Like most of my designs, they come from some sort of accessory void in my life or in this case my mothers. One of the newer styles I incorporated in SS2014 was for my mum, below is the first draft so to speak which I made for her in 2009. Super boho style, very few details (and also pre industrial sewing machine, amazing what you can achieve with sheer determination…) as each bag was an experiment in technique.
And this is how it looks today! Like it has been through some sort of handbag war…
Mum has really gotten a lot of use out of her bag, she literally uses it every day which is totally how I hope they are used, but after I was home last (in November 12) it was looking like it was time for an upgrade. It was missing a few things that she needed – she begged me for more internal pockets, a zipper top closer and a change to the outer pockets that meant everything didn’t get lost in the bottom. Here is the email exchange we had about it – including very helpful specific measurements.
The part about not using more than one bag at a time is crazy to me – as I look at my wall of bags…I was really happy with the outcome and mum loves it too – below is the new and improved Barbara which will be available late August.
So these have been a long time coming, but aprons are up and ready for your buying pleasure…Red, Ikat, Denim, Floral, Yellow, Cream and naturally – leather. Cotton and cotton blend with brass plated eyelets holding the ties in place. Check ‘em out here in my STORE. UPDATE: Also now available at Marlow & Sons in Willimasburg, Brooklyn.
You get the picture…
Like most things I make they are created out of a need for something I can’t find or just a desire to create something with my stamp on it. Andrew (who is the resident butcher at Reynards restaurant in the Wythe Hotel) and I were having a cold beer this past summer and he asked me if I would make him a leather apron to add an extra layer between him and his sharp knife. I thought it sounded interesting so came up with a classic shape and you’ll see the results below shot by genius Adrian Barry.
Brian Ferry and Emmanuel Villanueva Cruz II for Brooklyn Magazine came over to my studio/apt about 6 weeks ago and photographed and videoed me making some sample coin purses from start to finish. The complete slideshow is up on either Brooklyn Magazine or The L Magazine, I love this shot Brian took of me and you can check it all out HERE
and then this was Emmanuel’s work of me sewing and explaining my creative process. Big big thanks to Crystal Gwyn at Brooklyn Magazine and the boys for making me look so good!
I totes finished up another batch of totes and already there are only three left – what are you waiting for??
I’ve had a ton of projects pop into my brain and I’ve been testing them all one by one. As per my instagram here is the evidence that I haven’t been eating croissants and lying around in the park (much)…
Testing out some neon paints that made every other colour seem dull in comparison
messing around with two-tone on the Katie Clutch
Fixing a strap to a new batch of duffel totes
Cutting out facing for the army totes
Getting all Floral with some aprons
How bout some camo?
Curing a belt for an order
I definitely update instagram more than anything else, so if you want to see what I’m up to and where I’ve been, my handle is reiddamnit
It seems I can add light upholstery to my trade resume…back when Highlands Restaurant first opened the owners asked me to recover some vintage chairs whose seat pads had seen better days and cursed tacks were common place instead of staples. Much dust and surprising combinations of horse hair and hay were under some covers while others were light weight wadding. So interesting to see how different techniques were when these chairs were made. Thankfully this time we were working with new chairs that just needed seat pads to make your dining more comfortable.
Brian had already jigsawed the bases from mdf and bought a few yards of wadding which we decided needed two layers to be cushy enough. I loosely stapled in place to make sure the pattern was square and then stretched tight and stapled the whole way around. Easy Peasy!
I measured an extra inch of wadding around the bases to account for the hard edge of mdf
Assemble your tools! Scissors from a local fabric store, literally called Fabric Store…Staple gun from my local Art Supplies store and IKEA tool set that has so many uses it’ll be the best $7.99 you’ll ever spend.
Loosely stapling in place
Then really staple the crap out of it, pulling tightly as go along alternating opposing corners and sides as you go, and finally trimming edges when you’re sure it’s perfect
Ah, look at that, all stacked up and ready to fit
ta dahhhh (part 2)
You’ll probably see there is space between the pads and the chairs, they were yet to be screwed into place but I was too excited to wait for that…so, go exhaust their extensive scotch list and sit your butt on my chair pads – Highlands Restaurant in the West Village.
I have been a little prolific in the sewing department this past week, I have been thinking about my new wardrobe for summer and in that spirit I’ve been buying pieces and altering them. I got this sweet Tommy Hilfiger shirt only it was too big, so I took it in an inch on each side, removed the sleeves and used them to make some big patch pockets. So satisfying to modify a couple of things on the garment and make it completely different and cooler. I plan on doing some stuff like this to put in the make/match/modify store – stay tuned.
After finishing up the last bag a few days ago, I now give you the new and improved army duffel totes! Each bag is one of a kind and this was both the fun and difficult part. Since no two are the same the difficult part is that it’s not possible to apply the same technique to each which can be slow going, each requires a lot of thought and time as to how they are going to be cut so that whatever markings/stamps are retained, this in turn is also the fun part since there is no repetition to the totes it’s fun to sew each one and see how it turns out. But the basic process is to remove the side strap handle and reposition, make any repairs, and finish any raw edges, add straps, machine wash, dry and wax.
The waxing is a new thing for me and after doing some research found Otter Wax which is an all natural wax that gives a matte finish. What I love about their product is that since you have to work it in with your hands you get the bonus of a paraffin wax spa treatment by the time you’re finished. On Otter Wax’s website The Coveted have posted a tutorial about waxing your jeans, which looked pretty simple and gave me the basic guideline to waxing:
I would say maybe this is accurate for already waxed denim, but for 16oz canvas it needs a lot more work than shown above. For my totes, I put some heavy card inside the bag and passed the wax over a few swipes, worked it in with my fingers til I saw it had spread evenly, then you would turn your hairdryer on high heat and do the same. I waited until I had done an entire bag before applying heat, then it goes in a cool place to cure and set for minimum 24 hours. Rub a chamois over after a few days has passed to collect any residual tackiness.
Here is a few photos along the way of how one of the bags was done and where you can find them – make/match/modify
Mailbag as I bought it, minus the drawstring
Restoring the stamps
And the finished product! (the in-between stages weren’t so photo worthy, but I squared off the bottom, flat felled the seams – you get the picture…)
And then here are a bunch more that I just loaded up as well – all these babies are a snip at $120, with free shipping in the US for one week only!