Shared posts

18 Aug 20:47

Food Porn: Boston Magazine takes an in-depth look...

by Rachel Leah Blumenthal
Russian Sledges

so good

aldenharlow-150-megjoneswall.jpgBoston Magazine takes an in-depth look at Alden & Harlow's chicken fried rabbit, a popular dish that incorporates blue cheese and chili oil. "Overall, I think it's a really good example of the type of food we do here," chef/owner Michael Scelfo tells the magazine. "It might look simple at first glance, but there's a lot of legwork and a lot of prep that goes into it." [BM]
[Photo: Alden & Harlow/Meg Jones Wall]

19 Aug 15:45

District Attorney Will Empanel Grand Jury In NYPD Chokehold Death Case

by Colin Campbell


Though much of the U.S. is focused on the racially-charged protests in Ferguson, Missouri, a New York City district attorney is moving forward with his investigation of the death of another African-American man, Eric Garner, who also died in a fatal confrontation with police.

Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan announced on Tuesday that he will soon empanel a grand jury to potentially bring charges regarding Garner's death, which the city's medical examiner ruled a homicide in August.

"Based upon the investigation that my office has conducted to date regarding the July 17, 2014, death of Eric Garner, and after a careful review of the recent findings of the Medical Examiner regarding the cause and manner of Mr. Garner’s death, I have determined that it is appropriate to present evidence regarding the circumstances of his death to a Richmond County Grand Jury," Donovan said in a statement. "I intend to utilize that Grand Jury sometime next month to begin presenting evidence on this matter."

Several Democratic members of Congress and other critics have accused Donovan, a Republican, of being too close to the NYPD to objectively prosecute the police officer who aggressively arrested Garner shortly before his death. In a video, the officer appeared to use a chokehold — a banned police tactic — to subdue Garner, who repeatedly yelled, "I can't breathe!"

But Donovan insisted he was simply taking his time in order to be fair in how he approached the case.

"Mindful of the solemn oath to enforce the law that I took when I was first sworn into office as District Attorney in January of 2004, and with a full appreciation that no person is above the law, nor beneath its protection, I assure the public that I am committed to conducting a fair, thorough, and responsible investigation into Mr. Garner’s death, and that I will go wherever the evidence takes me, without fear or favor," he said.

Join the conversation about this story »

07 Aug 10:00

Party Like It’s 1999: Japanese Retrofuturism and Chrono Trigger—Issue 2.3—Futures of the Past

by Michael P. Williams

Twentieth-century Japanese visions of a future that never came to pass.

Read more…

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19 Aug 12:29

Boston Ballet to Reenact Swan Lake on Public Garden Swan Boats | Boston Magazine

by russiansledges
This week, the team will be at Public Garden to re-create a 1970s photo (above) in which dancers from the company posed in Swan Lake costumes on—what else?—the swan boats.
18 Aug 21:55


by russiansledges
Our good friend and mentor John D Gertsen is packing up and heading west. We have all benefitted from his guidance and friendship and the fortunate among us have experienced his gracious hospitality. Please join us on August 27th as we raise a toast to honor our dear friend. Drinks inspired by John will be served by Josey Packard, Ted Kilpatrick, Joshua Childs , Brother Cleve, Scott Holliday and Jackson Cannon. Following John's example of limitless generosity, proceeds for the evening will benefit the Autism project of Massachusetts Advocates for Children. For more than 40 years, Massachusetts Advocates for Children has responded to the needs of children who are vulnerable because of poverty, race, limited English or disability. In 2002 MAC launched the Autism Special Education Legal Support Center. Since it's inception the Center has become a vital force within the autism community in Massachusetts providing training, legal assistance, advocacy, and services to thousands of parents and professionals to ensure that children with autism overcome lowered expectations and receive equal educational opportunities. Tickets are $30 and the fun starts at 7 PM! We hope to see you there!
31 Jul 21:01


14 Aug 21:01


19 Aug 01:42

Ferguson: Survey says white people in US have way more confidence in police than black people

by Xeni Jardin
Russian Sledges

via multitask suicide

Shocking results from a new Pew study. [Previously]

18 Aug 18:40

Admin Ignores Us

by villeashell
Russian Sledges

via otters

Admin Ignores Us:
I’m working through the results of a survey on metadata practices with digital scholarship. I asked a question about why metadata services aren’t provided. Several answers were of the variation tha…
15 Aug 19:55

A 200-Year-Old Bottle's Surprising Contents

by (Eric A. Powell)
Russian Sledges

"a type of gin"

selters-bottle-shipwreck-gin-vodka-polandPOLAND, BALTIC SEA—According to a report in Livescience, a 200-year-old stoneware bottle excavated from a shipwreck off the Polish coast contains an alcohol distillate, perhaps vodka or a type of gin called jenever. And, say the researchers, the spirit is still drinkable even after two centuries at the bottom of the sea. Originally the archaeologists thought the bottle contained a popular type of mineral water called “Selters” whose name is engraved on the outside, and which is still sold in the area. But once they popped the cork and analyzed the vessel’s contents, they discovered its true contents. The shipwreck also yielded ceramic bowls, and dinnerware, though project head Tomasz Bednarz says the bottle of booze “is our most valuable find.”

