CLAFLIN, THAYER & CO.

my photos

WELCOME BACK

Liz
My workspace is set! The floor and walls are painted, a new worktable built, pictures and sign hung, and materials reorganized. Having a clean slate studio space has totally re-inspired me. I've got a finished jacket pattern to sew, a new pattern halfway finished, and a dude jacket to start in addition to various other projects I'm working on. I'm so lucky to have this spot to toil away in. I will start posting more pics again as I have things to show.

NORTHWEST COUNTRY LIVIN

Liz
The studio redo is going very slow between working full-time, moving, and life in general. I'm hoping to be mostly done by the end of this weekend - not sewing for the last month is starting to make me feel crazy and I need to start working again. The "before" picture above.
With a new coat of paint. This place gets the best natural light.
Since I don't have much else to report about leather jackets or sewing, here are some pics of a recent weekend trip to the Pacific Northwest. I went to the best wedding, BBQ, and campout on 40 acres of land near La Center, WA. Half the property is covered in a Doug Fir forest.
The owners built a crazy/sketchy swing in the woods. You can climb 25 feet to the top of the trees and swing out below.
There were cool old cars all over the place, including a Barracuda graveyard tucked amongst the flowers.
Set up camp in the hayfield just after the tractor had passed through making bales.
Biggest bonfire I've seen in a while, you just cant make them like this in the city.
Off to Sauvie's Island in Portland to pick fruit the next day. This time of year, lavender, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries, are bountiful, but you can pick stone fruits fruit and flowers too.

Hopefully next time I post I will have made something and it won't be another month from now.

SANTA CRUZ: TO THE OCEAN

Liz
Made it to the beach just in time to watch the sun set over Steamer's Lane.Truck full of blankets.
I know all the beer looks really awful, but I swear it's not as bad as it looks.
Lil Sara: Spider-styles across the rocks in spikes.Destination: arrival confirmed.
Looking towards the Monterey Bay
Surfers surfin.
Blanket styles.
La la la...
Epic twilight group photo sesh with blankets.
It was a good day.

SANTA CRUZ: TO THE MOUNTAINS

Liz
It was a good day to to hit the road for a little adventuring and I pulled myself out of bed at the last minute to make it. 3 on the tree, dream catcher, and a pizza slice tatty, what more do you need?Perhaps a nice Bloody Mary in the sun at the Moss Beach Distillery? It will set you right if you didn't start off that way.
Blankets by the fire pit and a nice view of the ocean.
Next stop: the San Gregorio General Store for a Bud, some hat shopping, and a cozy blanket.
Captains hats and union suits. Take your pick or wear both at the same time.
Feeling kinda Puss n' Boots.Pigeon Point Lighthouse, it's a real beauty in the distance.
Onto Davenport and the Whale City Bar & Grill, where Lil Sara's shoes found her a fan club.
101 food blogger: Fried artichokes and brussel sprouts with ranch, not much better than this.
Off the 1 and up the mountain we go.
Through the woods.
To the cave we go.
online gif creator
Down the hatch
It's a secret cave but not if you know Santa Cruz. You can get lost back there or just stay for a bit - we had a date to catch with the sunset so we made our visit brief.Journey to the center of the earth.VIRGO...and she is one. It was meant to be.Mountain graffiti styles.
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"Fuck Slugs." Or don't.
One for the road.

BEEN BUSY

Liz
I've been busy, on the road, here and there, doing this n that. But I have lots of photos clogging up that need to be uploaded as well as a new fancy phone, so more photos on the way soon...

HARRIS TWEED PART 2 - FABRIC

Liz
Here is our Harris Tweed trip!
To get to Isle of Lewis, we boarded a big car ferry at Uig on the Isle of Skye.

Skye is lush and green with little cottages dotting the hillside - very picturesque.
Fishing nets on the docks.

The cars are packed into the ferry like sardines, and the people board the upper decks of the ship.

