Mister Freedom® CPO Shirt & Naval Chinos, limited “SAN PABLO” Liberty edition. Surplus collection mfsc Fall 2018. Made in Japan.
What we have here is our elusive 2009 blue shirt pattern, familiar to the MF® OGs, and its Naval Clothing Tailor khaki-legged friend, both given the GB denim treatment.
After an epic 2016 apparition in a smashing OMG-so-stiff-it-makes-my-body-ache 11.7 Oz. indigo canvas fabric, the ol’ MF® blue CPO and Chinos are indeed turning green this Fall.
Mustering-up our best one-trick-pony skills and cow-milking mastery, this 2018 iteration features an old mfsc flame, the olive green 10 Oz. selvedge denim twill inspired by 1940’s-50’s British military utility fabric. This green denim was initially introduced in 2016 via the Garrison shirt and twill pants combo, during our exciting and controversial 2015 Saigon Cowboy season and its fierce keyboard snipers.
The traditional “Liberty” treatment to US Navy dress blues and other garments is by now familiar to all heritage clothing aficionados. We have often respectfully ‘played’ with that concept of custom concealed style extravaganza.
See gallery below for a brief visual recap.
Old photo of the original “blue shirt” (2008)
MF® CPO shirt 189ac (2016)
MF® Naval Chinos type No.266ac (2016)
Well worn Garrison shirt (2016) and raw CPO, cut from the same GB denim.
This season, we decided to give a 1966 “The Sand Pebbles” classic movie twist to our fictional CPO and Chinos combo. For those interested in the historical background of Opium Wars, or intrigued by the sound of “… when U.S. warships patrolled China’s rivers…”, a condensed summary of the period can be found here.
So as to not get lost down the usual rabbit hole, we will leave authentic 1920’s stories of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet to military buffs, and refer you to Hollywood’s light version of things, for an excitement-filled evening with Jake Holman and the USS San Pablo patrolling the Yangtze in 1926.
The MF® CPO shirt and Naval Chinos “SAN PABLO” Liberty edition are designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co and the expert Toyo Enterprise team.
SPECS: FABRIC: “GB denim twill”: An olive green warp and natural weft 100% cotton twill, 10 Oz., orange color selvedge ID. Inspired by the fabric of 1940’s-50’s British military utility overalls and blouses. Milled in Japan.
MF® CPO shirt “SAN PABLO” Liberty edition: DETAILS: * Original mfsc shirt pattern initially released in 2008, freely inspired by period USN uniforms, 1930’s – 1940’s military shirting, naval custom tailoring and vintage “Chief Petty Officer” type shirts. * Limited 2018 “SAN PABLO” Liberty edition, featuring vintage-style ’Liberty cuffs’, inspired by traditional local tailor artwork and custom embroidery, popular amongst U.S. Asiatic Fleet sailors. * Concealed mfsc dragon embroidered patches on cuffs, 100% rayon. * Concealed rainbow-colored chainstitch on the inside, a common feature of Asia-made traditional embroidered souvenir-type garments (robes, tunics, “party” jackets, etc…) * Concealed chest passport/iPhone® pocket. * Original MF® inverted box-pleat arcuate single chest pocket design. * Chin strap. * Selvedge side gussets. * Vintage style button front placket, anodized black snap closure. * Waist closure and chin strap USN plastic anchor button. * Reinforcement shoulder yoke, vintage uniform style. * Arcuate back yoke. * OD popeline facing. * Curvy front and back shirt tails. * Tonal 100% cotton stitching. * Designed in USA, manufactured in Japan.
SIZING/FIT: The “San PABLO” CPO Shirt in GB denim comes raw/unwashed/loomstate. We recommend our usual method for raw denim garments: * 30-40mn cold soak with intermittent hand agitation, in washing machine or bath tub. * Spin dry cycle (if using a machine). * Hang dry. * As an optional step, wear the garment briefly while still damp, in order to shape it to your body and set your own creases. Hang and let fully dry (try to shape the gshirt on the hanger to look as if you are still wearing it.)
