Iron Heart’s 23oz… oh cool…. Cargo Pants!!!… WTF!

When a regular alteration client of mine from Melbourne asked me to hem his cargo pants in an email, my first thoughts were.. Oh, cargo pants; I better set up the machines for a lighter weight fabric and find some slimmer topstitch threads in an olive drab range. Then BOOM!! Before my assuming mind could assume anymore, I read his next email, ’23oz’. WTF!

I love how nonchalant he was about it as well. Usually I get emails for alterations, and when it’s a heavy fabric, the weight is the first thing mentioned with a fat cheeky smile or a timid, ‘can these be done’? He chooses to tell me after I arrange for him to have it posted to me. Cheers Tom! Any fabrics over 22oz, for me, I need to prepare mentally for. Hand cramps occur when rolling the hem, broken needles tend to happen…. damn where did I put my old science goggles! No joke they saved me once. I’d look like a damn pirate if i hadn’t had those things on. Would you trust a pirate looking guy with your $400 jeans. Hell no.

Oh well, here are some of my first thoughts on the cargo pant when I held them in my hands.

IRON HEART 705 – “HEAVY ASS MOTHERS” – SERGE 2X2 WEAVE CARGO PANT – OLIVE

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Sorry, for the direct sun shots, It was the only time I could take photos before sending them back to Tom once my hands recovered! Other than the weight of these, there were many construction details indicating these pants were made to take a beating. You’ve got some blade edged front pockets, welted back pockets, reinforced knees, triple stitched lapped seams, thigh cargo pant style pockets and seven belt loops all sewn first into the waistband.

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My favourite detail would have to be the coin pocket feature against the vertical pocket opening like on the 704′s. From a functional point of view, the placement of the coin pocket almost makes it’s opening secure, yet accessible at the same time. Just like a fine woman, not too easy to get into, not too hard to make it a mere design feature!

When taking into account these are meant to be motorcycle specialised garments, the coin pocket makes sense. If you have ever kept your zippo -or similar sized item -in your coin pocket, you may have experienced it popping out when you sit down a certain way. At least, before it tries to run from your sweaty hips, it will hit the top of the front pocket opening…. if you can manage to get your zippo in this coin pocket!

The zipper is a Talon and has been framed by the selvedge ends of the fabric. Being a snob and all, my instincts went straight to the hem to flip the outseam. Booooom. One fat ass triple stitched lapped seam slapped me in the face. This made me smile a hundred smiles. The part in me that stabs the snob in me is the part that wants to break up snobbery! (lol bad rhyme) It was great to see them choose this construction feature over the open seam. Where the open seam is held together by one stitch and shows off the selvedge, a lapped seam closes itself together with 4 layers, and in this case three stitches. I’ve always felt funny about a triple stitch. The seam can manage in most cases without the middle stitch. However there are the rare cases when the double chainstitch can fail. Then I always look at the middle stitch closely… and this is what I always see. Ahhhhh.. It makes sense now… That’s what the middle stitch is for! I was curious to open up the outseam of the cut offs after I had hemmed these to see if they had sewn over the the selvedge. But I refrained. Tom might want to wear the cut offs as a crown; who am I to deny him of this privilege.

The cargo pockets as well show obvious motorcycle design features. Best place to keep your zippo if it’s too large for the coin pocket! The cargo style pocket has a button and keyhole feature on one side of the flap only. The rear of the pocket flap has been sewn down to prevent anything sliding out as you ride, items such as your switchblades or worn in bikie brass knuckles. The welted back pockets constructed with their pocket bag lining sewn into the waistband for added stability, would minimise bulk on your back end while you ride. Jean back pockets wear quickly in the same spots when riding. With a single layer of denim as the only defense against you losing your wallet. The welted pockets allow an extra layer between your wallet and the outside world, similar to lined jean back pockets, with the difference that the pocket bag on a welted  pocket still has the ability to slide around and move without being so stationary, and assaulting the same areas of friction.

I tried to refrain from talking too much about the weight of these and go more into some construction details, but damn they were a nice heavy. For a 23oz serge fabric with a 2×2 weave pattern, the reversed side of the cloth was surprisingly soft. It is a perfect reflection to the brand name Iron Heart. Hard on the outside, soft and meaningful on the inside…. just like a fine woman!

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Off into the sunset… THAT STORE Closing

Here ends the era for our ‘local wooden shed of woven delights’. THAT STORE last week, began the process of closing down its stores throughout Melbourne and Sydney. It was quite sudden and it is very unfortunate to see the stores go, along with my job haha!

THAT STORE as well as BluBird Denim Store are among the denim outlets that closed their doors this year in Sydney; oh yeah, and a few Just Jeans stores or something right…?! Here’s hoping that Denim Co. will look into purchasing some boutique and denim-head-friendly jeans.

There are still stores out there tucked away in the streets of Sydney that can fix you up with your denim hits. HALFSLEEVE, Via Alley, CoRLection, Route 66 and Harrolds.

For all alteration customers, you can still contact me via email and I can make arrangements in regards to collecting your jeans for alterations.

Remnants… Australia's Last Denim Mill

Thanks to Hassan over at Denim Yoke in Marrickville for finding me what had proven to be a challenging search, identifiable excess fabrics from Bradmill Textiles’ Australian production mill.

The mill was Australia’s largest denim producing mill and also the last in the country. The company still exists in Australia, however, production as with most things ‘fashion’ related in Australia has been taken offshore.

BRADMILL HISTORY

Above is a link for a page that has since been removed from Bradmill’s current website. It includes some photos of the production line from the 1960′s and 1980′s as well as some company history. Check it out since the link will most likely be removed in the future.

I managed to get my indigo covered hands on a diverse range of fabrics from their final years of production in Oz. Some of the fabrics are still packaged in sampling quantities which were sent to companies such as Ksubi in their earlier Tsubi days when they were first starting out.

There is a great mix of right hand twill, dry broken twill, herringbone, stretch, dirty denim dyed, camel colours and a few others. I will be saving these fabrics for something interesting and special!

Here are a few pictures of the fabrics squashed into my car.

Here to serve… Sydney and neighbours.

The LockstitchEXPANDING THE DENIM HEAD COMMUNITY OF SYDNEY- and neighbours…

For those in-the-know, and those who care, the denim community in Sydney is set to expand.

In the near future, this blog will become your local denim guide and will hopefully teach you a few things about denim jeans, the art of handcrafted goods, and the denim-obsessed community hidden in our city.

Currently working as the store manager for THAT STORE in Chatswood, I have come across many denim detail-obsessed fanatics. It’s been good to have met you all… and honestly, quite a relief.

As many of you may know, I look after some of the more specialised alterations and repairs for THAT STORE. Yes, also the chainstitching service! If you had any questions, feel free to contact me directly at m@mikhailzenon.com  – Alternatively, you may contact THAT STORE in Chatswood or even drop by and have a chat.

I will elaborate more on these services and slowly share my knowledge and experience with everything denim (as I hope you all will too!).

Mikhail