Travel companions KC & Jojo. Of course there is a bar on board, so whisky is mandatory to keep warm. Look at their hair - see how windy it is? And cold.
Several hours later, we arrive on the Isle of Lewis and Harris, which is home to the Callanish Standing Stones - one of the oldest and largest megalithic structures in Europe erected somewhere around 2000BC.We went to Stornoway, in search of some Harris Tweed, and there we found Ronnie Mackenzie's shop, which is pretty much the goldmine. Here's an old loom in the garden out front.The Harris Tweed orb.The shop is dark, dusty, and crammed full of every kind of tweed you can imagine.Dyed wool yarns used to make tweed.Bobbins with yarn - these are attached to the loom when the fabric is woven.Maps of the Outer Hebrides where Harris Tweed is made.

Here is Ronnie showing us all the different breeds of sheep used to make Harris Tweed.

Guide showing where the best wool comes from on a sheep skin.

Totally insane catalog from the 1930's containing swatches of various tweeds.
Every tweed ever produced is archived in books like this.

Ronnie is pretty much the coolest guy ever. He's got so much knowledge about tweed and is an all around character and awesome dude.
Newer books with samples of tweeds created for various designers.Harris Tweed hats, you've probably seen many an old man walking down the street in one of these.Rolls and rolls and rolls of fabric everywhere.More swatches of custom fabrics for customers.

Harris Tweed has produced many of Ralph Lauren's wools over the years.

Harris Tweed is protected by an act of Parliament - only tweed that has been woven in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland can be stamped with the Harris Tweed Orb of authentication once it's been inspected.
I picked up this amazing book, which details the production of Harris Tweed and contains stunning photos of island life and the manufacturing process.Ronnie gave me official Harris labels to sew into the garments I make, since they are officially Harris Tweed, of course.After a totally overwhelming several hours in the shop with Ronnie learning about all kinds of cool stuff, this is what I actually walked away with:Several meters (enough to make a jacket or coat) of each tweed. I really wanted to buy everything in the store, but let's be realistic. I will do a Part 3 eventually showing what I made with some of the tweed. This will not come for a long time, as I have to plan thoroughly before I cut into any of this precious fabric!Below are some collaborations I like between various fashion brands with Harris Tweed. Left to Right: Nigel Cabourn, Scott NYC, Topman.Beauty & Youth United Arrows from A Continuous Lean. Love that all-gray jacket with contrast pockets.Levis x Harris TweedA Bathing Ape x Harris Tweed
What am I going to make? I don't know! But I can't wait!

PATTERN RABBIT

Liz
I finally bought a pattern rabbit - this is basically a giant hole punch that puts a nice big hole in your pattern pieces so you can neatly hang them together. Another tool I've needed forever but just been lazy and cheap about buying. I organized my growing collection of patterns the other day - I like how they look hanging over the table. It somehow makes me feel like a more legit pattenmaker.

BOREAS KNITWEAR, ISLE OF LEWIS, SCOTLAND

Liz
I found these amazing hand-knit sweaters by Boreas Knitwear in the back of a fabric store on the Isle of Lewis. I searched the internet for any info about the company only to learn it's closed. Which means I passed up a really incredible dead stock collection of sweaters I'll never be able to find again. I'm just at a point where I'm trying not to accumulate "stuff" no matter how amazing it is. If I was a store owner, I would have snatched these up in a second, but I didn't. Damn it.

I love the bold color composition of these sweaters, and each must weight 10lbs or more. I was boiling as soon as I tried one on, attesting to the fact that they are truly island sweaters made to battle even the harshest wind and chill. I wonder how much longer they will sit stuffed into the back of that store.

BLAST FROM THE PAST

Liz
My mom taught me to sew when I was little. She's an accomplished seamstress, as was my grandmother and my great-grandmother before that. I remember one of my first sewing projects when I was about 8? A pajama set of flannel shorts and a shirt. I was so angry at it - it just wasn't working out or much fun to sew. I finished it but wasn't very proud of the end result. Even with the disappointment of some of those early projects, something about sewing inspired me and pushed me to keep at it. I liked the idea of making something useful, and seeing just a piece of fabric evolve into a wearable garment by the work of my own hands. Even now, that's what motivates me to design and sew. I've always been an arty, creative type but never got total satisfaction out of drawing, painting, or making other stuff that just sits around and collects dust. I wanted more - I want to make things I can use over and over, like a jacket to keep me warm or a bag to hold my belongings. I admire carpenters, welders, cooks, and gardeners - people who use their skills to make useful things that reflect their creativity. I never remember a point where I decided I wanted to be a designer or seamstress, it just sort of picked me.
        Sewing is challenging and can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you're largely self taught. I've been to some design school, from which I've learned a lot, but making mistakes and studying other garments had taught me more. As with most skilled crafts, there is always room for improvement. I still get discouraged and have much to learn, but looking back over my years of sewing, I realize I've come a long way from those flannel pajamas.
        Below are some things pulled from the depths of my closet that I made somewhere between 2002-2004 (because sometimes it's fun to look back and see then & now).