Following this routine, the garment will be quite stiff when dry, due to the re-activated starch contained in the denim fibers. This is perfectly normal and expected for fabrics not processed with unnecessary softeners at the milling stage. This temporary stiffness will rapidly subside with normal wear. The tagged size corresponds to sizing after this soaking process. I am a Medium in most mfsc shirting and opted for a Medium in the “SAN PABLO” CPO shirt. No need to size up or down from your usual mfsc shirting size. The military-inspired and uniform-style cut emphasizes a broad shoulders and slim waist silhouette. Please refer to chart for soaked/line dry measurements, reflecting above soaking method.
CARE: Wash your shirt when necessary. We recommend turning the garment inside out to avoid marbling on the olive green denim warp side. Hand washing can be a good option for those concerned with specific wear patterns and high-contrast color fades. Otherwise, machine wash inside out with cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry. Subtle patina will develop according to activities and frequency of wear. For a natural patina and attractive color contrasts, refrain from over-washing your denim shirt. Just enjoy the journey, and your ethically-made garment will age gracefully, without unnecessary prior factory-distressing process.
Available RAW/unwashed. SIZES: Small Medium Large X-Large XX-Large
MF® Naval Chinos “SAN PABLO” Liberty edition: DETAILS: * Pattern inspired by vintage 1940’s US Army chino trousers.
* Limited 2018 “SAN PABLO” Liberty edition, featuring a vintage-style ’Liberty’ patch, inspired by traditional local tailor artwork and custom embroidery, popular amongst U.S. Asiatic Fleet sailors.
* Concealed embroidered mfsc dragon 100% rayon patch on bottom leg, over-riding an un-marked military-style ID patch. * Concealed rainbow-colored chainstitch on the inside, a common feature of Asia-made traditional embroidered souvenir-type garments (robes, tunics, “party” jackets, etc…) * Stripe ticking 100% cotton pocketing and waistband facing. * Button fly, featuring brown corozo wood buttons. * Thin trousers-style belt-loops. * Arcuate decorative stitching on front slash pockets and back welt pockets, with concealed selvedge ID on pocket facing. * Watch pocket, with concealed selvedge ID. * Flat-felled leg seams. * Tonal 100% cotton hi-count stitching. * Woven mfsc “Surplus” rayon label on inside waistband. * Made in Japan, designed in USA.
SIZING/FIT: The “SAN PABLO” Naval Chinos in GD denim come raw/unwashed/loomstate. We recommend our usual method for raw denim garments: * 30-40mn cold soak with intermittent hand agitation, in washing machine or bath tub. * Spin dry cycle (if using a machine). * Hang dry.
Following this routine, the garment will be quite stiff when dry, due to the re-activated starch contained in the denim fibers. This is perfectly normal and expected for fabrics not processed with unnecessary softeners at the milling stage. This temporary stiffness will rapidly subside with normal wear. The tagged size corresponds to sizing after this soaking process. These are true-to-size, and I wear a comfortable Waist 32, my usual size in mfsc trousers. Please refer to chart for soaked/line dry measurements, reflecting above soaking method.
CARE: Wash your pants when necessary. We recommend turning the garment inside out to avoid marbling on the olive green denim warp side. Hand washing can be a good option for those concerned with specific wear patterns and high-contrast color fades. Otherwise, machine wash inside out with cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry. Subtle patina will develop according to activities and frequency of wear. For a natural patina and attractive color contrasts, refrain from over-washing your denim shirt. Just enjoy the journey, and your ethically-made garment will age gracefully, without unnecessary prior factory-distressing process.
Available RAW/unwashed. Waist: 28, 30, 32, 34, 36 and 38.
Mister Freedom CPO Shirt, “Type MFSC 189ac” Indigo canvas, “Liberty Issue” Fall 2016 Made in Japan.
For our Fall 2016 10 Year mfsc Anniversary Collection, we decided to pull one of our popular shirt pattern out of retirement, namely the “Type MFSC 189” originally released sometime in 2008. This imagined “Chief Petty Officer” shirt emerged out of our first original mfsc scenario, “MFSC Naval Clothing Tailor”, a capsule collection featuring the custom-made wardrobe of a fictitious Merchant Navy sailor in the 1930’s…
Story aside, this CPO shirt shows manufacturing prowess, and features intricate details and challenging construction.
