Happy Labor Day Weekend!

New machines for the Seattle factory

Remember, we’re closed Monday but back at work Tuesday. Have a good weekend! (We’ll do the same.)

New machines for the Seattle factory

We’ve purchased several new Juki DLN-9010 sewing machines recently. The DLN-9010 is a straight-stitch machine: straight-stitch machines are the least specialized machines in the factory and therefore the most utilitarian and most used.
New machines for the Seattle factory
Our new Juki DLN-9010, shipped from Orange County, California.

This particular machine is for Sim who will use it to take sub-assemblies and from them create a finished bag; basically, creating a 3D bag from 2D panels. It’s hard work and Sim is already appreciating having a new machine to help her.

New machines for the Seattle factory
There’s plenty of room for more machines in our new factory.

While the DLN-9010 is not specialized in that it can sew many different parts of many different bags, it is by no means simple: it is a needle-feed machine which means the needle not only goes up and down but it also moves (ever so slightly) back and forth, helping feed the fabric through. This is a big deal when sewing heavy fabrics, making the seams look better and the work a little easier too. The DLN-9010 also has a number of computer assisted features like automatic back-tack and thread trimmers; it’s light years ahead of the home Singer machine Tom’s grandmother gave him years ago. (Tom muses that we should really call them sewing tools rather than sewing machines — read some Ivan Illich and maybe you’ll get what he means.)

New machines for the Seattle factory
Son, our mechanic, does a pre-flight inspection on the new machine.

Working late

We’re working late on a new design.
Working late

But we can’t show it to you. Yet.
Working late

Riley and Ichiro (office dogs) insisted that we make time off, so we went to a little park overlooking the Duwamish River, just minutes away from our Seattle factory. (Tomorrow is the Duwamish River Festival.)
Working late

Working late

Have a good weekend. We’ll see you next week.
Working late

Welcome Brian to the TOM BIHN crew!

Brian is learning to drive our forklift
Brian is learning to drive the forklift in our Seattle factory.

Brian is the latest addition to our team. He’s an East Coast transplant and enjoys reading, music, movies and pizza, and riding his bike. Brian is currently reading Neil Young’s biography, and so far he loves Seattle for its coffee and Mighty-O Donuts.

Brian is really good at a lot of stuff, but he specializes in Customer Service. Visit our Seattle store and you’ll probably meet Brian. Calling to check on your order, or making a last minute change? Brian’s likely the one who will help you.

Want to welcome Brian to the TB crew? Post your message for Brian in the TOM BIHN Forums.

You’re Invited: Block Party Thursday in Seattle

You're Invited: Block Party Thursday in Seattle

We’re having a block party and you’re invited!

When: Thursday, July 28th, 4:00pm – 8:00pm

Where: 4750A Ohio Avenue South, Seattle, 98134

Every summer, our awesome neighbors — Grand Image, 3form Light Art, Resolute, Choice Linens, Seattle Granite, and Two Beers Brewery — host a Modern Design block party. We just moved to the building in January: this will be our first block party and we think it’d be pretty cool for all of you Seattle folks who can make it to attend. Each business will offer different snacks and beverages and give tours of their space and explain what they make. We’ll have CB’s Nuts (fresh roasted in Kingston, WA) and one of Tom’s favorite German beers.

Note: Our Seattle store is also open tomorrow (Wednesday) from 11am – 2pm. If you can’t make it to the block party on Thursday, we’ll still make sure you get a bag of CB’s Nuts to take home.

You're Invited: Block Party Thursday in Seattle
Yum: CB’s Nuts peanuts, fresh roasted in Kingston, Wa.

Update on Riley, Tom’s dog

Update on Riley, Tom's dog

Riley, Tom’s dog, is somewhat of a celebrity. He even has his own page on the website.

“Riley continues to be one of the best people to hang out with. He’s gotten a bit grouchy as he’s gotten older, but then so have I. He still has a good sense of humor and enjoys the company of humans, canines and select felines. And he still hikes: in spite of arthritis in his wrists and a recently fixed knee, he can do up to five miles. More importantly, he enjoys just being outdoors and generally resists getting back in the car at the end of the day.
I always guessed he was part Irish Wolfhound, but we met a real Irish Wolfhound at the dog park recently and he was tiny by comparison.”
- Tom

Also: meet Ichiro, Riley’s friend at the office.

Seattle Store Open Wednesday and Saturday

Our Seattle Retail Store/Factory Showroom is open this Wednesday (July 6th) from 11am – 2pm and Saturday (July 9th) from 12pm – 5pm. Wednesdays are a great day to come to see our factory in action (you might even get a tour of the factory led by Tom) and Saturdays are the best day to meet lots of other TOM BIHN customers.

4750A Ohio Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98134

Seattle Store Open Wednesday and Saturday

Happy Fourth of July Weekend! + Complimentary FOJ Pouch

From the crew here at TOM BIHN: Happy Fourth of July weekend! Have a good one, and we’ll see you when we’re back at work on Tuesday.
Happy Fourth of July Weekend! (Don't forget the FOJ Pouch

Remember: Place an over $20 order now through Tuesday, July 5th at 12:30pm Pacific Time, put “Fourth of July” in the comments box during checkout, and we’ll include a complimentary Fourth of July Small Organizer Pouch in your order. This applies to pre-orders or backorders too: we’ll include the Fourth of July Pouch in your order whenever your order ships. (Wondering what a Fourth of July Organizer Pouch is? Click here to read more.)

Tom made the first Fourth of July Organizer Pouch earlier this week. It will be (or has it already been?) shipped to one lucky customer.

Happy Fourth of July Weekend! (Don't forget the FOJ Pouch

Tom Explains Materials: Straight Slit and Bias Cut

Tom Introduces Forest Green 1050d Ballistic Nylon
Olive, Wasabi, Cayenne, Sapphire, Storm, and Plum straight slit 500 and 1000d Cordura.

The fabrics we use to trim or edge our bags are often the same as our other fabrics but slit up into specific widths. Some materials are either “straight slit” (cut with the weave of the fabric, parallel to the warp) while others are “bias cut” (cut at 45 degrees to the weave). The bias cut trim goes around corners better (like on the flap of the ID); the straight slit is used where crazy curves aren’t an issue like on the handles of the Swift or the Color Key Straps. The specific width the fabric is slit to will depend the end use, and will match the size of the specialized folder on the whichever sewing machine is being used for that specific assembly.
- Tom

Tom Introduces Forest Green 1050d Ballistic Nylon
Straight slit 500 denier Cordura in Cayenne, ready to be sewn up in to Color Key Straps.

See our factory in action tomorrow in Seattle!

Visit our Seattle Factory Showroom/Retail Store tomorrow (Wednesday, 06/15) during our open hours of 11am – 2pm and you’ll catch a glimpse of our factory crew making bags. We’re at 4750A Ohio Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98362. Want to see a map?

TOM BIHN Top-Stitches

Oops, wrong photo.

Here we go:
Photos of Monday's Cut: Large Cafe Bags

TOM BIHN Imago reviewed by Whatever

Lisa and Lee at the new TOM BIHN Seattle Factory