Mister Freedom® “McKARSTEN” Trousers, indigo métis & HBT denim.
SS2019 mfsc SURPLUS catalog.
Made in Japan.
We are adding another set of “might-have-beens” to the Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane Co mfsc Surplus catalog, our on-going collection of made-in Japan classics á la MF®. Matching companion to the recently-released McKarsten Jacket, here are the “McKARSTEN” TROUSERS.
The moniker is a reference to our beloved Peter Karsten, and workwear label Lakin & McKey‘s early days (founded in 1908, known today as Key Apparel.)
The vintage garment that inspired our McKarsten Trousers pattern is an original pair of work dungarees produced by “Lakin & McKey” in the 1930’s. This vintage goodie was purchased by Peter on behalf of the MF® archives. The pants were scored with a 1930’s “Test” jacket, and came as a workwear extravaganza top & bottom denim highly-collectible set. This “suit” initially belonged to a railroad worker, who lived somewhere in the American Midwest… Both of these specimen of workwear history can be seen at the MF® HQ, hanging as rag-hunting trophies amongst other bygone eye candy that inspire us.
Vintage TEST railroad jacket with Lakin McKey dungarees, courtesy of the outstanding MF® Store IG account.
Inevitably, these old denim pants featured a dreadful period fit, even for our “Heritage Style” esthetics. We thoroughly tweaked the pattern and turned them into a contemporary wearable, yet keeping the early workwear full leg-high rise style. Our interpretation is otherwise fairly literal to the original’s period details: utilitarian dungaree pattern without back yoke, early tailoring split waistband open back gusset, buckle-back, branded tack brass buttons, full top front pockets with fancy stitching, utilitarian “carpenter” style rear patch pockets… We removed the side tool pocket to tone down the contractor vibe.
Our trousers’ hardware features fancy mfsc original workwear-style brass tack buttons, a new toy for us this Spring 2019, a design introduced with the McKarsten Jacket. These metal buttons will naturally age and acquire an attractive patina overtime.
We are releasing the McKartsen Trousers in two distinctive fabrics.
The first one is a 10 Oz. HBT indigo denim. This fabric is what happens when you weave the components of traditional denim fabric (indigo-dyed warp yarns and natural color weft yarns) into an Herringbone Twill (HBT) pattern. If the fabric face only subtly displays the HBT pattern, the geometric eye-dazzling weave is very obvious on the reverse. The HBT pattern should yield interesting fading specifics. For the Jailhouse Rock look, we opted for contrast stitching on this fabric.
The second fabric option is a 7 Oz. blend of 75% linen and 25% cotton (referred to as métis in French), plain weave, indigo and black yarns. This fabric was inspired by a 1920’s pair of French work pants, and milled with similar specs. Our version is very “breathy” and not tightly-woven, making it a great summer-weight fabric, with a somewhat see-through quality not uncommon on vintage tropical garb. Tonal stitching conveys elegance making this option less workwear-ish. The fabric drape and wrinkly dry hand is typical of high-content linen métis.
The mfsc “McKARSTEN” TROUSERS are designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.
Two distinct fabric options:
a) A sturdy 10 Oz. HBT dark indigo denim, 100% cotton, milled in Japan. (Option featuring contrast stitching.)
b) An elegant 7 Oz. plain weave dark indigo métis, blend of 75% linen and 25% cotton, indigo warp and black weft yarns, solid white selvedge ID, milled in Japan. (Option featuring tonal stitching.)
Pocket bags: cut from mfsc double-sided calico print twills, “NOS” from the Trade Shirt and Nixon Shirt.
* An original mfsc pattern, inspired by 1920’s-1940’s work dungarees.
* Vintage 1930’s silhouette, full leg/trim high waisted top block.
* Early tailoring split waistband, open back gusset.
* Cinch back, no back yoke pattern.
* MF® mfsc branded tack brass buttons.
* Fancy full top front pocket design and stitching (with selvedge facing for the indigo métis fabric option)
* Utilitarian “carpenter” style rear patch pockets.
* Brass donut fly buttons.
* Thin & wide belt loops (accommodates 2’’ wide belts)
* Coin/watch pocket.
* Pocket bags cut from mfsc “NOS” double-sided calico print twills.
* Felled seam leg chainstitch construction.