Introduced in a 6 Oz. denim for SS2008, a fancy mermaid cuffs version “Liberty Issue” in 10 Oz. sugar cane fiber denim followed for FW2008, the Type MFSC 189md. For FW2010, a 10 Oz. woven pincheck “Off Duty” version was released (Type MFSC 189-od), along with a 10 Oz. double indigo ‘midnight twill’ (Type MFSC 189-mn).
For the nostalgia-prone, here are a few images of bygone MF® CPO Shirts models.
The original “MFSC Naval Clothing Tailor” collection, 2008
The first “MFSC Type 189” pattern, 2008
CPO Shirt, Type 189md, 2009
“Midnight” CPO Shirt, 189mn, 2010
“Off Duty” CPO Shirt, 189od, 2010
We decided to milk that coconut again for Fall 2016. This season’s edition of the CPO Shirt, the “Type MFSC 189ac”, is issued in a dry 11.7 Oz. indigo-dyed selvedge 100% cotton canvas, a fabric yarn-dyed and milled in Japan.
Like its 189md predecessor, the 189ac features Liberty Cuffs, an old naval tradition familiar to many fashionistas by now. Our 2016 vintage-style liberty cuffs are updated with an original MF® design, featuring – alert the PC brigade – a groping octopus sporting a bachi (the French Navy cover with its famous red pompon) chasing an attractive mermaid in her birthday suit. Flash the Splash at your own discretion.
For the adventurous type, these cuff linings do have a purpose and can be used as concealed storage for an emergency sawbuck folded in four. While bar hoping with the ship’s finest on exotic shores, and after noticing your wallet’s gone MIA at Suzy’s Red Dragon Den, this is a nice touch.
Another nice touch is the rainbow-color chainstitch adorning the inside of our CPO Shirt, a nod to period custom naval tailoring favorited by sailors of the Asiatic Fleet and discussed briefly while introducing the Mister Freedom® Liberty Crackerjack.
The Liberty Issue “Type MFSC 189ac” CPO Shirt is designed in California by Mister freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar cane Co.
FABRIC: Sturdy and dry 100% cotton canvas, 11.7 Oz., dark and deep shade of double indigo warp and weft, white with red line selvedge ID, milled in Japan.
Due to heavy starching in the milling stages, this fabric feels quite stiff at first and even more so after the initial recommended cold soak/hang dry process. This is normal and will gradually subside with normal wash/wear cycles.
SPECS: * Original mfsc pattern originally released in 2008.
* Limited “mfsc Anniversary” 2016 edition.
* Freely inspired by period USN uniforms, 1930’s – 1940’s military shirting, naval custom tailoring and vintage “Chief Petty Officer” type shirts.
* Vintage-style ’Liberty cuffs’, featuring original MF® artwork, colorful mermaid and octopus embroidered on a black 100% rayon background.
* Rainbow-color chainstitch on the inside.
* Concealed chest ‘passport’ pocket.
* Original inverted box-pleat arcuate single chest pocket.
* Chin strap.
* Contrasting underarm blue chambray gussets.
* Selvedge side gussets.
* Vintage style button front placket, anodized black snap closure.
* Waist closure anchor button.
* Shoulder yoke, vintage uniform style.
* Curvy front and back shirt tails.
* Tonal 100% cotton stitching.
* Designed in USA, manufactured in Japan.
SIZING/FIT: The indigo canvas Type MFSC 189ac CPO Shirt comes raw/unwashed/loomstate.
We recommend an original 30-40mn cold soak with occasional hand agitation, then spin dry cycle. While still damp, wear the shirt briefly to shape to your body (avoid white T-shirts), then hang dry.
The tagged size corresponds to sizing after this soaking process. I am a Medium in mfsc shirting and opted for a Medium in the CPO Shirt. No need to size up or down from your usual mfsc shirting size.
Refer to chart for soaked measurements.
CARE: We recommend hand washing this garment when laundering becomes necessary. The loss of indigo dye will then be minimized.
If using a machine, turn the shirt inside-out to avoid marbling, use cold water and minimal eco-friendly detergent, and set to ‘delicate’. Line dry.
Please note that color crocking is to be expected, as it is the nature of indigo to rub off.
