Friday, 21 November 2014

Bulldog Spirit - SJC Denim Kickstarter Successful

Last month Denimhunters' Matt Wilson introduced us to the SJC Denim Kickstarter campaign. Well, here's an exciting update  - with 9 days left to go designer Simon James Cathcart's project is already funded, so if you want a pair of these jeans you'd best get in there quick.

Simon James Cathcart - SJC Denim

To re-cap for those of you that missed it, Simon has designed a heritage collection embracing differing styles and youth cultures throughout the last century. There are several historically accurate fits in the jeans line up - ranging from the Big B Dungaree, a 1920's style chino, to the slim cut 1980's Punk jean.

Two fits in particular have proved popular - the Brakeman, a high waisted 1930's style cinch back jean and the Big B Dungaree.

Simon James Cathcart - SJC Denim - The Brakeman
The Brakeman - easily the best jean in the collection.
So popular in fact that people have wanted to order both pairs, so Simon now has that purchase option up and running on the site.

Excitingly Simon has also now added a bespoke option, so for those guys whose dimensions are not exactly standard you can get any of the fits cut to your size.

The Yard Boss jacket looks particularly good, with period correct details like a cinch, patch pockets and pleats.

For the lady denim-head in your life Simon has also taken the brave step of making a women's jean and jacket - the Bad Kitty. So no longer will your vintage minded other half have to endure mass produced skinny stretch nonsense.

Simon James Cathcart - SJC Denim - Yard Boss Jacket
Yard Boss Jacket - moustache and motorbike optional!

Uncompromising Detailing

All fits are made from either 120z or 16 oz ringspun Kaihara denim, one washed for minimal shrinkage. The hardware and detailing is impressive too - the vintage patina buttons are YKK, the thread is 1080 gold, as close to the early 20th century as Simon could match. 

Simon James Cathcart - SJC Denim - fly detail

The pocket bags,  printed with the SJC logo and chain stitched to the waistband, are super heavy 12oz selvedge - double stitched so they won't blow out. The back pockets are fully lined in the same material, and have covered rivets.

The upper inner block is finished with red scalloping because, as Simon puts it,"the guys had a 1920's machine and well f*@k it.. it looks sensational."

Simon James Cathcart - SJC Denim - Union Special

One of the last things to finish off is a brass stamp so the jerky leather patch is embossed.
With delivery scheduled for January 2015 production is about to go in to full swing.

Bulldog Spirit

I get the impression that the SJC project is very personal to Simon and it's very much in the artisan spirit. 
As Denimhunters' resident vintage buff it always excites me to see a designer do something like this - producing a collection that emphasises uncompromised vintage fits over mere commercial appeal. And, incase you haven't spotted the British bulldog patch yet, it's coming out of the UK. You still have a few days to get involved here.

Simon James Cathcart - SJC Denim - The Yard Boss Jean
The Yard Boss Jean

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Tackling a Heavyweight - Pike Brothers 19oz 1948 Roamers A Year On

I've finally buckled... after almost a year of near constant wear my Pike Brothers 48' Roamers are starting to hum a little. So, they’ve had their first wash.

Pike Brothers 19oz 1948 Roamers
A nicely broken in leather patch.
Since getting them last December I’ve worn them as much as possible, switching only to a lighter pair of LVC 505’s or my 11oz 37’ Roamers for the hottest days of the summer.

I gave the jeans a pre wear soak for shrinkage and to get the starch out of the fabric, but that’s it.
At 19oz this beautiful Kurabo denim took a fair bit of breaking in. Even tackling the button fly was a battle of wills in the beginning. The jeans almost wore me for a while…
Pike Brothers 19oz 1948 Roamers
Fresh out the box this time last year.
Pike Brothers 19oz 1948 Roamers
One year in. One soak, one wash and developing well.
But it’s been worth it. The jeans have gradually softened up - I’ve got some lovely whiskers around the pockets, and my wallet pocket is just starting to show signs of wear. Clearly when breaking in heavy-weight denim you're in for the long haul.

 Pike Brothers 19oz 1948 Roamers Fresh out the box this time last year.
Whiskering around the pockets.
Now, Pike Brothers suggest that you don’t wash these babies at all, instead favouring a dry clean.
Other hardcore denim heads might raise an eyebrow at simply bunging them in the washing machine with a bit of detergent but that’s exactly what I’ve done. Turn ‘em inside out, put them in a cold wash and hang them damp. Done.

Denim this beautiful deserves to be looked after and I simply don’t see how dousing it in chemicals at the dry cleaners will help the longevity of Kurabo’s finest fabric.

 Pike Brothers 19oz 1948 Roamers
Just starting to develop some fraying around the cuffs.
If other items in your wardrobe are dirty, you wash them, right? As Denimhunters' Matt Wilson argued in his recent article on washing denim it makes no sense to spend serious amounts of wedge on premium denim to then not look after it.

I love seeing how selvedge denim evolves as much as the next denim head, but not at the expense of smelling like a bath-shy farm hand.

 Pike Brothers 19oz 1948 Roamers
Coin pocket detail.
The 48’ Roamers are tough jeans. If, like me, you like your jeans old school then the classic fit is spot on and denim is evolving wonderfully. They are hands down my go to pair and will doubtless serve me for a long time to come.

For more details my earlier full review is well worth a read. If you’d like to get your hands on a pair check out Pike Brothers here
If you're thinking of tackling a pair of these beauties now is the perfect time of year to start.

Those of you lucky enough to be in Munich can also visit the Pike Brothers pop-up store until December - details here.