how to get a hat...

Remember when Bape was popular? Not like when it was still obscure enough to be hip but when it was just underground enough to get you some scene points? And then how it exploded into this black hole of shameless consumerism?
I remember the shirts, the secret stores with no signs, and one of the most amazing shoe stores I've ever stepped into.
It's gone now. The shoe store, that is.
But I still like Bape, mostly because of the incredible irony of the whole brand/situation. Nigo (the creator of Bape) based the brand name on a Japanese proverb to describe complacency: "like apes bathing in lukewarm water." He thought Japanese youth suffered from lazy, luxurious, complacency. They were the same people that would unquestioningly snatch up his products several years later (enabling Nigo to stud his teeth with diamonds).
I didn't want to be a Bape. Neither do I want to stud my teeth with diamonds.

Which might explain my aversion to outright selling my hats. I'd rather trade. I'd rather see people love what I make. I'd gladly give a hat away for free if it gave someone an excuse to do something they loved to do. Taking money is too easy. Besides, words like "profit" coupled with words like "art" sort of make me sick.
But at the same time, there's only one of me; and while I speak an Asian language, I don't have 18 fingers (+2 points if you get that reference). So to answer the emails that have been appearing in my inbox lately - how do you get a pedal-strike hat?
Go to Cambridge Bikes, or
Make me an offer - something you are willing to do in return for a hat. I don't mean "bring me beer" (unless it's Hitachino White Pale Ale). I mean do something. Make something. It doesn't have to be outrageous, as long as it's more interesting than cash.
Or, watch this site (and try your luck...more info on that soon, I promise).
Oh yeah, and say hello if you ever see me around.

measuring up

hat fabric

Measuring up has never really been my forte.

Even literally. Something's always not right. I've mastered the art of miscalculation of seam allowances. Making patterns from my own measurements means drawing, cutting, sewing, making adjustments, ripping it apart, then repeating, repeating, repeating.

It's easier when you have a friend be your "model." You don't have to twist around so much while using three strategically placed mirrors to make sure the back of the shirt you're making is just right while you manage to jab yourself with about ten pins. In, like, your armpit.

But it's also harder to please someone who isn't you. Because everyone judges. I claim not to, but I still will. "The hem line is crooked." "The thread tension's off." "Look at all the mistakes - I can't ever wear this in public."

Which makes making things that much more excruciatingly painful and annoyingly perfectionist.

"Why don't you ever wear what you make?" my best friend once asked me.

"Because I'm too embarrassed by all the mistakes."

"I think you're just OCD."

That's probably true. But I'm still not sure if I'm measuring up, or even measuring correctly. So I'm still worried about the fit of the hats. Are they too small? Too big? What about the brims? Too small? Too floppy? Too...something?

Am I measuring up yet?

...still cheating

4th hat what i think

I'm still on that cheating high where you feel totally awesome because at least one person is sweating you hard enough not to care that you might actually be dating someone else.

Like when you get compliments and looks because of your shiny new bike and you totally forget about your trusty old beater and how you're not even going to look at that new ride once it starts snowing.

Or like when the cute bike mechanic abandons the bike s/he's fixing to look at yours. (But come on, like some dude's mountain bike can really compete with your carbon frame, brakeless, fixed gear with 52/12 gearing, 650 on the front and 700 on the back?)

So I sent this hat out - to a (yet) undisclosed location. Via mail.

My bike probably hates me. But USPS is loving me...right?

4th hat what i think2

third hat...mail off

3rd hat drop off

There's really no point in cheating.

Because in the end you figure out/come to your senses that you should have stuck with whatever/whomever you're cheating on in the first place.

I would know.

Or at least my legs and ego would. (Who would have thought that I could get up hills faster with one gear as opposed to, say, twenty one?)

So I know I shouldn't be cheating, but I am. I'm sending these hats out to one of my favorite bike shops in the area - International Bicycle Center in Allston. And technically that's cheating because I'm supposed to drop them off by hand. I'll feel the guilt later.

Oh and the return address? I borrowed that one from a friend. Because we all could use a good alibi when we're, you know, cheating.

3rd hat drop off 2

second hat drop off

2nd hat drop 1

It's hot out.

Like the sewing machine is melting off my face hot.

So maybe someone can use a hat or two in this heat. Or hopefully the owner of a white bike with matching helmet parked across the street from the Loew's can.

At least it'll keep the sweat out of your eyes. And, you know, it's free.

2nd hat drop 2

first s-class bike hat

first hat drop

I'm letting this one go.

Part of me doesn't want to. Probably because I'm OCD.

All the future mistakes bother me. The size won't be right, the shape will look weird on whoever finds it, the fabric's...kinda shiny, the brim's bound to tear, the blind hem will come undone, the everything that's wrong with this.

Yeah, I'm OCD.

But then again, they say perfection's pretty boring.

So maybe it'll tear or whoever finds it will throw it out or cover it in pins or patches or abuse/wear it until it falls apart. Whatever happens, it'll be completely unpredictable. Maybe whoever finds it will even send me a picture of them wearing it. Maybe they'll even like it. Maybe I'll stop obsessing. All of which would be awesome.

And (imperfectly) perfect.

1st hat drop full view