Available RAW (unwashed) Sizes: Small
Mister Freedom® customized vintage Liberty Crackerjack. 2016 Limited Edition of 66 one-of-a-kind pieces.
Up-cycled in USA.
Involved with used and vintage clothing as a rag dealer for the past 25 years, I guess I have recycled my share of clothes. If early on I found the trade to be a pretty honest and independent way of making a living, only more recently have I come to realize that keeping textiles out of landfills is also a pretty worthy mission, especially in a world of fast and disposable fashion.
Purchasing previously-owned clothing from your local recycled shops, antique flea markets or vintage boutiques is definitely less of a waste of resources than an impulse buy at, say, H&M or Forever 21, a purchase probably bound to trash bins within a few months, where some 10 million tons of textiles are dumped every year in America.
During my days working at American Rag Cie in the early 1990’s, I was handed the ‘Remake Department’ hot potato for a few seasons. A remake was basically an unsalable used item you could find tons of in the rags, transformed into a desirable and hip garment. Stadium jackets cropped into sexy boleros (it was the 90’s…), sweatshirt hoods attached to flannel shirts, patched-up 501® hot pants, re-sized Arnold Palmer golf cardigans, etc… Imagination was the limit, not questionable taste. We participated in fancy international trade shows with these ‘collections’, orders from fashion boutiques flowed in. Remakes were big for a while.
Military surplus is always a good source for such projects. Due to our propensity, as Homo Sapiens Sapiens, for territoriality and self-righteousness, and following an ever-fluctuating geopolitical equilibrium, it is inevitable that obsolete military surplus piles up. And for everything from ingenious recycled coolness to fashion Frankensteins, just give Homo Sapiens Sapiens a threaded needle and scissors. We’ll try to forget the few history-filled collectibles forced and tortured into awkward new beginnings that occasionally pop up on the racks of recycled clothing boutiques, such as 1950’s US Navy white bellbottoms tie-dyed deadhead-style in more colors than a Guatemalan rug, M-65 field jackets silkscreened with bright pink plastisol skulls, 60’s Vietnam ERDL jungle fatigue shirts adorned with assorted rhinestones and brass studs, or faux leopard, etc… Collateral damage.
Figuring out what to do with specific decommissioned military uniforms before moths or roof leaks get to them gets challenging at times. For the ragman, wool pull-over sailor tops are one of those recycling puzzling challenge.
Due to an inclination for things naval at Mister Freedom®, we have decided to tackle these buggers and go green on some blues. So our latest up-cycling venture is the vintage MF® Liberty Crackerjack, Uncle Sam-made gear turned wearable for the stylish city dweller.
This has been another one of those manufacturing journeys for us…
Hunting down salvageable specimen around flea markets and raghouses, we managed to collect sixty-six vintage US Navy blue dress jumpers. This limited selection is a mixture of vintage WW2 and Cold War period enlisted dress blues, aka crackerjacks.
Each wool pullover shirt underwent a lengthy make-over and re-tailoring process, each piece receiving a one-of artistic treatment. Our stylistic approach was that of period Asiatic Fleet custom tailor-made garments familiar to militaria collectors. The vibe of our MF® Liberty Crackerjack is inspired by Liberty cuff type sailor uniforms, military “party” suits and other ‘local-made’ souvenir garments favored by the enlisted man on tour, fighting for Freedom on exotic shores.
In the US Navy, liberty cuffs and fancy lining embroideries were tolerated on board. They were intended to be concealed, and usually only flashed to impress buddies and bar ladies. At 7161 Beverly, as bound to Bluejackets’ regulations as Calico Jack‘s band of pyrates were, we took the old salty naval tradition of customizing one’s uniform up a few notches. We respectfully altered the whole garment, in and out, definitely ‘demilitarizing’ it.
Actually, similar practice was not uncommon for US Navy personnel, for instance during a tour of duty in China in the late 40’s. The works of skilled local naval base tailors, specimen of wool jackets or shirts cut from government-issued navy blue wool uniforms have today become sought-after collectibles. The reader might be familiar with the multi-colored embroidered dragons, “Shanghai 1945” and other Asian theater motifs adorning such custom-made vintage souvenir garments.