18 Aug 23:00

Pope Francis Is Cool With Killing ISIL If the United Nations Is

by Adam Chandler, The Wire
Russian Sledges

via multitask suicide


Decree made from papal plane Monday.
18 Aug 21:49

Why the World Smells Different After It Rains

by Megan Garber

"Petrichor" is the wonderful word that describes the wonderful scent of the air after a rain shower. It comes, like so many wonderful words do, from the ancient Greek: a combination of ichor, the "ethereal essence" the Greeks believed flowed through the veins of their gods, and petros, the stones that form the surface of the Earth. 

In the video above, PBS's Joe Hanson describes the biology that leads to petrichor. "When decomposed organic material is blown airborne from dry soil," he explains, "it lands on dirt and rock where it's joined by minerals. And the whole mixture is cooked in this magical medley of molecules. Falling raindrops then send those chemicals airborne, right into your nostalgic nostrils."

When it's not raining, though, that molecular mixture serves a different purpose: signaling plants to keep their roots from growing and their seeds from sprouting. No use wasting energy on all that, after all, when there's no water to be drunk. (Or, as Hansen puts it, "Petrichor: it's for the plant that's tired of waiting … to germinate.")

So why does the world smell different to humans after it rains? Because of plants, basically. 

18 Aug 16:40

Image transferred to protective tissue, and photographed over...

Russian Sledges

via rosalind

Image transferred to protective tissue, and photographed over facing page.

From Encyclopedia of the History of St. Louis: A Compendium of History and Biography for Ready Reference, v. 4, ed. by William Hyde and Howard Louis Conard (1899). Original from University of Minnesota. Digitized July 29, 2010.

18 Aug 18:38

scottlava: “Sepatown!”

by villeashell
Russian Sledges

via otters

<3 <3 <3



15 Aug 20:52

Cotton + Steel August - Frolic coral - fat quarter by MissMatatabi

2.95 USD

August by Sarah Watts for Cotton + Steel

100% quilting cotton

1 x fat quarter (50cm x 55cm , 19 inches x 21 inches)

If you would like continuous yardage please change the quantity at the checkout.

Parcels are shipped via small packet international airmail from Japan.

Japan Post does not provide tracking numbers for small packet airmail.

A shipping upgrade with a tracking number and insurance can be purchased
for an additional $5. If you would like to upgrade to registered small packet airmail
please let me know.

Thank you.

18 Aug 04:00

August 18, 2014

Russian Sledges

via rosalind

Only 4 days left to submit for BAHFest!
18 Aug 18:51

Girls Now Officially Better Than Boys at Everything

by Jessica Roy

It was established long ago, during the cootie-contracting days of yore, that girls rule and boys drool. Women are smarterlive longer, can have multiple orgasms, and also have prettier hair. Men, meanwhile, collect each other's severed dicks in glass jars.

For further evidence of women's superiority, look no further than the recent results of New York's standardized math tests. This year, girls outperformed boys on the math portion of the exam, with 35 percent of female third through eighth graders passing, compared to 33.4 percent of boys the same age. It's a slim difference, but an important one — especially considering the dearth of women in STEM majors and professions.

Maybe if boys tried leaning in more, they might get higher test scores.

Read more posts by Jessica Roy

Filed Under: misandry

15 Aug 05:00

Harvard Bridge in Boston , Massachusetts

Harvard Bridge

This bridge across the Charles River from Boston to Cambridge is notorious not for how it was constructed or where it connects, but how it was measured by an MIT fraternity for a hazing ritual.

In 1958, the chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha at MIT used the fraternity's shortest pledge, Oliver Smoot at 5 feet 7 inches (1.7018 meters), to measure the span of Harvard Bridge. Starting at the Boston end on the eastern sidewalk, they laid him down and marked off each length, paiting indicators for every 10 "smoots." The final measured figure was 364.4 smoots plus one ear. From this prank, the smoot became an informal unit of measurement

Smoot would go on to become the president of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), as well as having an informal unit of measurement named for him. Through Google's search field, it can convert distances into smoots. When the bridge's sidewalks were replaced in the 1980s, the concrete slabs used were each one smoot long instead of the standard six feet. A plaque celebrating the measurement was dedicated in 2008 on the 50th anniversary, and Lambda Chi Alpha pledges repaint the indicators every year.

17 Aug 13:15

“Mr. and Mrs. Karsy, an inventive and original “team” on the...

