i took the bus down, partly to break up my routine, partly because I didn't want to risk my presently one-and-only bike with a mere Kryptonite Evolution in an area where bicycles are currency. I shouldn't have worried, perhaps; downtown is crawling with bikes, with the sleek messenger squadrons of the Financial District blending into the beat-up delivery bikes of the Fashion, Jewelry, and Toy districts--lots of Wald Giant Baskets, lots of milk crates roped onto handlebars as well. And lots of rattletrap trashbikes being ridden by anyone and everyone, festooned with plastic grocery bags hanging from the bars.
Every street was crowded and busy and bright with the colors of rolls of cloth and finished suits and dresses. Salesmen stood on the sidewalks in front of their shops, dressed (of course) to the nines, and dim shabby walls leading deep into ancient towers housed every manner of textile and style of fashion imaginable, from natural wools to neon synthetics, from staid and traditional bankerwear to shake-yer-booty salsa shreds. A great deal of fun, even for a non-shopper like yer editor here.
And I snagged the gabardine! Though I couldn't get the price I wanted, I got close. The knickers may go up from the hoped-for $85 to around $95, which is still not bad for custom-designed 100% USA-made wool gabardine. I'll know when I add up all my costs.
And for you fans of black: there will be a limited number of black knickers available, as the wool merchant had only 80 yards of charcoal.
Fit samples will be ready Friday, if all goes well; I'll torture them over the weekend, have them cleaned to check for shrinkage, and then get back to the sewing contractor around Wednesday to have her start on the pre-production samples--a few of which I'll offer to certain chosen waists at my cost for further testing.
Stay tuned. (And if you're new to this thread, click here to see pics of the prototypes.)