Our 1900’s Willcox & Gibbs chainstitch machine, used to customize the MF® Liberty Crackerjack.
Original 1940’s-50’s local-made garments and vintage woven tape.
Look like an old sea dog without ever boarding a ship.
Although not replicas of authentic military personnel period souvenirs, our limited edition MF® Liberty Crackerjacks have a Sand Pebbles meets Sayonara vibe, relating to the presence of US Armed Forces in Asia throughout History, from Shanghai to Tokyo to Saigon to Okinawa…
Turning a plain crackerjack shirt into a Liberty jacket (we had to brace ourselves not to call it Liberty Crackerjacket) allowed us to put to some good use a limited stash of vintage parts from our archives we had been saving for some time. Each jacket features a rare original 1930’s~40’s NOS zipper of French manufacture. Stamped “LFE”, these hard-to-find zippers were scored from a Paris flea market years ago, and probably originate from the original French fastener company Éclair Prym that started producing “La Fermeture Éclair®”, the French household name for zipper, in 1924.
The ‘tar flap’ was re-cut into a round collar, leaving enough left over flap fabric to make two patch pockets, each featuring the traditional Navy white stripes and stars. We’re quite proud of that MF® à la Coco Chanel touch, a little re-purpose spark of innovation we’ll take the credit for, as I have honestly not seen it done on vintage pieces before. So, think of us when you see that at the Rosebowl flea market next time…
The patient type can also visually dull-out the rows of white tape by dyeing them with a small brush dipped in fabric dye or fabric paint. The Liberty Crackerjack 42 of 66 (that I am keeping for personal use) shows stripes hand-dyed in blue.
Aside from the general restructuring, each crackerjack was customized with a mixture of vintage parts. Each of the sixty-six MF® Liberty Crackerjack we made is unique and numbered (in a non-chronological sequence). Each features a combo of New Old Stock woven tape for cuffs, vintage embroidered silk textiles from China, antique kimonos or indigo discharge printed cotton from Japan, hand-cut stencil painted markings… We even used an antique 1900’s Wilcox & Gibbs sewing machine to add custom rainbow stitching accents and patches.
The original ranks and insignia patches of each vintage jumper were left untouched. The original Navy cloth label previously covered by the tar flap, if still attached to the garment, now appears on the back of the jacket.
The sizing of the batch is all over the place, but tends to pull towards small/medium, not an uncommon size for fit and skinny 18 or-so year-old enlisted sailors of the times. Smaller sizes actually look pretty cool on ladies into mixing up a bit of vintage fashion in their outfits.
The MF® Liberty Crackerjack is re-designed and up-cycled or whateveryacallit in California by Mister Freedom® in a limited edition of sixty-six one-of-a-kind pieces. Each piece is unique and might contain imperfections, fading, repairs or permanent stains due to its vintage origin. Please note that not all of the above pictured Liberty Crackerjacks are available for sale.
Vintage US Navy mil-specs melton wool. A few pieces are period private purchase wool gabardine.
* An original Mister Freedom® up-cycled design.
* Made from vintage Government-issued enlisted sailors navy blue wool jumpers, Cold War era.
* Tar flap turned into round collar.
* Zip-front closure, featuring a 1930’s-40’s NOS French metal “LFE” zipper.
* Two recycled front patch pockets, one original slash chest pocket, one original inside chest flap pocket.
* Each jumper features a “Liberty cuffs” type customization, inspired by Asiatic Fleet custom naval tailor garments of the 20th Century: assorted vintage parts, NOS ornaments and bias tape, antique fabric decorative panels and/or multi colored chainstitch accents and/or liberty cuff patches…
* Painted markings from hand-cut stencils.
* Up-cycled in California, USA.
Assorted sizing, fits and silhouettes.
Approximate measurements of each MF® Liberty Crackerjacks are available upon request from firstname.lastname@example.org
Each Liberty Crackerjack has been professionally dry-cleaned in an eco-friendly facility.
Dry clean only.
Please note that due to the age of the vintage New Old Stock zippers, they should be operated with care. As with vintage 1930’s cotton tape metal zippers, move gently and do not pull hard or yank if you feel resistance. Candle wax can be applied periodically to the zipper teeth for maintenance.