You might experience downtime!

The Brass & Mortar Downtime Cafe is all about downtime. And there might actually be downtime at the downtime cafe. That is because I have just purchased a new hosting account and will be transferring everything there! This includes my domain registrar (which I might take up to 45 days if you can believe that) and getting my new website actually built and functional. So if you see some phantom postings showing up on Google, you’ll know why!

In addition, I am attempting to recover as much from my old WordPress Backup as possible, but it dates back to 2012. This means everything I talked about after my move to the new workshop is long gone. But that’s okay since not much happened! It’s sad though, because David Coffin actually responded to one of my posts about the differences between Welt and Jetted pockets! That’s a shame, but hopefully he’ll respond again to something in the future. It would be amazing to talk to him. 🙂


The Prince Albert Frock Coat

Double-breasted Prince Albert Frock Coat ; Button 3, show 1.
From Modern Tailor, Outfitter and Clothier 1936 Draught.
Taken at Cobb Manson, Virginia City, NV
by Gary Weinheimer Photography

Measurements: Chest= 39″ ; waist = 30″ ; x-back = 8″ ; natural waist length 16.5″ ; custom draughted pattern. Constructed with worsted flannel wool cloth, flax canvas, horsehair chestpieces, beetled linen, quilted bemberg linings, bengaline facings, cloth-covered buttons, hand-felled with silk finishing thread.

Don’t ask me why WordPress is stretching out the top gallery image but it’s annoying the heck out of me.

Upcoming Projects

A couple friends and I are planning on making our first videos together for my learning website. I’ve gone through what the premise is of the tailoring tutorials campaign and they’re both fully on board! This is really exciting. For once in a long time I don’t feel alone in this. This week we’re going to get a whiteboard going to work on some storyboards. The project we’re going to work on is a suit. We’re going to go through the initial consultation all the way to the finishing stitches.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the website I had is no longer up. I wasn’t using it enough to justify renewing my web hosting subscription right now. This is a good time to reconnoiter and figure out the direction I want to take with the site, so for now this free blog will be just fine. My previous blog entries, for the most part, are backed up and at some point once the new site is up I’ll look into porting them.

That means my Patreon page is also in need of some revamping since most of the images were linked from my web host, so I’ll figure that one out. In the meantime I’ve simplified it, and I need to get back in touch with my backers. It’s been a long long time since they’ve heard from me, but I’ve just been hesitant to make an update without anything going on again and again.

I’m also going through my folder dedicated to everything tailoring and reorganizing that. If it were a bookshelf there would be dust bunnies all over the files—it’s been that long since I’ve really touched them. I also have a slew of half-finished projects that are either so out of date now that I wonder if I should even continue them, or if I do, who would they even be for?

My Etsy store is what I’ve been paying most attention to. I recently reactivated the store from Vacation Mode and almost instantly I started getting a few inquiries. The store, I feel, is more appropriate for items other than actual custom-made clothing. Etsy is just not equipped heavily enough to have listings for full bespoke orders. What’s really needed is a site that allows for full consultations and online ordering of commission crafts and art. But until then it seems to work best for simpler things like my pressing bucks and tailoring tools. I’ve been playing with the notion of making bespoke leather thimbles. Very simple to make, but they need to be perfected more before I go about charging for them.

Not sure what else to say. More to come, I guess!

What is Steampunk Tailoring?

I’ve discovered during the years that most modern fashion… sucks. This was originally a quick reply to customer, but it quickly turned into one of my rants. What a perfect opportunity to introduce my new blog.

Someone just showed me an eBay listing of an “artisan” men’s designer piece for $2,000 USD. Someone took a greatcoat pattern, made a poor, unstructured replica, ran it through the spin cycle and called it an art statement. Well, if they’re trying to say today’s trade is in a state of ruin, job well done. It’s hard not to act curmudgeonly the more educated I become on the men’s clothing history. The chain of tradition is broken, and we’re left with overpriced baggy sacks. These sacks are the ruins of ancient ornate temples built by craftsmen with skills higher than any fashion designer holds today, and we’re picking up the pieces from dusty drawings and relics.


There are many things things that caused this to happen, but I can point out three, and they’re all tied in with each other. Loftiness, Ignorance, and Economy of Scale.

I’ve witnessed the uncompromising attitudes of some established tradesmen. There is this cultural edict that what has been established is so sacrosanct it is taboo to suggest change. There’s a lack of innovation in men’s tailoring. The latest stuff to come out of trade shows is pitiful. A misplaced pocket square here; an extra seam there. Apart from the talented and esteemed Davide Taub, I have not seen that much innovation. And rightly so? I mean, we have a fortress to uphold, dammit! The drills of Abercrombie & Fitch are reverberating through our walls! We must fortify! The attitude trickles down to the enthusiast community with attitudes so lofty they’ve reached marbleshitting status.

But it’s not like the market isn’t trying to reach the average consumer, though. The Savile Row Association has been trying desperately for ten years now to get the average Joe to enter the fortress. Meanwhile, I see so much confusion and chaos about basic things like styles. There really ought to be an online Tailoring Encyclopedia. In fact, I think I’ll make one. Oh wait, that’s been on my to-do list for… years. Hm.

We have the technology. Now we just need the will and manpower to use it. That is what I think is going to help revolutionize things. By making the trade accessible we can turn the tide, but we need to keep an open mind if it’s to happen. Before the Justaucorp, noblemen wore Doublets and Trunkhose. Are we waiting for another explosion to happen? That’s what it looks like. I mean half of these garments LOOK like they were in an explosion.

This is what I think Steampunk is about. People have begun to appreciate what once was. There are two camps in steampunk: the bargain bin divers and the fashion divas. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, either. Whichever side you’re on, you can’t deny there is energy. If this enthusiasm can be harnessed and focused, perhaps some real change can occur.