“Mr. and Mrs. Karsy, an inventive and original “team” on the variety stage, have created a new and extrodinary musical instrument which is known as the Giant Myriophone (Myriphon). It is the work of a genius and when under full swing produces music similar to that of a full string band. Only two persons are required to produce this immense volume of sound. “The Myriophone has the appearance of a large screen, with a number of wheels fitted on the front. These wheels have strings fitted on them and look much like bicycle wheels. They are set in motion by four lusty stage hands concealed in the rear, and the performers who have a small stick of wood in each hand touch the strings, thus making a note, which can be prolonged to any length. The Myriophone consists of twenty-five discs, each with eighty strings, making 2,000 in all. The sounding boards are made of the same wood as is used in pianos. Regular piano strings are used.” (via » Karsy’s Giant Myriphon)

17 Aug 13:30

Fun With Food Trends

by James Hamblin

This week The New York Times most-read box kept populating with graphical analyses of food trends.

Food comes and goes, and sometimes stays the same, and sometimes changes subtly for years until it becomes this whole other thing. Why? Neil Irwin of the Times The Upshot blog sets up the dilemma with an explanation of how food trends work:

[Foods] start out being served in forward-thinking, innovative restaurants in New York and other capitals of gastronomy. Over time, they become more and more mainstream, becoming a cliché on big-city menus, showing up in high-end restaurants in smaller cities, and eventually finding their way to neighborhood bistros in the hinterlands and chain restaurants across the country.

In the first example, "Fried calamari made a voyage that dozens of foods have made over the years," Irwin wrote. "Now, of course, every strip-mall pizza place and suburban Applebee’s serves fried calamari."

If you are forward-thinking individual living in a capital of gastronomy and you're still eating calamari, check yourself. Also, fresh guacamole is out. Irwin saw it being made table-side at a Chili's, the product of a "voyage from a (once) trendy New York place to Chili’s."

"Goat cheese was nowhere in the public discussion as recently as the 1970s," Irwin wrote in a separate but parallel Times post, "and now appears on the menu of seemingly every half-decent sandwich joint and neighborhood bistro in America."  

So, the challenge posed: "Can we quantify when these food trends emerged, and how quickly they made the transition from urban elites to mass acceptance?"

Yes, and the Times made these charts, among others.

Popularity of Various Foods, 1980-2013

Number of New York Times articles that mention said foods, 1980-2013 (The New York Times)

The entirety of all of the data for these trends is based on mentions in The New York Times. All of it. Transparently, yes. Note the caveat:

"If anything, given the paper’s New York-centric restaurant coverage, we might expect it to be a bit ahead of the curve relative to a broader sample of newspapers from across the country."

Which made me wonder, what other trends did The New York Times start? Using the same database of articles, I did a few analyses of my own.

Popularity of Pants

Percentage of New York Times articles that mention "pants," 1851-2013

It's interesting to see how pants really took off around 1970, lulled in the early 1980s, and really came into their own in 2010. 

Of course, the media landscape is dynamic and sinister, and the Times was thinner at various points in the past. Fewer articles necessarily means fewer mentions of any given thing. So what if you look at the graph as a percentage of articles that make mention of pants?

Popularity of Pants

Percentage of New York Times articles that mention "pants," 1851-2013

Pants still seem to have clearly fallen out of favor in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

I conjecture in this case that New Yorkers took to wearing pants in the 1860s, and then the trend descended to the flyover states, every ma and pa wearing them. So the City renounced them. Until pants fell out of favor in the backwaters, and were reclaimed by the City in the 1970s.

Or maybe it only works for food.

Popularity of Fondue

Percentage of New York Times articles that mention "fondue," 1851-2014

I guess this fall, fondue is a fon-don't.

I've been waiting to use that one. Waiting until fondue went out of style. Which I thought it did a while ago? Actually, I have no idea what foods are cool, ever.

Popularity of Ketchup

Number of New York Times articles that mention "ketchup," 1851-2013

Popularity of Gluten

Number of New York Times articles that mention "gluten," 1851-2013

Gluten is, you know, a natural plant protein that has been around since the beginning of plants. It is now the driver of billions of dollars in misplaced diet-minding and concern, and a vague notion that gluten-free means healthy. Thank you, New York Times.

And of course there's a broader point to be made about America here as a cultural melting pot. Irwin's analysis:

There is a broader point to be made about America as a cultural melting pot. After all, hamburgers and hot dogs are both Americanized versions of German dishes, and they have now been supplanted by foods with origins in Italy and Mexico. But rather than consider these themes further, we are now getting hungry and have a few ideas for solving that problem.

That's where the article ends.

It really is great that there is searchable database of the entire history of The New York Times. As you can see, I've spent a fair amount of time playing with it this weekend. You can click through to the actual archival articles, too. (In case you're curious about the mention of fondue in 1860, see "The Irish Problem.") All of this gratuitous knowledge is possible because of the Internet.

