I can taste the leather

Yes, that is a “White Chicks” reference. After the fiasco from the store I visited yesterday, I finally got around dropping by the other leather supplies shop I have been keeping tab for a long time. I had a doctor’s appointment again and after it was confirmed that I still have a mild dextroscoliosis, I walked all the way to the store. I thought that I was already ready to work from scratch.

Yesterday, I had a little saddle stitch practice with a thrifted leather belt, and I eventually got the technique. Although I’ve read Al Stohlman’s instructions several times, I still accidentally pierce my thread while pulling the second needle. It usually happens when I haven’t waxed the thread enough, or I was just not paying close attention to how I pull the first thread. By-the-book instruction mentions I should redo the stitch when it happens, but being the stubborn person that I was, I just cut the fiber and I end up with jagged thread on some parts. Here is how it looked from the pre-pierced belt:

Saddle stitch practice on a leather belt

Saddle stitch practice on a leather belt

The back of the belt. It does not look that bad, non?

The back of the belt. It does not look that bad, non?

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Ready to learn saddle stitch

Marikina Clock Tower

Marikina Clock Tower

Not so long ago, I wrote about a project I wanted to embark upon. But who am I kidding? It happened more than two years ago as I even wrote about it after I finished with my comprehensive examinations. I worked from home today because I had a follow-up medical check-up with my doctor in Marikina. I thought that I might as well drop by the leather supplies stores again since I was already in the area.

(Sorry for the bad quality photos, as I have mistakenly left my digital camera in the apartment. I had also forgotten my HMO card and it was almost a disaster. Good thing I have my account number listed on my phone.)

Giant shoe automobile, shoe car Marikina City

That’s one big patent footwear — a shoe automobile!

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Tailor-made: the chop

The last haircut in the salon I had was before the year changed to 2013. From that time until last week, I just go to the barbershop to have the sides shaved again. Of course, the top part will eventually grow out extremely long that my hair just begins to have a life of its own. I had no plans of having it cut today, but as I started feeling uncomfortable, I had to do something.

Getting this mop-of-a-hair chopped

My hair looked like a field of grass blown by the wind

I think that I’m also beginning to take a leaf from my mother’s book. When she goes out, she makes sure that she’ll do A LOT of tasks in a single day to make getting out more fruitful. That was also what I did today. After getting a haircut, I went to the Marikina City Public Market to buy some fabric. I’ve been wanting to have two more pants made from the same tailor who did the two black pants I use for work. I wanted a pair of darker khaki pants (from the one I already have) and another pair or navy blue ones. I think I can use my other pair of shoes, other than the black 8-hole Doc Martens and Red Wing boots if I have these two pair of pants with me. I have no idea of particular fabric names, so I just wore a pair of khaki shorts made from the fabric I hoped to find.

An afternoon in Marikina City Public Market

Khaki and blue cotton twill at Php 190 a yard

In the section selling dry goods, I went to the second floor and approached right away the first stall selling fabric. I asked if they have a fabric in khaki, similar to the shorts I was wearing but they told me that they did not have oxford. So it was news to me that I was looking for an oxford fabric. They only have cotton twill so I left looking for this oxford fabric in another stall. I think most stalls were having their siesta because there was a long row of stalls with no people looking after their merchandise. Then at the far end, I approached another stall and asked for oxford fabric. The old lady responded they have none, so I asked if they have a fabric similar to the one I have, holding out the hem of my shorts. To my surprise, she loudly exclaimed “Eh cotton twill naman ‘to eh!” , so I mentioned that the other stall said otherwise. She then retorted “Ang boba nila kamo!”, which left be gobsmacked. O_O Anyway, I ended up buying a yard and quarter for both khaki and navy blue fabric and immediately left for the tailor.

Where the magic happens --- my favorite tailor in Marikina

The tailor, Mang Joel, getting the measurement of my other pair of black pants

Arriving at the tailor’s shop, he immediately recognized me and asked if I have my fabric with me. I got them out of the paper bag and I told him that he can pattern it after another pair of pants he made for me a year ago, which I also brought with me. I was told that I will be getting the two pairs next Sunday. I paid half of the total price and hoping that he’d nail the pants again. I only trust Mang Joel when it comes to my tailoring needs. I seldom buy from the mall, unless the fabric is exceptional, but for everyday needs, I just have them tailor-made. My legs are quite big and I’m not exactly tall so mall-distributed pants eventually end up being altered. The best thing about this, I spend less having them made than buying them in the mall. For example, the fabric I bought earlier costs Php 190/yard and I always need a yard and quarter for a pair of pants. So for Php 237.50 (fabric) and Php 400 fee for the tailor, I just shelled out Php 637.50. I highly doubt I can find the same price on the mall, which usually needs alteration of the length and that costs me around Php 100.

On another note, I just found out that Mon’s father has permitted Lot to pursue her studies in UPLB! I’m so delighted and I can only imagine how happy Mon and Lot were upon getting this confirmation. There’s no more need to fight our way through for reconsideration! Congratulations, Lot, for being a fellow Iskolar ng Bayan! Welcome to the University of the Philippines and I hope you’ll have a great time being an Iska!

And before I forget, tomorrow will be the first day of comprehensive examinations for the second semester takers! It seems only yesterday when I was also faced with same daunting task to finish graduate school. I’m sincerely hopeful that my classmates and friends taking the first part (of three) will have a calm mind and not panic with the time and pressure of answering correctly (not to mention, ballpens breaking down or hands shaking from hours of writing). I will be going to UP tomorrow to wait for them to finish and give some moral support, and hopefully those who listened to me and actually sought my advice will help others as well in the happy event that they pass. Pay it forward, guys. =) In bocca al lupo!

Upcoming projects: leathercraft

Saddle stitch on leather

The impeccable and virtually indestructible saddle stitch on leather

(Photo from britishblades.com)

I’m so glad that tomorrow will be the third and final part of my comprehensive examinations! I have lots of things to do in mind and the prospect of finally carrying them out makes me a bit giddy due to excitement. One project I hope to do was dabbling on leathercraft!

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