DIY – Handcrafted Hunting Knife

My father in law gave me the greatest (early) Christmas present ever this year, a hand made hunting knife. Apart from the blade itself and the ornamental brass moose head, everything else including the handle & leather sheath is crafted from scratch. The red, blue and white bands on the handle represent the UK (me) and Finland where my fiance is from, so a really nice gesture and something I’ll always treasure.

 

Last Buy – Nigel Cabourn & Eddie Bauer Geddes Jacket

Just when I think I’ve hit the ceiling on what I’ll pay for a jacket, something special comes along and I smash right through it… To be fair to myself, I’ve had a bit of a clear out on the run up to christmas of some old kicks and clothes, so did have paypal money burning a hole in my pocket (and fuck it, I’ve worked my knackers off this year, this is a present to myself!)

I wasn’t instantly struck by the Cabourn & Eddie Bauer collab, until I saw a few pieces in the flesh that is, and was instantly converted. For me the Geddes jacket is the stand out piece, it’s a serious bit of kit and by far the warmest, most substantial jacket I’ve ever owned. The Geddes is based on a US air force jacket worn in the early 1940s by pilots in Alaska.  Fair enough it’s quite an investment, but you can see the quality in every stitch and component used.

The exterior shell has waxed cotton treatment with reinforced cotton duck shoulder and forearm panels, with a diamond quilt filled with goose down feathers making it extremely well insulated (all stuffed by hand). I’ve visited a few down jacket factories recently, it isn’t the easiest of processes, often resulting in an uneven fill that can produce cold spots if the down isn’t evenly applied. Certainly on the Geddes I have, it’s stuffed to the gills, almost solid to the touch like a punch bag it’s been stuffed so well (Ooh, matron!)

Hood is trimmed with coyote fur with a checkered tweed wool lining, nice to see the  US clip fastenings making an appearance, also used to great effect on the iconic cameraman jacket.

This is the first of three collections Nigel Cabourn are doing with Eddie Bauer over the next three years for Autumn/Winter, this first collection being military inspired, hunting & fishing for 2012 and finally expedition for 2013. If they’re as good as this first release, I’m looking forward to picking up something from each collection.

Great service from LN-CC as always, who are now sold out, available in extremely limited numbers but you can still pick it up here

Last Buy – Burberry Trench

Important meeting last week so needed to step up my work coat game (plus it was a great excuse to buy more outerwear, I can always come up with some justification…)

Fancied a Burberry trench for awhile now, always look smart, never out of style and easy to wear. It also fits nicely over a suit jacket, being thin enough not to add too much bulk around the arms. After trying on several styles at the Manc Burberry store I finally settled on a thigh length version, made from a lightweight cotton Garbadine that can be machine washed (though oddly the website states dry clean only).

It also fits nicely with my new wardrobe philosophy, to buy classic quality pieces that’ll last for decades. Pick it up here

DIY Iphone Cover

No blog activity for ages due to a mad hectic schedule with work, visiting Paris, Dusseldorf & London in the last month, as well as a holiday in Lapland to stay with the inlaws.

My future father-in-law’s a real man’s man, hunting, fishing and building his own cabin from scratch. He also has a real talent for leather craft, making amazing knife sheathes (as well as the knives to go in them) giving me the idea of making my own iphone case.

First step is to cut the leather into shape, then soak for an hour or so to make it supple. We then made a dummy iphone out of wood to mold the wet leather around, clamping it tightly in place until it took on the shape of the phone. Next step is to stitch the leather, using two needles criss-crossing each other for a tight strong stitch (think its a saddle stitch?)

Final step is to add a design, temptation here is to go crazy with some intricate design, instead I opted for a subtle bear print and a row of dots along the spine. Amazing how easy it is to mark the leather whilst still wet.

I love how how it turned out, although the flap is unintended, a result of measuring the length wrong, making the cover an inch too short. Next project will be better though, a good learning experience, not bad for a first effort!