So, I’ve been in Boston for almost a week spending some time with a new company making hand sewn footwear in Maine. The company is named New England Outerwear. Currently they’re making hand sewn footwear in their own factory, and I’m extremely excited to announce that I will be working with them on doing an apparel line that is 100% made in New England. I started Simple Threads with the goal of doing a field/workwear inspired apparel line, and this could not be a better fit. But more on that later…
We left early so that we could trek up to Maine on a Saturday morning to work on some new Fall/Winter ’13 samples and do some photos of the factory for Simple Threads. I could feel the temperature dropping quickly the farther we drove from Rockport. Slowly but surely, the farther North we traveled, the snow began to cover every inch of the landscape and created a uniform of endless white powder along a road that seemed to go on forever. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before, and I can’t help but wonder what it will look like in the Spring.
After three hours piled in a Subaru Outback, we were finally there there. Well, the second I did, the 20 degree temperature change and the falling snow really shook my bones. I realized just how far from home I actually was. Trekking through the snow to an old two story house with no address numbers in sight, I heard the buzzing of a sewing machine and faint sound laughter. The woman sitting at the Singer is Michelle, and she is one hell of a sewer. She is sewing in the leather liner, which is the only machine sewing technique used on New England Outerwear’s shoes. Honestly, the machine is a foot driven Singer single stitch that looked incredibly hard to use, so I really consider this hand sewn as well.
I watched Michelle work on a few pairs of shoes, and was amazed at how she can sew two parallel single stitches and have them look absolutely perfect. I guess thats what 25+ years of hand sewing experience will do for you. Everyone was extremely welcoming and we had a really great time seeing how much work goes into hand sewn footwear. So without anymore boring text, here is a ton of photos that should give you a better idea of what goes on behind the scenes of New England Outerwear.