BACK TO WORK

Liz
I got a lot done over the long weekend - a new jacket, a new bag, and finally downloading all my photos from Scotland. So keep posted!

THANKS TO THE RAIN

Liz
It's been wet here and the fruits of the woods are abundant thanks to all the moisture. I can never get enough chanterelles. They are the most delicious of all mushrooms (surpassed only by morels, in my opinion) and the only thing better than actually eating them is the hunt itself.

CRAZY PERSON FASHION IS THE BEST

Liz
These photos are terrible. But this guy was too good not to share. He wears an old Levi's denim jacket completely covered with various rags, ties, fabric scraps, and the like. He asked for a cigarette. We gave him one. He was eating a tomato like an apple. He told us he was Satan, then got mad and walked away into the night. I love nothing more than to to see some eccentric character in their kooky getup.

SOME THINGS WE ATE IN SCOTLAND

Liz
There were many good things to eat. So many in fact, that I am typing this with my jeans unbuttoned at the waist.

I had many a meat pie with mashed potatoes and peas.Shortbread everywhere. I like butter and sugar. Home of Walkers shortbread.
Cured fish and delicious dairy.
Lamb. So much lamb. I think there are more sheep than people in Scotland.
Haggis! The traditional Scottish dish consisting of various minced sheep organs, oatmeal, onions, and spices stuffed in the casing of a sheep intestine and cooked. Yes, it sounds pretty terrifying but is actually surprisingly good. I'll try anything once.
Mussels. So much amazing seafood in Scotland. I can't believe I didn't get a photo of any one of the many fish n chips I ate. I was too busy eating to bother with a camera.
Roasted veggies all over - carrots, parsnips, turnips.
Curry. So good. This particular one is from Stravaigin, which I highly recommend if you make it to Glasgow.
For drinks, ales and whisky (there is no "e" in scotch whisky). "Uisge Beatha"is the Scottish gaelic term for whisky, meaning literally "water of life." It's true. I particularly like the prescence of a pacifier in below photo, otherwise know in Scotland as a "dummy tit."
Made a visit to Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant in Glasgow. Roddy's eyes got real big when all that meat and cheese came to the table.
The most delicious of all the meat pie places in St. Andrews. A flaky crust to die for.
Sweets shop. Cakes for days.Detour to London for a moment, where I had the best churro I've ever had in my life at the Camden Market. Made with fresh dough and Brazilian love right in front of your eyes and then filled with the most decadent dulce de leche. Good lord.
More Camden candies.
And then we had one of the best meals imaginable at Yauatcha in Soho. Oh my god. It is so amazing.
Seaweed salad with fresh blue swimmer crab meat and peanut sauce.Roasted duck pumpkin puffs.
Prawn and beancurd cheung fun. Possibly one of the top 3 most delicious things I have ever put in my mouth. Such a crazy and amazing combination of textures and flavors.Steamed pork buns.Pork dumplings.Back in Glasgow, the last supper before I left. Meat pie, carrots, and mashed potatoes. I fucking love food.

PENDELTON WOLLEN MILL STORE

Liz
This is one of my favorite places in Portland and I'm always inspired when I go here. I'm starting on my next jacket which includes an wool piece from the mill, I can hardly wait to get working. Ugg...sorry for the glaring iphone photos but I still wanted to share...

Custom embroidery machines
Stacks and stacks of wool for purchaseOld wooden bobbinsRoles of fabric for daysPhotos from the Pendelton archiveWool yarnsRainbow colorsThere's even a whole museum section with many custom woven blankets.Check it out if you are there, you won't be able to leave empty handed. Pendelton Woolen Mill Store