* Contrast stitching for the HBT denim option, tonal stitching for the indigo métis.
* Single needle bottom hem.
* Original mfsc SURPLUS woven label.
* Made in Japan.
Both options come raw/unwashed.
We recommend the usual initial 30mn cold soak/occasional hand agitation/spin dry/hang dry process. The tagged size reflects the size of the garment after going through this process.
Although the drape of each fabric is very distinct, both fit the same, and the same sizing advice applies to HBT denim and indigo métis.
Our target image was a vintage 1930’s silhouette, full leg/trim high waisted top block. These trousers feature a wide leg and high rise, an acquired taste by today’s menswear fashion standards.
Due to the split-waistband pattern, the waist is quite generous and the open gusset allows about one inch play. I could fit a snug Waist 30 but opted for a very comfortable Waist 32, and cinched the waist with the back strap.
The original bottom hem is single needle, an easy alteration, with enough length to accommodate all types of cuffing preferences for most.
Please refer to chart for approximate raw/soaked measurements. This explains how we size our garments.
Soaked = 30mn cold soak, spin dry and line dry.
When needed, machine wash the MF® McKARSTEN Trousers on DELICATE, cold water, mild eco-friendly detergent. Hang dry.
Wash separately to avoid color transfer to light-color garments. Turn the pants inside-out to avoid potential marbling of the indigo fabric. Using hot water wash will result in unnecessary color loss and excessive shrinkage.
Full wash cycle and heat dryer are not recommended and could damage the garment.
Available from www.misterfreedom.com, our Los Angeles brick & mortar store, and fine retailers around the World.
Email email@example.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support.
Workman indigo pincheck
A slightly worn “Workman” next to a one-rinse specimen.
Workman HBT denim
Raw indigo Pincheck
Raw HBT Denim
The “Workman” shirt, HBT denim and indigo Pincheck
‘Sportsman’ catalog, Spring 2015
A new addition to the Sportsman catalog this Spring 2015 is the “Workman” shirt. As the name we opted for implies, nothing to revolutionize the design world. We muted the bells and whistles on this one, wanting a simple, clean cut 40’s style work shirt, made in USA.
(insert uplifting photos of thrilled workers in enviable FSA fashion here)
Skyline Farms, Alabama, 1936 (Photo Ben Shahn for the FSA)
To inaugurate the new pattern of the “Workman”, we broke out two very different fabrics from our vault. They only have in common the fact that they look alike if you dress in the dark.
Option A is a slubby dark indigo pincheck (“a strong cotton cloth having a vertical and horizontal design of white dots on a blue ground, used in the manufacture of work clothes“) cotton fabric.
Option B is more of a ‘mill mutt’, if you will. It could be summed up as a dark pinstripe herringbone twill 2×1 denim with an initial raw fabric sheen. The HBT pattern is more clearly visible on the inside of the fabric. The pinstripes on the face are very subtle.
Although blackish/grayish-looking when raw, these fabrics will fade to blue, as shown in the photos featuring rinsed or lightly worn shirt specimens.
Both textiles are “vintage New Old Stock”, as we all call close-out fabrics today. It is safe to say that these do not predate the invention of the steam engine. Found un-documented in a Los Angeles warehouse, these rolls are admittedly of unknown origin. That’s unless you allow the swearing-to-God broker to tell you aaaaaall about them… However, after investing in several cases of snake oil over the years, one learns that garment district sales skits are best taken with large spoonfuls of salt.
The novelty about the Mister Freedom® “Workman” shirt is that it comes… brace yourselves… sans chin strap! It does feature vintage classic favorites such as side gussets, chainstitch construction, double-stitch collar, matching pockets (yes, we can!), corozo cat-eye buttons, etc…
Our Sportsman “Workman” shirt is designed and manufactured in California by Mister Freedom®, in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.
PATTERN: Original MFSC pattern, inspired by classic 1940’s workwear shirting.
A) Indigo Pincheck: 100% cotton pincheck design woven fabric, dark indigo color, about 8 Oz. in weight.
B) HBT stripe denim: 100% cotton herringbone twill denim, subtle vertical stripe design, dark indigo color, about 8 Oz.
* Special no chin strap edition!
* Black corozo wood cat-eye buttons. These are not plastic.
* White cotton popeline button placket facing.
