Since I’ve been on a leather accessories kick lately, I thought I would post this belt I put together a little while back. I actually won the buckle in a giveaway from my local and totally kick ass microbrewery, Yazoo. You can buy your own buckle here. I picked up a belt blank from the leather supply shop, drilled a few holes, cut it to length, and rounded off the end. Simple as that. Done. New Belt.
This is way more buckle than I am used to, but since I won it, and since the beer is outstanding, I’m really proud of it. The leather is vegetable tanned cow hide, so like my wallet and card case, it will naturally age and take on some color with time.
The best part is that the buckle also doubles as a bottle opener.
This was my first attempt at working with leather. I needed a less bulky wallet and a way to easily access business cards. The leather, which is a vegetable tanned goat skin, is a little lighter in color than I originally wanted, but I decided to go with it anyway. This goat skin is much thinner and a bit tougher than cowhide making it ideal for a wallet.
The wallet is made using a single piece of leather. There are no stitches and no glue. Just one piece of leather folded with tabs. Some of the edges are already showing some wear. Over time, I’m sure this light color will age and patina to a darker brown (or blue if they ride around in my jeans for too long haha!).
Full disclosure: The idea for making a wallet out of a single piece of leather with no stitching or glue came from a Maxx & Unicorn wallet I saw here. I liked the simplicity of the idea and the challenge of trying to figure out how to create a wallet with just a piece of leather. The Maxx & Unicorn version is obviously more refined and quite nice. I’m not a hundred percent sure whether or not they use any glue. The description doesn’t really say, but there doesn’t appear to be any stitching.
Despite being a different color, the card case is actually cut from the same piece of leather. I opted to use stitching here to reduce bulk/layers and to get the job done quickly. The wallet is more complicated and it took quite a while to create the pattern, cut, fold, etc., but this card case only took about a half an hour to complete from start to finish.
I would like to thank the guys over at Put This On for featuring my jeans on their blog. I am a huge fan of what they do, and am honored that they took an interest in my latest project. As a long time reader I was ecstatic (literally jumping around the room) when I saw the above image on the Put This On home page. Their posts as well as their videos are very informative and entertaining, and I highly recommend checking out their site if you haven’t already.
100% cotton, 12.5oz, Blue Line, Cone Mills selvedge denim.
“Slim” fit, straight leg.
Single needle stitching.
Handmade by me from my own pattern.
Hand felled yokes, center back, and inseams.
Selvedge coin pocket.
Yeah, the pocket bags and fly are lined with a pink-ish plaid. I like it, and think men should be able to enjoy a little pink.
I used the selvedge for both the left and right sides of the fly. The look is clean, and the bulk is reduced to a minimum.
The shirt should look familiar. It still needs to be ironed, and tucked properly.
The denim is still really stiff, which I think causes them to hang a bit odd right now.
Selvedge denim, check.
Pocket lining, check.
More thread than I can use in a lifetime (18,000 yards), check.
A new pair of jeans just waiting to be sewn.
I started work on a new pair of jeans today. While I still love the first pair I made, and pretty much wear them every day, there are a couple of areas where I can improve the fit. The waste on my first pair is too big, and the fit through the leg is a little baggier than I prefer. Even though these were fairly minor changes to make on my pattern, I still want to make a muslin version before cutting into my denim stash. You never know how a few small changes in one place will alter the fit somewhere else.
The other reason I want to make a muslin version is that I just got a new industrial sewing machine, which is really, really fast, and I can use the practice to learn the new machine. The seams below puckered a little bit, which is probably a result of the tension being set too high and the heavy duty feed dogs that are on the machine. Once I switch to denim, the puckering shouldn’t be an issue. I attached the yokes and back pockets today, and hope to start work on the fly and fronts this week.
My wife and I threw together this felt iPad sleeve to protect the new toy from scratches and our crazy cats. The felt is far too thin for this to be a long term solution, but it works just fine for now. Ultimately I would like to make a similar case out of 3mm 100% wool felt, but that stuff is a bit pricey at $70 + per yard.
For $70 I would rather buy a bunch of selvedge denim for more jeans! When this case finally dies, I might have to make a lined, selvedge denim case for the iPad. I still have some denim left over from the jeans I made, which would be perfect for this type of project.
Clearly Roy’s Jeans are quite awesome, but more than anything, I have major sewing machine envy. I love the way these vintage machines keep running after years and years of use, and in some cases, they are actually preferred to new machines that perform the same tasks.
Roy’s Jeans – Video by Self Edge from Self Edge on Vimeo.
A few weeks ago I finally finished the three shirts I started at the beginning of September. Considering that I bought some of this fabric back in June, these shirts took much longer to make than I anticipated. But having never made a shirt from scratch before, I didn’t really know what to expect. I basically followed the same procedure I used to make my jeans earlier this year. First, I drafted a basic upper body pattern to establish the general fit. Once I had an upper body sloper that fit really well, I modified it to create my shirt pattern, adding the yoke, sleeves, plackets, cuffs, collar stand, collar, and pockets.
Here is my favorite of the three. I used a light gray chambray and included pockets on this one. (clearly they all need to be ironed)
The stripes in this shirt are various shades of blue. I decided to leave the pockets off of this one for a little variety.
This is a dark charcoal (almost black) chambray with pockets. I love the way this fabric feels, but I’m not completely sold on the color. I don’t usually wear shirts quite this dark.
I am thrilled with the way these turned out. The fit is nearly perfect, which is somewhat slim but not “fashiony” tight. I designed the shirt tails to be a little shallower and a bit shorter than usual to give me the option of wearing them untucked. There are no pleats or gathers on the yoke or at the cuffs, which I think gives the shirts a cleaner look.
While the process was long and tedious at times, it was also very satisfying to start with a blank sheet of paper, (okay maybe more than one sheet) and turn it into the perfect handcrafted shirt.
I wasn’t thrilled with the way the collar turned out on my muslin test shirt so I went back to the drawing board before beginning to work with nicer fabric. The collar pattern I used on the test shirt had what I thought were really steep points that were too close together. I redesigned the collar to have a more “square” shape, which also resulted in the points being spread further apart. Below is the new collar shape and collar stand cut out and prepped in the charcoal chambray shown in my last post. The white pieces you see are bleached cotton interfacing that has been glue basted to the top collar and top collar stand.
Constructing the collar is definitely one of the harder tasks when making shirts. Each step requires precision, careful measurement, and attention to detail. I sewed three or four practice collars before I actually cut into the chambray shown above. Alright…back to the sewing machine!