Weekend Tailoring

Posted in Life in General by Cameron Kopas | No Comments »

Two weekends ago included a small family reunion (my grandfather’s 80th birthday party), which involved 20 people staying in my house (surprisingly, not uncomfortable at all), an interesting time at the new(er) arrowhead Melting Pot, and one of my brothers and I finally tailoring a few of our shirts.

The first thing I did was remove the collar from two shirts.  These were completely worn out, and since I still do laundry at home (moving into my apartment, with laundry, in 3 days!) my mother throws out/donates anything she sees that is  damaged.

thus is the penance for wearing stiff collars. closeup!

So, with my admiration for the Mandarin Collar (although I’ve probably only ever seen a handful), and with motivation from a recent post on Free-Man, the offending fabric was ripped out, and the seam was stitched back shut.

still has some pinholes and threads, needs to be washed.

The collar was removed on three shirts.

I then finally went and took in two shirts, my first being the purple checked shirt that I posted earlier. ( I have no good photos of the results. )

One shirt which had the collar damaged also had worn out cuffs, and was also too large.  That one got converted to a shirt-sleeved shirt, collar removed, and fitted.

Since that weekend I have altered at least 5 shirts, and repaired one pair of jeans (replaced/repaired the back pocket, re-sewed the seam since it was coming apart.

Tailoring My Clothes

Posted in Life in General, Quixotic by aliencam | No Comments »

I decided a couple of months ago that I need a new wardrobe.  Most of my clothes are between four and six years old (that puts them at me having purchased them in middle school or freshman year of high school), so they are fraying and old and frankly never fit me well to begin with.  The last one is something I’ve always had trouble with, clothes never seem to fit me properly…

Anyway, until I can afford the the time and monetary cost that  are associated with an entire new set of clothes (hopefully sometime this summer), I decided to take another look at what I do have.   One thing I found was that I have a more than a few clothes that I never wear just because of how terribly they fit.

The most logical solution for this is simply, to make those clothes fit me. Since using a tailor invokes costs that I am ill-prepared to deal with (and also because I don’t know any that I trust), this will have to involve me learning how to adjust my own clothes. I am fairly confident is my sewing abilities, although I haven’t used a sewing machine in… quite awhile, but I hope I can make up for that in precision and caution (for great justice).

So, after spending quite a long time on the internet reading just about everything I can about the art of shirt-making and adjusting and tailoring (I really mean quite awhile, and I really mean “everything.” be warned when I get interested in something, it gets intense.), I decided to pin and measure a few of my shirts for adjusting.  (ridiculously-long sentence that somehow works when read out loud–check.)

So here is one of the shirts that does not fit (as a consequence I only wear this when it is the only thing clean) which was pinned and measured today to see if/how it would work.

This is what the shirt looks like on me unmodified.

So, I turned the shirt inside-out and started pinning it, when I realized that I only have three pins and two sewing needles in my dorm (this will have to be rectified when I move into the apartment…). I ended up using binder clips, then ran out of those, and had to resort to paperclips.  I ended up using four paperclips on each side (I did not want to mix pinning methods, although in hindsight that seems kind of silly) so this is not as clean as the real stitch will look (or even as it will look pinned properly), and there is a large fold visible on the side.

Much better, right? Then next time we can work on me getting some proper lighting for photographs (I will be moved out of this bat cave in one week!).

Now, I am seriously planning on doing this as soon as I get home for the summer (Friday), but for now, this is just another one of my crazy ideas and as such, it affords the “Quixotic” tag.  Anyone who reads this, hold me to my intentions so I can remove that accursed tag.


Create an RFID blocking Copper Wallet (V 0.5)

Posted in Guides by aliencam | No Comments »

The reasons I decided to build this wallet are because of my new credit card, an AMEX Clear (amazing), which has an RFID tag, my school ID, and some research I did on how easily these really can be hacked. It is nearly as simple as buying a credit card machine on eBay, pumping up the power, and plugging it into your computer, then collecting all the credit card RFID information that goes by. An absolutely ridiculous lack of security and disclosure is what the consumers get to look forward to today.

The copper I used was purchased on eBay for about $9. It was a 16×20″ sheet of 80 mesh. The only thing I would change in the copper would be how soft it is. I have in the past seen a copper mesh that is as soft as a cotton teeshirt, but this is more like heavy paper (maybe that soft recycled construction paper). If I knew what specifications to look for to get a softer copper I would. Note: Others have suggested that a softer copper might not be as good due to shape retention. I still want to try it though.
here is the link to the ebay auction where I bought the copper: ebay copper mesh link

These steps make a bifold wallet.

1. cut a piece of copper mesh approximately 23×18 cm (9×7 inches) (if you can make it slightly trapezoidal that would be optimum. The 23cm sides should be parallel, but the shorter side should be angled slightly to make the whole sheet trapezoidal. This allows for your wallet to have stuff in it without being too tight. )

2. fold the longer sides about 1.5 cm in

3. fold the shorter sides in about 1.5 cm

4. (optional) line the side with the folded edges with a nonabrasive, durable cloth (I am going to use silk, microfiber, or another extremely light material so that it does not increase the weight of the wallet at all, but you could use anything) and sew that over the folded down edges.

5. fold the sheet in half lengthwise, such that it looks like an open wallet.

6. Line up the edges (if you made it trapezoidal, it will not lie flat at this point, that is okay, just line up the edges.) and sew the two sides together, about halfway up leaving the top open. (not sewing it all the way up prevents you from having to open the wallet completely in order to remove items)

I have not actually finished building my entire wallet, I am currently using one that is not sewn, and that does not have a lining. The folds are staying taught enough to prevent things from falling out, so that is not a problem, but I am worried about the magstrips being scratched off, so I am making sure there is a bill on either side of my cards (which I have tucked under the folded edges of the wallet) to prevent any scratching.

I actually like this enough that I might not sew in a liner… you can see through it somewhat when looking straight on, but not at any angles. pretty cool.

I’ll probably be making a few of these in the next couple of weeks (I need to get to joanne’s or something to get some lining, “disposable” light needles, and maybe some matching coloured string.) and I will be trying a couple of different designs. I will likely do at least two lined wallets, and probably a card holder since I don’t normally carry any cash, and if I do I could always use my moleskine.


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RFID Blocking Copper Mesh Wallet (V0.5) by aliencam (Cameron Kopas) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at blog.aliencam.net.
If you would like to repost this, feel free to do so as long as you post the above license information with a link back here. Although it is not required, please notify me with a comment on this page, I would like to know where my things are posted. thank you.

moleskine repair

Posted in Life in General by aliencam | No Comments »

My Moleskine notebook has been in my back pocket since September 2007. This causes lots of wear on the notebook, and it eventually the oil paper cover ripped all the way up the spine. so to replace it I cleaned it with rubbing alcohol, then goo gone, and put a piece of adhesive athletic tape on it. works great, and the tape lasted me a few months (started to peel in the heat the other day, so I only just had to replace it.)

anyway, here is my repaired moleskine

Creative Commons License