practice with the actual dyeing process, my work t-shirt is a little splotchy. All in all it was good fun.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Cigarette Pocket Patent

I pulled this image from the Golden West Clothing site. S/he makes some really great looking western wear, and much of it is made with organic fabric. Great embroidery as well. Right now I'm building a pattern based on the above cigarette pocket work shirt.

Work Shirt Pattern

Currently working on a work shirt pattern for some black and white chambray fabric that I have.