* Traditional double chest matching pocketing.
* Tonal stitching, 100% cotton
* Olive Green popeline side gussets.
* Chainstich construction, “Sportsman” green color on the inside.
* Made in USA.
Both option A and B come raw/un-rinsed and will shrink to approximately the same size after a rinse/dry process.
We recommend an initial cold soak, spin dry and line dry.
The “Workman” shirts are true-to-size with a quite attractive fairly trim ‘uniform’ silhouette. If you are generally a Medium in mfsc shirts, you are a Medium in the Workman.
Please refer to sizing chart for measurements.
Launder when hygiene dictates and common sense prevails.
Machine wash. Cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry. We recommend turning indigo blue/denim garments inside out to avoid marbling when washing.
The blue color will pop out over time. Patina will develop according to activities and frequency of wear.
Soon available from www.misterfreedom.com
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support
“Le Révolutionnaire” Pantalon de Travail by Mister Freedom®
We scored a very nice lot of 1940’s-50’s New Old Stock (NOS) work-wear fabrics in France, thanks to a dear friend, Monsieur Jérome Girard, ze treasure hunter from Le Zouave
Speaking of vintage hunters friends, Arnaud Bauville from “French CanCan” and Damien from “Le Magasin” are great sources for European vintage 🙂
After their long ship voyage across the Atlantic, we decided to turn these fabrics into work trousers, inspired -but of course- by French work wear, à la façon Mister Freedom®.
Service Civil Rural 1943 (photo courtesy © Phototèque Hachette)
Vintage photos above from here and here courtesy of © Phototèque Hachette, © Collection Roger-Viollet, and © François Kollar “La France Travaille“.
The fabric stock came from a now defunct French teinturerie (dye house) from Amiens. Those rolls were left over and never made it to production. They were intended to be used for typical work jackets and pants to supply local farmers, construction workers, railroad crews, vignerons… with sturdy outfits that would last for decades and get patched up along the way.
Concealed inside the rolls of fabric were the original paper flashers and tags that were supposed to be attached to the finished garments. In this lot, there were mainly 6 different types of fabrics, ranging in color/texture/weight: Light blue to dark indigo, 100% cotton heavy moleskine to 100% cotton Bedford cord types (aka coutil)…
We gathered some vintage trims from our vault as well, such as original vintage 1940’s French unused woven labels “Le Révolutionnaire” (a probable reference to the wide spread ‘Front Populaire‘ Workers strikes of May-July 1936 in France), NOS stripe cotton twill for pocket bags, 1920’s NOS bone buttons for the fly, 1930’s painted metal “X” buttons for waist, NOS 2×1 indigo denim fly & waistband facing… Each pair also has its own original period paper labeling!
Because of limited quantities of yardage, we were not able to make full size runs in all fabrics. We focused on ‘popular’ waist sizes, a few 30, 32, 34 and 36.
To avoid random shrinkage issues, we decided to get all rolls sanforized before cut/sew, in order to keep the fit consistent across all fabrics. However, because of the different weights, the draping (= the way the fabric hangs) varies, and therefore the silhouettes.
As always, “Le Révolutionnaire” are no skinny pants. They are similar in silhouette to our MF® Chinos.
Designed and made in California by Mister Freedom®. Limited edition.
PATTERN: Original MF® pattern, inspired by several work trousers, with a 1930’s~1950’s French work-wear influence.
All fabrics are selvedge, tonal color ID.
* F01: 100% cotton Bedford Cord, Slate Blue color.
* F02: 100% cotton heavy moleskine, brushed back, “Bleu de Chauffe” color (typical dark navy French work-wear color). They are several batches from the F02 lot, varying slightly in weight and shades. We count them as one same fabric.
* F03: 100% cotton Bedford Cord, light blue-grey color.
* F04: 100% cotton Bedford Cord, Royal blue. Brushed back.
* F07: 100% cotton Bedford Cord, Slate Grey color.
* Adjustable back cinch strap, with vintage NOS French metal slide buckle.
* Selvedge leg side seams.
* NOS stripe cotton twill pocket bags.
* NOS 3×1 indigo denim waistband and button fly facing.
* 1920’s NOS bone buttons fly closure.
* 1930’s painted metal ‘X’ buttos, French NOS.
