So I began my leathercrafting with making some watch straps which is probably not the best thing to start off with. Watch straps have extremely low tolerances and tight gaps and are small fiddly things that you see up close. The tiniest bit of not straight stitching is immediately evident. And the tiniest bit of not straight cutting results in a buckle not fitting or not fitting between the lugs. Anyway it’s too late now, so if I can make straps I should be able to make anything?
First up, the tools. I started off with some basic tools from Birdsall Leather: pricking irons, grooving tool, needles, waxed linen thread, hole punches, and a skiving blade. I had other basics like a rubber mallet and metal ruler at home. Some cheapo wood and chopping boards finished off my beginners kit.
I had some kangaroo leather scraps which I bought from Birdsall leather so my first strap was a double layered strap which was stitched along the length. This is actually the hardest kind of strap to make so I had jumped right into the deep end. I started off by making a template out of some breakfast cereal box cardboard. Continue reading “Strappin’ novice”
Being a dad has made me appreciate tough clothes. Unless I’m at work, my clothes have to be functional and survive the rigors of being smeared with food or faecal matter, wiped with snot, scratched, scraped, and vomitted on. They have to be occasionally Napisan’d and scrubbed. It’s a hard balancing act, being a dad and trying to be stylish.
I’ve embraced the dadstyle hard. My wife says I’ve gone “full Chevy Chase”. I’ve got the whole camp mocs, Hawaiian shirt, ragged old five panel cap thing going. It’s a nice mixture of interesting and rugged that’s been surviving trial by monster toddler so far. It’s also not loungey streetwear that just about every guy is wearing these days. Camp mocs are also a great casual alternative to sneakers when wearing shorts.
Continue reading “Clothes to survive dadhood “
I’ve started getting into a bit of raw denim lately. For those of you who haven’t been steeping in hours of Reddit/rawdenim, raw denim is denim that still has all of its indigo dye. It hasn’t been washed and it isn’t faded. Because of this, it is stiffer than most jeans you’ll find at the shops. But after a period of wear, it will develop a fade pattern that is unique to the wearer.
The world of raw denim is a peculiar one and once you do the deep dive as I have, you’ll realise there’s a lot of ritual, tradition, hearsay, myths, and controversy on the internet. Do you soak or not before wearing for the first time? How do you soak? What are the benefits of chainstitching hems? Should you wear your jeans into the ocean??
I started off with a pair of Levi’s Vintage Clothing 501xx 1947. LVC is a fantastic line in the Levis universe which recreates iconic items of clothing from their long history. And the 501xx 1947 is, you guessed it, from 1947.
Continue reading “Jeans ain’t jeans”
I took a course on leather crafting at Birdsall leather recently with a couple of mates. Being interested in menswear and shoes, learning to make stuff myself was a natural progression and leather crafting seemed DIY-worthy given the price of quality leather goods these days.
Continue reading “Foray into leather crafting”
Seems like everyone waiting with bated breath for Amazon to launch in the land of Oz have had their shopping heaven dreams crushed. Newsflash: Amazon is not the retailer-Armageddon. Not yet anyway. Not only is the range of products on Amazon Australia much much smaller than the US counterpart, but the prices are pretty much what they normally are in Australia (read: rubbish).
Continue reading “Amazon Launch and the Australia Tax”
With the annual orgy that is Black Friday sales just around the corner and Christmas and boxing day sales looming, it pays to think about the ethics of fashion when you are diving into those deep deep discounts. Sure we all love a good bargain, and with these fast fashion brands springing up everywhere, the prices are lower than ever before. But who is really paying the price?
I watched a documentary recently where Ricky Yates went around the world looking at where sable furs and croc skins come from. Some of the ‘farms’ where they keep these animals are absolutely horrendous. The scale of operations in China are so huge now that real fur can be bought at a lower price than synthetic furs. Live plucking of down has also come under the spotlight recently. Continue reading “Ethics in fashion”
I’ve been listening to Blamo! recently (which is an awesome podcast btw) on my work commutes and many of the interviewees mention their style influences come from their dads. My story is a little different and my dad definitely does not have a sense of style!
Arriving in Sydney from China as a little immigrant kid, I grew up on the streets of Cabramatta in the 90s. This was during the violent, drug rampant era where fights broke out on the streets, junkies were literally shooting up in the stairwell of the flat where we lived, and John Newman was assassinated. My primary school friends were all little hoodlums and the coolest shit back then were Nike hats, baggy sweats and massive baggy pants. Naturally we appropriated gang culture and gangsta rap tropes. For some reason the school principal at the time thought it wise not to enforce school uniform rules so me and my friends would turn up to school in our homie G attire. The only rule was we had to take our caps off during class.
Continue reading “The immigrant’s son”
I picked up a pair of Yuketen Maine Guide Ox FO by accident about a year ago. I have always loved handsewn moccasin styles from Maine, and Yuketen’s slightly offbeat sensibilities add an extra level of interest for me. That intersection of style, fashion and old school craftsmanship is rarely seen in the shoe-making world. So when this barely used pair appeared on eBay, I put in a low bid, not really expecting to win, but win I did and ended up with what would become one of my favourite pairs of shoes.
The Maine Guide Ox is a low version of Yuketen’s signature Maine Guide boot, Yuki Matsuda’s interpretation of the hunting boot. Pairing true moccasin construction with thick boot soles makes for a comfy pair of boots, and my low top versions are no different.
Continue reading “1 year on: Yuketen Maine Guide Ox FO “
Almost everyday I see some new startup on social media claiming to be disrupting the watch or clothing industry. I won’t name any names but there’s this watch one that keeps coming up so I click on it and sure enough it’s some fashion watch startup with a cheap quartz movement. I’d hate to be the naysayer but you ain’t disrupting shit.
I can’t imagine any watch enthusiast abandoning their collection of mechanical art pieces for this crap. And if I wanted a cheap fashion watch that was “excellent” quality I have many other brands to choose from. The reality is that these are completely different markets and “disruption” is just a nice buzzword to use but a distortion of the truth. True disruption is making a product that can actually stand up to the competition in the same class.
Continue reading “D-D-D-Disruption!”
I’m sure by now everyone has read about the recent auction of Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona which sold for 17 million US dollars and I’m reading about it online and having discussions with people about it and the question that is always asked is: Is it really worth it? In the context of this particular watch, probably not to me or a lot of other people, but it was worth it to someone because that’s what they paid.
And really you can apply that logic to a lot of the watch world. To pay a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars for an antiquated device that “just tells the time” seems absurd, but then if that’s what you think, you are really just missing the point.
Continue reading “What’s it Worth?”