Popularity of the Internet

Percentage of New York Times articles that mention "Internet," 1851-2013

Oh, no. Can nothing stay popular forever?

17 Aug 14:21

Missouri Gov. Nixon 'Not Happy' Police Released Robbery Video

by Caitlin MacNeal

This post has been updated.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) on Sunday said he did not approve of the decision by police to release the video that allegedly shows Michael Brown robbing a convenience store.

"We were unaware they were going to release it it," Nixon said on ABC's "This Week" about the video. "We certainly were not happy with that being released, especially in the way that it was. It appeared to cast dispersions (sic) on a young man that was gunned down in the street. It made emotions raw."

Read More →
17 Aug 08:00


15 Aug 14:50

The Word and the world

by J.S. and L.P.
Russian Sledges

via multitask suicide

Catholicism in Asia

POPE FRANCIS is on a five-day visit to South Korea, the first trip by a pontiff to Asia since 1999. Catholicism is increasingly popular in the country and the region. Since 1970, the proportion of Catholics in South Korea has risen four-fold to 11%, some 5m people. That is in contrast to the global average, which has fallen slightly to 17% as traditionally Catholic countries—such as the Philippines—become more secular and people turn to newer Christian movements. (In South Korea there are twice as many evangelicals as Catholics; in China three times as many.) The decline in these countries is offset by growth elsewhere, particularly in Asia. Catholics in India and China are a small share of the population, but they number 19m and 17m respectively, behind only the Philippines. And they are predicted to increase by 2m-3m by 2020.

30 May 23:51

black on black

by sallie oleta barbee
Russian Sledges

I continue to think about sewing pants

Mood Fabrics Black distressed denim and black jersey tee

Hey everybuddy! I know these pictures look suspiciously a lot like my last post - but I swear it's all new makes! I feel like every year around this time I get the urge to make myself a new pair of jeans - and once I go down the jeans making route, well, it's basically a straight shot to Wardrobe-Basic-Ville!  After all, one can make only so many fun dresses before you're left standing in front of your closet on a random Tuesday morning, naked, with nothing to wear! (No? Only me?)

So for this months Mood Sewing Network make, I bring you the ever-so-humble jeans and a t-shirt combo - in all black. Because black is always the new black. This was mildly inspired by the fact that earlier this month I listened to Just Kids by Patti Smith on audiobook, read by none other than Patti Smith herself. Despite the fact that I was already pretty familiar with Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe's story (I'm pretty sure it's a requirement for every art school kid), it was still a pretty engrossing read... er.. listen? And it definitely led me down a rabbit-hole of image searches where I became pretty obsessed with Patti and Robert's grungy, rock & roll style.

But let's talk about sewing!

Mood Fabrics Black distressed denim and black jersey tee

This is my fourth pair of handmade jeans (here, here, and the ones that started it all, here), and I swear they just keep getting better! For this pair I used a black, medium weight denim with a bit of stretch by Theory from Mood Fabrics online. Unfortunately this particular denim is now sold out, but I highly recommend the Theory denim. I've used it for one other pair of jeans and the stuff holds up well. I always like to order swatches of my denim before buying, because it's a bit hard to tell the difference online. That way I can pick out the weight, color, and amount of stretch I like best.  This denim had some stretch for comfort, but wasn't so stretchy that it didn't feel like denim, if you know what I mean. True confessions: I've actually been wearing these jeans for the past three days by the time I got around to photographing them, and the denim hasn't stretched out much at all!

Mood Fabrics Black distressed denim
Mood Fabrics Black distressed denim

Also - distressing!!! Denim. Distressing denim. I feel like people generally fall into two camps when it comes to jeans: The Purists (I will take my denim raw, and dark, and made the way my forefathers made it) and The Fashion Followers (Colored denim?! Let's do it!! Printed denim?!?! Where do I sign up!! Denim so torn up and distressed it's practically a crime that their selling it?!?! Gimme some of dat!!!)(Also, I couldn't think of a better name for this camp, suggestions are welcome). And then there's those of us that fall in between. I appreciate some fresh raw denim, so stiff it'll chafe your thighs the first month of wearing, but every now and then I get envious of those cool kids with their store-bought denim all perfectly ripped and faded... 

So I decided to try my hand at some light distressing of my own. After all,  distressing denim is just a fun embellishment! Obviously for the home sewer, industrial distressing techniques are a bit scarce, but you'd be surprised what you can do with a few basic tools. For my pair I used a hammer and a metal plate to hammer each seam, then I took a dremmel tool to the edges to wear them down and fray certain areas. It was great stress relief! You know, in case the yoga and meditation ain't working - there's nothing quite like destroying something to cure what ails 'ya! 