* Open bottom leg, overlocked, for your cuffing preferences (36 inches length, uncuffed)
* Two back welt pockets, the left one secured by a French original NOS painted metal ‘X’ button with debossed “*Solide*Elégant*” marking.
* Original 1940’s cotton woven “Le Révolutionnaire” label.
* Original paper labels and flashers form the original Dye House/Factory.
* 100% cotton tonal thread construction.
All fabrics have been pre-shrunk (Sanforized) before cut/sew, so there should be minimal shrinkage with subsequent wash/dry. Inside-out wash to avoid ‘marbling’. OK to machine dry. Low maintenance, as these fabrics were meant to withstand repeat soiling/wash/wear.
Some of the Bedford cord fabrics will tend to stretch back and forth with wash/dry/wear.
I wear a waist 32, for an ‘anti-fit’ look, which also allows me to break dance around the office, when the boss is not around.
Available sizes Waist 30, 32, 34, 36
Please call 323-653-2014 or Email email@example.com to get yours while they last. Merci for ze support 😉
NOS Chambray Sizing Chart
The first installment of Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane “AMERICAN SPORTSWEAR” Collection is in: N.O.S. (New Old Stock) Chambray shirt
This Sportswear collection is all MADE in USA, an humble effort to keep factories busy at home, and to spend hard earned $ locally…
We chose NOS (New Old Stock, aka dead stock) fabrics for a lot of the items, selected from our collected stock of American vintage selvedged textiles. Not the easiest approach to manufacturing, since factories dread small batches, eclectic instructions, mixed fabric width and time consuming specific cut/sew…
We took the risks of the high road, and hope some will appreciate the efforts.
Imagery behind this collection is California mid 50’s to 60’s, from ranches, orange groves to Pacific shores. From off stage gear of the Hollywood cool cats, to Hipsters and Beats garb. Revisited MF® style.
PATTERN: Original MFSC pattern. Slim fit.
FABRICS: Four options of NOS all cotton slubby chambray and one NOS stripe twill (i’ll spare you the color fancy naming game)
a)Blue cotton selvedge Chambray, about 4.5 oz.
b) Black cotton selvedge Chambray, about 4.5 oz.
c)Red cotton selvedge Chambray, about 4.5 oz.
d) Green cotton selvedge Chambray, about 4.5 oz.
e)Indigo/white stripe cotton selvedge twill, about 6 oz.
FACING: NOS blue cotton popeline, selvedge (used for collar band, button placket and gussets)
* Two MF® original chest flap pocket pattern (I-thank you Mr. Jobs-phone fits perfectly in right pocket, and won’t fly out when closed)
* Elbow reinforcement
* Double needle chainstitch felled seam construction
* 100 % cotton thread stitching
BUTTONS: Original MFSC metal painted buttons. Combination of solid and “MFSC” debossed buttons.
LABELING: MFSC printed cloth inside label. Lower front panel stitched on paper flasher (Tear off before washing or wearing, do not remove stitching, it is supposed to stay there)
SHRINKAGE: To avoid confusion and surprises, all shirts are WASHED and hung dry (no dryer, to keep the light startchy crispy effect). So the initial shrinkage of the 100% cotton fabrics is taken care of.
We didn’t pre-wash the fabrics before cut/sew to preserve the ropping/twisting cherished effects, but felt like -unlike denim items- a shirt gets washed often and should be low maintenance.
Due to ‘out of control’ shrinkage of the older fabrics and several batches of assorted rolls, variations have occured within the different colour options. (If you are familiar with our sizing fits, you will probably need to size up in the Blue Chambray… see chart below)
NOS Chambray Sizing Chart
Designed in California by Mister Freedom®, Manufactured in California. Limited edition.
Available WASHED only
Sizes XS, S, M, L, XL
Call John or Jordan at (323) 653-2014 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to get yours while they last. We ship internationally.
We thank you again for your support in helping us continue making clothes we like.
Sounds like a Slim ‘n Slam impro-a-rooney…but this is a sneak peak of a small part of the bounty gathered in Europe, where I am at the moment. A lotta amazing and hard-to-find vintage 1910’s to 50’s hunting/work/gentleman farmer/military/… gear.
Should make it’s way to Califonia-é soon and hit MF store by mid-January 2009.
Enjoy the Holidays and stay warm and cool!