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Random images from the last couple of months.

MFSC 7161MD's post wash at approx. a year of wear.


Antwerp Central Station, might as well be a spaceship docking bay.

Herman Miller Eames LCM, scratched up by years and years of use, it's wear sped up by exposed back pocket rivets and cinch buckles.

MFSC 7163's post wash, also at approx. a year of wear.


Encountered this perfectly ratty looking WWII Jeep on my way to the office one day, next day it was gone.


Anonymous stool in the lovely country house on Mallorca where Miss Duck and I spent New Years.


Cloth patch on my Rigid LVC 333's.
(Note that as these are a sample, the stamped size is incorrect.)

As promised a while ago, some pictures of my favorites out of the small batch of vintage brass buttons I found.
I decided to replace the buttons that were already on the Shore Jacket (which were also vintage, just a little more uniform).
It's interesting to see how something as simple as switching already beat up looking buttons to an even more aged and random looking assortment totally changes the look of the jacket.
To be fair the whole jacket has also gotten a lot grimier overall, which probably contributes to it looking less "bright & shiny".


The button on the left is probably the most random out of the bunch, it reads "Legion Etrangere", which is indeed The French Foreign Legion.
The one on the right is of roughly the same design, but a different material and more beat up. It reads "Garde Nationale", National Guard.


Both this anchor and ordnance button look like they've been on the bottom of the ocean for ages.

This one is also quite odd.
While it is impossible to make out on this picture and also quite hard in person, it reads "Sapeurs Pompiers" which is the fire brigade.
I can easily picture a deep black fireman's coat with these bright white buttons on it.
What is interesting is the way the top is coated with a fairly thick layer of what most resembles white paint or even plaster.
It is very rough, and looks almost home done. I have never seen this kind of coating before and I'd like to find out what the story is behind it.
Third up, and long overdue: the Mechanic Sweatshirt.
Available in chocolate, navy and heather. I went for navy since, well, it fits well with the rest of the blues I wear... Easy, ha!
Below, a closer look:



Sizing, soaking and shrinkage:
As a rule of thumb I take a Medium in all MFSC tops that won't shrink anymore, and a Large in the items that are unsanforized.
I did the same with the sweatshirt as it was preshrunk and intended as "stretch-to-fit".
When I received it, it seemed on the small side and when I first tried it on it felt pretty tight. After about a day of wearing and stretching and pulling it turned out perfect, perhaps even a bit on the big side if one would go for a typical slim "old fashioned" fit.
I'm mostly wearing it with a button up under it these days.
Christophe intended it to fit short and fitted and that it would eventually stretch and warp to the wearers body, with the ribbing stretched because of all the wear and pulling. (I imagine it to look not very much unlike the crewneck worn by Kerouac here.)
Pics:



Stamped cotton neck label and this seasons new rayon label, stamped with the items name and size. The rayon label is stitched to the front inside of the bottom ribbing. Not the most common place for a label, but it makes for a nice rectangular stitch on the outside front.

A closer look at the two pockets, the top one fits a phone or pack of cigarettes exactly (am not totally sure, but guessing that that's what these kind of pockets were originally intended for, seeing when they first started appearing on shirts a lot, is pretty much around the same time that literally everybody carried a pack around). The button holding the flap down is the same metal painted one as used on the Mechanics shirt.
The picture on the right also clearly shows the clever cutting of the tube to allow for extra room in the sleeve under the armpit. The whole body as well as the ribbing are a tubular knit.

As the ribbing is a single piece of knitted tube, which is used completely for the bottom ribbing, they had to manufacture 4 different widths of ribbing to accommodate for the 4 different sizes the sweat is available in.
The knit itself is a really soft and stretchy 100% cotton 3x1 knit, using two cream and one grey yarn creating this nice melange light grey.
Since the sleeve ribbing is cut out of a bigger piece it needs a seam, which at the end is bartacked for extra strength, as can be seen on the right picture.

The 100% cotton heavy weight fleece as seen from the inside. Extremely soft and fluffy!
The fabric is piece dyed and light sensitive, meaning that, while not indigo, it's colour will eventually change with exposure to sun, washes and, ofcourse plenty of wear!
I am really curious to see how this will look after a year of intense wear. A sweater with a well defined and somewhat contrasty wear pattern is something of a holy grail for me...
It has 100% cotton charcoal grey flatlocked seams throughout the whole garment.
The pic on the right shows how the ribbing is already starting to stretch and it also shows how well the fabric molds to the body and also holds that shape. Those are actually very well defined elbow creases for a sweatshirt, and from up close it even looks as if the "deep" of the creases is a darker blue than the fabric around it. But perhaps that is just my wishful thinking...