Mood Fabrics Black distressed denim and black jersey tee

For the pattern I used my ol' reliable - the Built By Wendy pants pattern from SewU, which is so altered at this point that I should just call it mine. On my last pair of jeans that I made I had some issues with the dreaded leg twist (that spoiler of all jeans-making fun!) If you're not familiar, leg twist is when one or both legs ... well... twist! It's mildly irritating both visually, and physically for the wearer. It's often the result of inaccurate cutting or sewing, and seems to be very prevalent with jeans due to the twill weave of the fabric - which tends to have built in warp - or skew (according to my google searches). So this time I took a few precautionary steps to prevent this: 1) I traced and cut all pieces on a single layer instead of folded in half (this also results in greater fabric yield) and 2) I made sure that all the leg pieces were cut from the same area of fabric - meaning I lined them all up, going in the same direction, horizontally across the fabric. I actually remembered to take a picture while I was working to show you what I'm talking about:

My yardage was wide enough that all four leg pieces could be placed this way. This way if the twill weave was to skew, they would all skew together! Anyway, it worked! Nothing but perfectly straight seams here! If you want to read more about leg twist - this is a good source.

Mood Fabrics Black distressed denim
Mood Fabrics Black distressed denim

I realized I've never really shown you guys the insides of one of my pairs of jeans. Not that they're all that exciting, but I know how nosy all of us sewists are when it comes to construction! All of my topstitching was done in black topstitching thread, which unfortunately means that it's not super visible. This is a shame, because this just might be my best topstitching on a pair of jeans yet! Also, fun fact - I don't use a twin needle to do any of my topstitching. I've broken way too many twin needles during jeans sewing that I've just given up. I usually draw out my topstitching by hand, and use my chalk lines as a guideline.

I serged all the raw edges since this is stretch denim, and because I was too lazy to do flat felled seams. And the pocket lining is just some pretty floral fabric that I keep around for just such a purpose.

Mood Fabrics Black distressed denim
Mood Fabrics Black distressed denim
Mood Fabrics Black distressed denim and black jersey tee

Because jeans sewing can be such a time-consuming project (especially if you're like me and only own one sewing machine - you're constantly changing out thread!) I wanted to pair it with an instant-gratification sew. And nothing says 'instant-gratification' to me quite like a knit t-shirt!

Mood Fabrics Black viscose jersey tee

After seeing Heather Lou's super sexy version of Deer & Doe's Plantain Tee I decided I had to jump on that bandwagon. Also, free t-shirt pattern!?! Yes please! I used this drapey silk viscose jersey from Mood, and, man oh man, is this stuff ever luxurious to wear! Silky and smooth and light, with a lovely fluidity. Even though this pattern calls for a more stable knit, I felt like the drapey quality of this silk viscose would actually pair well with the subtle flared shape of the Plantain tee (and, also, I was copying Heather... duh... clearly I can't get enough of that girl). I stabilized the shoulder seams with a bit of clear elastic, and sewed all major seams on my serger. The sleeve and shirt hems were both simply folded under and finished with a double needle.

Mood Fabrics Black viscose jersey tee

And to thank you guys for putting up with another extra long post, I'll leave you with this gem:


Not really sure what I was going for there! But ya know... I like to get a little crazy for the camera every now and then. And yes, this was in front of a stranger's house. A stranger who came home while I was taking these. I have no shame...

Well, anyway! I've been wearing both of these makes a ton since they came hot off of the sewing machine! I think that's a sign of a great basic! What about you guys - got any wardrobe basics planned for the near future?

05 Aug 06:00


by Heather Lou

Closet Case Files: Cutting Table DIY

As promised, today I’ll be sharing how to make the greatest cutting table of all time. I may be a tad biased since I built this sucker with my own two hands, but after a few days of woodworking research I think this is one of the easiest, cheapest ways to build a mobile, durable cutting table that actually looks good.

If you sew a lot, there are few things in the world more desirable than a sturdy table you can work at without stooping over. I have lower back issues from years of sitting at a desk and postponing yoga, and my dining room table was slowly killing me and my body. A comfortable working height is 36 inches for most people (hence why it’s the standard counter height in kitchens) so that’s what we’re aiming for here, although the shorter or taller among you may want to tweak the height accordingly. Just keep in mind that stools are designed to be used at 36″ and 42″ countertops, so sitting may be awkward if you stray too much from those dimensions.

The great thing about this project is that it requires minimal tools. You will have the bulk of the cutting done at your hardware store, which makes it much easier to get stuff home. This tutorial will provide you with a table that is 3 feet wide by 6 feet long. If you want something smaller, you’ll have to tweak the dimensions. In case anyone wants a different take, here is the tutorial I used for reference, although with substantial modifications.

