Chinese School Episode 2 – BBC Documentary

Chinese university entrance exams are intense as hell. It’s of note that the most successful student, Wu Yufei, is extremely pessimistic of her final score but ends up overachieving, as was expected by her parents and teachers. There is also a lot of touching stuff in the documentary about parents hopes for their kids and even more time give to the perspective of the young people.


Clothing Haul!!!

Adam Ruins Everything Episode 22: Why Fast Fashion Fails Us


I got a lot out of this interview with Laura E McAndrews on the Adam Ruins Everything podcast episode about fast fashion. From the high turnover rate of disposable-by-design clothes to what happens to our clothing once donated, industry practices are as reprehensible as you ought to have imagined.

A big takeaway for me was regarding clothing donations:

We flood markets primarily in African nations with second-hand clothing which undermines their economies and the livelihood of local clothing producers. This impact was also brought up regarding TOM’s shoes “1 for 1” program and is characteristic of much of our foreign assistance in other sectors like food supply.

More typically though, our thrifted clothing goes to landfill.

Anyhow, the podcast was a good overview of the pitfalls of fast fashion. More on this later.


Richman Brothers Jacket

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I’ve begun an exercize of tracing and measuring my clothes to dissect their construction without actually taking a knife to them. Below is a vintage coat by the long defunct Richman Brothers. I like the modest fake fur collar and the rectangular double pockets. I am guessing from the label that it was made after 1980, but could very well be earlier.

via Vintage Fashion Guild:

Richman Brothers was established in 1877 in Portsmouth, Ohio. Self-described as “The World’s Greatest Clothing Factory,” by 1928 the company had 31 menswear stores in 30 cities. They also sold their suits and tuxedos by mail. Woolworth’s bought the Richman Brothers company in 1969 and closed its 260 stores in 1992 after an unsuccessful attempt to sell the subsidiary.



Sewing Machine

First time using my sewing machine today, and it was easy. Cute machine.

Below is my first run, testing types of stitches and varying widths.

I’d begun learning patternmaking and draping, but was feeling insecure from my complete lack of experience with a sewing machine.

Well, now I know: Not complicated. Really fast.

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Above: First run, testing types of stitches and varying widths.

Fun fact: In 1790, the English inventor Thomas Saint invented the first sewing machine design.