The new Riders Dungarees made out of Sugar Cane's raw 14oz. 50/50 (50% cotton, 50% sugar cane that is!) left hand twill, SC301 "Okinawa" denim, with the pockets and side cinch in a 11oz. version of the same denim.
This denim has become somewhat synonymous with MFSC jeans as, with the exception of the 7163, all other jeans as well as a lot of the tops are done in this denim, however this is the first pair done completely in just this denim.

Pockets have been moved all the way to the side for more comfort in the saddle, and the ankle pockets first seen on the N-1K Deck pants make another appearance in case one prefers to keep the backpockets completely empty during those long rides (be it by bike, car or desk chair...) or just to be able to take that little extra with you when needed. They've so far come in very handy for me as I have been carrying my gloves in them when not on my hands during these cold winter days.

Sizing, soaking and shrinkage:
By now I trust that I can simply go for a 32 in MFSC jeans and get a fit that will work for me. The only issue with these was the length, as they are a fixed 34 inch pre shrinkage, with little option to let out the hem. With my long legs this means I could hardly afford any shrinkage in the length, but I still wanted the top block fitted. I briefly considered not soaking them at all, but in the end decided against it. Solved it by going for a short lukewarm soak in the tub and taking the bottom of the legs out the water half way through, after that yanking on the legs as hard as possible the moment I took the jeans out of the water.
This does mean that I have to be careful with washing these in the future, they will most likely only receive handwashes.
Line dried and then worn damp to shape.

The colour difference between the two different weights of denim becomes hardly noticeable after soaking


Fit pics:

Christophe himself describes these as a mid-rise, late 50's silhouette.
On me they fit straight and slim with a little anti-fit in the seat. I actually like the length and think it works really well worn with boots.
I do think that it would be smart to have a "long configuration" for future jeans with a fixed length and no material to let out, simply for the long legged folks out there who aren't as comfortable with short jeans as I am...

Card stock pocket flasher stapled to the right backpocket.

Sideview with the slashpockets and side cinch straps. The 11oz. covert cloth lined "Never Rippum" pockets worked directly into the lap felled outseams at the hip and ankle

A close-up of the steel "Buzz" domed rivets and what seems to be an inevitable side effect from sewing makes for an interesting stitch detail at the bottom of the pockets

(L) "Bar tacked at points of stress" and a hint of red showing in the watch pocket
(R) a close up of the denim, lots of character and still quite hairy before being soaked

(L) An almost obscene look into the watchpocket, more on the plaid fabric below
(R) Almost a MF signature by now, horizontal stitching along the waistband. The whole jean is stitched with a 100% cotton dark navy thread, hardly visible for now, but it will pop out once the indigo starts to fall. Also the new rayon label positioned on the extra wide center back beltloop

(L) The incredibly clean inside, either selvedge or hand felled seams. In fact you wont find one overlock stitch throughout the whole jeans. The bottom of the pocketbags, made of the same covert cloth as seen on the Mechanic shirt, is even cut along the fabric's selvedge, this to prevent the need for overlocking or the very neat looking, but thicker French/English seam solution
(R) The fabric used for the watchpocket is a deadstock cotton HBT plaid Mister Freedom found a small amount of, the majority of this fabric was used to line the sleeves of this seasons Mullholland Master, with a small batch reserved for the Dungarees watchpocket, notice how the left side of the watchpocket uses the fabric's selvedge

Some more close-ups of the inside. The buttons are all black painted, steel donut buttons which will age nicely over time. The waist has a "Laurel" button while the fly gets the smaller, plain style donuts

(L) An alternate way to feed the strap through the cinch shows the covert cloth lining quite well and it also makes for a nice accent of a different kind of blue
(R) Finally, an Union ticket stitched inside the seam of the right backpocket, I had no clue it was there until it appeared from behind the pocket flasher. The pockets are all fully lined so you don't notice that the pockets themselves are actually made out of a lighter weight denim than the rest of the jeans
For the F/W09 MFSC collection, Mister Freedom decided to switch things up a gear and let all the people tapping into the Naval Tailor concept (some even going as far as directly copying MF's prints and hangtags. Bad Form!) bite dust by stepping away from the Naval Tailor storyline and going for something new.

This seasons story, in Christophe his own words:

“SPEED SAFE CLOTHING for MODERN RIDERS”

In late 2008, as I was driving around and lost my way in a run down neighborhood in Los Angeles, I stopped in front of an old boarded up store.
The sidewalk had puddles of dried up oil…past traces of leaking engines.
On the store facade, all that was left from the heydays was a crooked rusty tin sign…The brick building seemed to have been abandoned for years.
The sign read: “Speed Safe Clothing for Modern Riders”…

Inside were the real gems: stacks of merchandise covered with 40 year old dust and walls filled with old photos retracing five decades of motorcycle riding…

This was the discovery of an incredible story, that of a Southern California family of three brothers: Lino, a local prize fighter and trouble maker, Marlon, an Army trained airplane mechanic turned hill climber and Eddie, the artist with tailoring skills.