I had a few pieces that were a little too big so hopefully you can learn from my mistakes if you use the following guidelines. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • an electric drill with a drill bit to match your screws
  • an electric sander (if you don’t have one you can get them for around $30)
  • a level (I use a level app on my iphone)
  • measuring tape
  • a handsaw (you can get cheap ones for around $10 and they are a handy thing to have in your toolbox)


  • one sheet of 3/4″ plywood for the tabletop cut down to 3 feet by 6 feet. I used spruce. You can also use pine or maple – just make sure you like the grain. Higher grades of wood are more pricey. This tabletop will overlap each side by about 2″.
  • one sheet of 3/8″ plywood in the same wood as above cut to 67″ x 31″. This will be the bottom level of your table. Make sure to find a sheet that isn’t cupping.
  • (6 x) 2×4′s that are 8′ long in spruce or pine. You will ask all of them to be cut at 5′-4″ – this will give you 6 pieces to act as your long support posts, and 6 additional pieces at roughly 32″ long. 4 of these will act as your vertical legs – the other 2 pieces should be cut down to 31″ to provide the additional horizontal support for your castors at the very bottom. Make sure your 2 x 4′s are nice and straight – you can eyeball them by looking down each side, or ask someone for help. Bowed 2 x 4′s do not a straight table make.
  • (1 x) 2×4 that is 10′ long in spruce or pine. Ask for 4 cuts of 24″ each (the saw takes off a little so you want to use a slightly longer piece of wood). These will brace your legs.


  • (4 x) heavy duty castors, 2 of them locking. I bought 3″ castors that had an overall  height of almost 4″. This plus your legs and the tabletop will give you a total height of just over 36″.
  • (8 x) galvanized steel rigid ties exactly like this. You can find them in the hardware section of the Home Depot. These are great because they let you join all your 2 x 4′s easily and accurately. I also think they look industrial and awesome.
  • A large box of #8 1 1/4″ long wood screws. Get at least 200 – each rigid tie takes 20 screws.
  • A small box of #8 3″ long wood screws, at least 20. You will use these to secure your long and short support posts.
  • 1 can of  stain, if you want it. I am in love with Minwax White Wash Pickle Stain – it lets the grain show through while lightening the wood. And it looks Scandinavian and sexy as hell. I don’t suggest paint for this project. It’s not a good finish for tabletops that get a lot of use – it will look terrible within a few months.
  • 1 can of water based polyurethane. I suggest Minwax Polycrylic; it dries totally clear. Most polyurethanes have a yellow tint.
  • A couple of foam brushes.
  • 3 kinds of sandpaper. At least 3 sheets each of 120, 150 and 180 grit. You will use each one at different times in the sanding/sealing process.
  • a dust mask
  • lint free cloths

Closet Case Files- Cutting Table DIY

All in, the supplies will cost around $200, not including any of the tools. I thought this was very reasonable, especially after looking into getting something custom made (OUCH!) It took me a day and a half to complete the project, a worthwhile investment to save my weary back muscles.


  • Once you get everything home, you’ll need a good place to start sanding. I used my balcony. If you do it inside, try to seal off one room of your house because you will get dust EVERYWHERE! Start with your 2 x 4 pieces. Sand each long side with your 120 grit paper. You may have to work a little harder to sand off any of the markings on the wood. The only bottom and top edges you need to worry about are the ones for the 2 x 31″ pieces. These are the only edges you will see in this project. You basically want to sand off any splinters and rough edges and get a somewhat smooth finish but don’t go crazy. 2 x 4′s are notoriously imperfect.
  • Finish sanding the 2 x 4′s with your 150 grit paper. This prepares the wood for the stain.
  • Wipe all your wood down with a barely damp cloth to remove the dust. Once they are dry, use your foam brush to apply stain to all the long sides, rubbing it off with a dry cloth as you go. The only short sides you need to worry about staining are on your 2 x 31″ pieces.
  • Let your stain dry for a few hours and sand them again, this time with the 180 grit paper. It smooths down the wood that expanded and got rough from the stain.
  • Wipe with a barely damp cloth again and use a fresh foam brush to apply your sealer. Check when you’re done each piece to smooth out any drips. You’ll want 3 coats total; sand again with the 180 grit after the first and second coats to smooth out any bumps. It seems like a lot of sanding but it actually goes by quite quickly! I wrap my foam brushes in saran wrap in between coats so they don’t dry out. Pro tip: Blare some classic rock and feel like a badass while using your sander.
Closet Case Files- Cutting Table DIY

Sanded, stained and sealed 2 x 4′s.

  • You are going to repeat the exact same sanding process for your two sheets of plywood, but you only have to finish one side of each, since the other will be mostly invisible. Before you sand your 3/8″ plywood, cut each corner so that the plywood will hug your 2 x 4 legs with a handsaw. Be sure to sand the edges of the plywood well, since you don’t want your lovely fabric to catch on snags!
  • Now that you’ve got everything sanded, stained and sealed, we’re ready for the fun part. ASSEMBLY! Before we get started, you may want to remove the stickers from the rigid ties with some Goo Gone. The Goo Gone will also help remove any grime or oil on the steel – wash them with soap and water and let them dry.