All devoted cycle riders, they opened a Los Angeles Club House/garage in the 1920’s. It became a spot to hang out if you needed tools or spares for your cycle, or just wanted to cool off and talk ‘pistons ‘n broads’.

At the time, motor-cycling was a newborn method of transportation, and riders had to settle for military or workwear clothes and make the best of them.
Feeling the need for specific motorcycle riding gear, Eddie started designing and making clothes all the brothers could wear, on and off their bikes.
Lino, Marlon and Eddie road tested each and every clothing prototype and modified it until it worked. Due to friend’s demand, small production runs were made and sold at the Club House, which turned into a full blown store in the 1930s. It closed its doors in the late 1960s.

For the production, military hardware, close out fabrics and trims were used in the manufacturing. The port of Los Angeles was a busy place and anything was available for who knew where to look. Lino did.
The clothes were purposely designed, sturdy and durable: a riding jacket, work shirt or dungarees had to last you a good chunk of years and help you “keep the rubber down”, focused on the road and not your back.

For Fall 2009 MF x S/c offers a selection of the three Brothers’ Favorite gear, as they were found in that abandoned Club House. The exclusive original designs span from the early 1930s to the late 1960’s. The quantities are again limited, of course…

This Fall 2009 season includes:
* Lino’s “Mulholland Master” riding coat and leather “Greaser” cap.
* Marlon’s leather “Bronco Champ” racing jacket, “Mechanic Shirt”, “Mechanic Sweat shirt” and “Mechanic Cap”.
* Eddie’s denim “Rambler Pack”.
* The brothers’ favorite denim “Rider’s Dungarees” and “Club Shirts”.

First, the Mechanic Shirt:



(Note that the colour between all these pictures differs quite a bit, I found it really hard to capture the true colour of the piece. The indigo is super dark blue, but gets lighter because of the salt-&-pepper nature of the fabric. Under certain light the shirt almost seems to be a deep purple.)


Sizing, soaking and shrinkage:
As the fit is similar to the other MFSC shirts I own (a bit roomier throughout than the 645 Utility chambray but smaller than the "Liberty Issue" CPO) I went with my regular raw Large which, after shrinking, ends up exactly as a Medium.
I threw it in the tub with the hottest water from the tap, left it in for about and hour and hung it to dry afterwards.
Soaking softened the fabric up quite a bit as it got rid of excess starch still in the garment.
The shirt fits a little looser than the Utility chambray and easily fits a thermal under it but still looks great worn under a tight sweater.
It is again fairly long but this allows it to be tucked in no problem!
(While typing this I realize I should have included a pictured of how it looks tucked in...)


The curve of the back yoke returns in the clever solution for an elbow reinforcement, as seen on the right.


(L)Triple stitched throughout the biggest part of the garment
(R) Chainstitch run-off and the fabric's selvedge which is solid indigo, finished with a "salt & pepper" ply yarn ID.

(L) Rayon label with stamped the items name and size. I personally was a bit sad to see the Naval Tailor labels go as they allowed for great customization, might have to add a name tag myself... This picture also shows how dark the collar facing is.
(R) Union ticket and a closer look at the painted metal buttons, here still shiny and new.

(L) The collar facing vs the buttons facing. While the latter is the same indigo cotton as previously used on the chambray's, the fabric used for the collar is an indigo, 1920's deadstock French popeline that promises to fade down to a purplish black/blue. That second button hole on the tab is actually quite clever as it allows for the shirt to be fully buttoned up without being uncomfortably tight.
(R) The popeline on the button facing, here seen side by side with the facing on my chambray, worn daily since January. The off-white piece of fabric seen on the mechanic shirt serves as reinforcement behind the pocket opening.

(L) Subtly used exposed selvedge on the chest pockets. The offset pocket flap still allows for you to reach into the pocket and get things out,
but prevents things from flying out. Smart!
(R) The button facing popeline returns to reinforce both the buttonhole and the fabric the small white shirt button itself is sewn unto.


The fabric itself, a "light" (roughly 8oz) covert cloth, is also quite something. Developed specifically for MF it was based on a swatch from a 1920's French shop-coat.
Covert cloth has been around since the late 1800's but hardly get's any love these days. It is a twill, but unlike denim which traditionally has an indigo warp and a white weft, covert cloth has a twisted "ply yarn" warp, one of which is white, giving it it's distinct "salt & pepper" look.
The weft is indigo.
(L) Even on this close-up of the fabric it isn't easy to make out, but as the charming knot of "loomchatter" kindly illustrates the weft is indeed all indigo.
(R)This bit of yarn, plucked from a buttonhole clearly shows what exactly is going on with the warp.


Up next: the Riders Dungarees.
 
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