Closet Case Files- Cutting Table DIY-3

  • Lay your 24″ pieces on the ground and thread your 32″ legs through the rigid ties. Add two long supports so you can make sure everything lines up.
  • Start screwing in the 1 1/4″ screws with your power drill. Make sure you go in nice and straight, and back off the drill when they tighten up so you don’t thread your screws. Don’t forget to screw the inside corners too.

Closet Case Files- Cutting Table DIY-4

  • Once your legs are screwed in, you’ll want to attach the bottom 2 x 24′ bracings. They should start 6″ from the bottom of your legs. Use a measuring tape, pencil and level to keep everything straight.

Closet Case Files- Cutting Table DIY-5

  • Attach the remaining long supports, using your 3″ screws.
  • Drill your 32″ cross bracing to the inside of each set of legs, making sure your 2×4 is level with the bottom of your legs.
  • Screw in your castors. In my case, I had one castor edge hanging out, but 3 screws per castor should be plenty if the same thing happens to you.
  • Flip that baby right side up. Shed a single, proud tear. And then turn up the classic rock.

Closet Case Files- Cutting Table DIY-7

Closet Case Files- Cutting Table DIY-6

You can get a little lazy sanding the edges of the 2 x 4′s that you know won’t be visible, take it from me.

  • To get your 3/8″ sheet of plywood in, you’ll have to do some creative angling but don’t worry, it will fit.
  • Lay your tabletop on the frame. I didn’t want to secure the table in case I wanted to pull it out and create room for my legs when I’m working, and also for ease of dis-assembly if I ever move to a bigger studio. If you’re staying put, you can use construction adhesive to glue it down, but I found using some silicone furniture pads available at the dollar store prevent it from moving around too much.

Closet Case Files- Cutting Table DIY-8

  • Finally, you can attach a bar to the sides if you’d like to hang your tools. I got a silver one with some S hooks at Ikea.

Closet Case Files- Cutting Table DIY-13

And that’s it folks! It’s a few days of work, but I cannot even begin to tell you how much this table has transformed my sewing practice. I don’t dread cutting anymore, and it’s a pleasure to unfold silk and watch it slip around on my beautifully varnished tabletop.

Closet Case Files- Cutting Table DIY-12

And if your friends and family think you’re a sewing superstar now, wait until you tell them you BUILT this!

Happy making!

Closet Case Files: Cutting Table DIY

15 Aug 13:51

Japanese Fabric Kokka Nani Iro Itsura Textile Jun Kan - C by MissMatatabi

Russian Sledges

multitask suicide, let's open a #dark sewing shop

9.75 USD

nani IRO Itsura Textile Jun Kan by Naomi Ito for Kokka

55% linen, 45% cotton

1/2 metre (50cm x 110cm wide : 19" x 43" wide)

For continuous yardage please change the quantity at the checkout.

Parcels are shipped via small packet international airmail from Japan.

Japan Post does not provide tracking numbers for small packet airmail.

A shipping upgrade with a tracking number and insurance can be purchased
for an additional $5. If you would like to upgrade to registered small packet airmail
please let me know.

Thank you very much.

All images © by Naomi Ito from ATELIER to nani IRO & KOKKA co.,ltd

08 Aug 14:11

Mercure dress • vintage 1950s dress • gray 50s lace dress by DearGolden

Russian Sledges


345,00 USD

Vintage 1950s pewter gray lace dress with subtle dusty pink under layer, pretty sweetheart neckline, fitted waist, full skirt with wide plisse hem and metal back zipper. Shown with gray ribbon at the waist (included).


fits like: small
bust: 32-34"
waist: 26"
hip: free
length: 47"
brand/maker: n/a
condition: excellent

To ensure a good fit, please read the sizing guide:

➸ More vintage dresses ✩

➸ Visit the shop ✩

➸ instagram | deargolden
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➸ | deargolden
➸ blog |

13 Aug 14:00

The Temporary (?) Shutter: The State Has Seized M3 in Davis Square

by Rachel Leah Blumenthal
Russian Sledges

I received a distraught email about this

[Photo: Cal Bingham]

M3, a Southern restaurant in Somerville's Davis Square, is closed — at least for now. It has been seized by the state, reports Boston Restaurant Talk. In the Davis Square LiveJournal community, Ron Newman also shares the news, adding that a notice at the restaurant indicates that M3 allegedly owes landlord Christos Poutahidis $25,238. According to some recent Yelp reviews, the restaurant had stopped accepting credit cards at least as far back as May.

M3 opened in June 2012, featuring Southern-style "meat and three" dishes — an entree with three "fixings," plus a biscuit or cornbread. Located in a small space on the outskirts of Davis Square, it's in a strip of establishments that recently lost Kickass Cupcakes, which moved further down Highland Avenue before closing this month. It's unclear when or if M3 might reopen, and all has been quiet on its Facebook and Twitter accounts for quite some time.
· M3 has been seized by the state [BRT]
· M3 restaurant closed due to seizure [DSLJ]
· All coverage of M3 on Eater [~EBOS~]

17 Mar 18:00

Shoe Bags + Self Interview

by Taylor
Russian Sledges

and this

gonna do this for sure

blue shoe bags

So, I made some shoe bags.


I want to protect my nice shoes from dust and cat hair when I’m not wearing them. I also want to protect clean clothes from dirty shoe soles when packing my shoes in a suitcase.

Shouldn’t nice shoes come with shoe bags from the manufacturer?

Some companies include them, some don’t. Plus, sometimes I buy used shoes, and used shoes don’t always come with bags.

Aren’t used shoes gross?

When they are taken care of properly and in good condition, I don’t think so. I would rather have a really nice pair of used shoes than a crummy pair of new shoes for the same money. Full-grain leather shoes with the type of construction that allows for soles to be replaced can be expensive, and shoes don’t grow on trees. Really nice shoes can be found at a fraction of the full retail price at thrift stores and eBay. Do some research, figure out your size, and be ready when a good deal comes along.

shoe bags with shoes inside

If they don’t grow on trees, where do shoes come from?

Many shoes “grow” on cows, and the animal lover in me isn’t quite sure what to think about this. I know, humans have been wearing animal skin for eons, and at certain points in human history, our lives probably depended on using animal skin for protection.

But, we live in a modern world with alternatives and synthetic leather, wouldn’t those be better than using real leather?

Synthetic materials seem (I don’t know for certain) as if they would be bad for the environment to produce (I do recognize that large scale livestock production probably isn’t so good for the environment either). But, synthetic materials don’t break in or wear like nice leather. Leather may crease, but synthetics crack, and peel, and look awful…meh….first world problems…but at least we wouldn’t be killing animals for their skin. Like I said, I’m not sure what to think about this. I guess if we are killing the cows for food, we might as well use the hides for shoes…?

shoe bags closed with shoes inside

Isn’t this a blog about sewing menswear, why so much shoe talk?

Because I like shoes. And if I’m spending all this time making clothes for myself, my shoe game had better be decent. Part of dressing like a grown up is wearing grown up shoes.

Why don’t you make shoes too?

Because my wife won’t let me. The machines are too big and expensive. The learning curve would be huge, and I don’t have time.

If you buy decent quality shoes to begin with and take good care of them, they will last a long time. You will probably save money in the long run. Put them in shoe bags and use shoe trees when you aren’t wearing them. Also, give your shoes a proper cleaning/conditioning when they need it. Nobody likes stinky feet or stinky shoes.

28 May 18:35

Canvas Shoulder Bag

by Taylor
Russian Sledges

also gonna sew bags

Canvas Shoulder Bag, front

After experimenting with backpacks last summer (Roll top 1, Roll top 2), I got hooked on bag design. My roll top packs have been good travel companions, but occasionally there are times when I need something a little smaller with easy access zipper pockets. Filson makes some of the best shoulder bags on the planet, and naturally I looked to them for inspiration. If I didn’t enjoy making my own gear, I would be saving my money for a Filson briefcase style bag instead.

Canvas Shoulder Bag, pocket

I used 18oz canvas, heavy duty Riri zippers, cotton webbing and seam tape throughout. The front exterior pocket has places for pens, keys, and other small items. Within the main compartment is a sleeve for an iPad, phone pocket, and two slightly deeper billow style pockets for larger objects.

Canvas Shoulder Bag, side

On the backside is a flat, snap closure pocket for a newspaper, magazine, boarding pass, etc. The shoulder strap is adjustable and removable if I want to carry it more like a briefcase. The bottoms of bags and packs usually show signs of wear first, so I decided to brush the bottom panel (not shown) with a thick layer of latex for durability.

Canvas Shoulder Bag, back

Anyone who follows me on Instagram has seen pictures of this project in progress. Here is a little collage of iPhone photos that start with the initial drawing, move to the pattern making process, then pattern testing and construction, and lastly the final bag.


From here I think I am moving on from bags and packs for a little while and back to clothing. I know I’ve talked about making a men’s jacket/blazer several times, and even started work on it a long time ago. It’s time to actually do it. So, that’s my plan. I’m currently looking for a jacket drafting system that I can use to create the pattern. Once I find one, it will probably take me most of the summer (and beyond) to get the fit right and properly learn how to put a jacket together.