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Utility jackets (military, safari, travel)

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Can't believe I spent one minute of my life staring at Dr Chong's back. I kept waiting for something to happen but he just blew smoke. Yes, splendid bush jacket.

 

After much reflection, I have come to the conclusion that I won't be striving to be the best. The path is stony and arid. As Goethe said, art is long but life is short. Let someone else strive for the pole position. I will instead accept the compromise of being the most profitable.

 

A lot of what makes a garment really good is having the optimal ease at each point. I define the ease as the excess cloth beyond what is absolutely necessary. If you have a chest measure of 38", a good ease for the shirt to have is 4", i.e. the shirt measures 42" in the chest, with most of that ease being in the back, and less in the front. There is a different optimal ease in the waist and in the seat, and the armholes, and the upper bicep all the way to the cuff. Nowadays I pay a lot of attention to ease. I want to map the optimal ease in every portion of every garment we make.

 

There are of course lots of other things that are important in tailoring; ease management happens to be one of those I am paying attention to now.

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There are two thousand three hundred and fifty one men who is in the brotherhood....you think I came here alone...do you actually believe this is an accidental encounter like two ships passing on a moonless night - we are r literally everywhere like the Medici's of lore, Africa, South America even many are here. We are in everything from clandestine banking, commercial farming, mining right to everything under the sun AND we all wear bush jackets - guess who is the leader of this underground movement?

 

You take me for a dumbo who just gives you a 3K commission for two bush jackets. There is a bigger pic here that you don't seem to appreciate Jeremy, just make sure what I commissioned is the best that you can humanly craft - that is all I ask for.

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Just do your humanly best - and if you fuck it up. We do it again till we get it right. Like I said, I am a leader of men.....I don't need your past history, that's grist to the mill to me....I am really only interested in how much commitment you're willing to be put into this craft that I hope you will excel in and you have my full support. we r not like some twelve yr olds here who keep harping up what you did - we are invest in the future, if you get it wrong...no,swear...it's a learning curve...have faith.

 

Jeremy I didn't get where I am by disabling people...I give them wings!

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Is Mahathir leader of the bush jacket association?

IMG_20160617_235705_zpsugde8qpg.jpg

 

I think it was 3.4k. I don't want people coming to me saying, "But you charged Dr Chong 3K! How come I have to pay more?"

 

I don't really have any economic ambitions. For at least two years now, it's just been about each moment: a conversation is just about the conversation, the garment is just the garment. One word at a time, one seam at a time, one button at a time. There is no plan for world domination. In fact, there is no plan at all. When a plan is required, we make one. Then, the next thing. And next. For me, life is just a series of moments.

 

It has to be like this because if you look dispassionately at things, you see that we're all just headed to one destination. Death. So why be so excited.

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Jeremy I am not like some twelve year olds here. I assure you, I have a deep respect for your life decision to venture into tailoring based on my familiarity with your history, ONLY because I believe passionately the craftsman needs to be venerated, respected and most Importantly remunerated deservedly - fact: bush jacking is dying! Most tailors know nuts - they know suits, trousers, vest.....that's their repertoire, What we see today is mish mash like two differently cars welded together when it comes to bush jacking - the craft needs to be really revivified by people who believe it deserves it's rightful place. That's my goal - to bring it back into the main stream, so to me the price is not important at all - the key here is the goal. - to arrest the rot...remember this is how leaders think, they always have strategic agenda - where they have the bigger picture in mind - it's really not a question of HOW well you execute - the important thing to me is you have the verve, Élan and panache to give it a go - and that to you may not mean crud, but what you have inadvertently done is to stop the rot...and that means everything to me.....Jeremy that is how leaders think.....they're not fixated on what you can do or what you did - the most important is, you are willing to do it and that just means...it will never die.

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https://dotseng.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/image7.jpg

 

This is another one of fav formal bush jackets - it's by Henderson, Goring & Wright ( don't know whether they are still in business, but Alpha Conde, Idi Amin and Mugabe loved them to bits) - straight cut with no box or military style band and flare vent at the back from Cape Town South Africa. They had a branch in Kampala - this was where this was tailored. Curious mix of linen and silk (never seen that combo ever before...never ever) - I like it very much, as it's cool and material is just right for November in West Africa during the Harmattan period, so it doesn't itch and the really great thing about this bush jacket is by mid day. It even has the courtesy to crumple and crinkle in all the right places to give it a wabi sabi field dress feel. Usually I wear with formal cravat sometimes with an Ascot with a diamond pin - shoes are bespoke Murakami - dark brown with reverso patin.

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Please observe two details. Firstly, bottom most button is always left undone - Afrikaner or North African style, due to the need to accomodate firearms at waist, culture goes back to the days of the Atlantic slave wars when buccaneers wore double breasted suits, hence in most db's suits even today, exposed button is always undone only anchor is operational - this is a throw back to the days when firearms were unusually large and if not snug, it could blow off your dick. Second detailing, there is seldom a second fold on the trousers. Never ever. A proper North African bush jacket should infact be a whole inch higher than usual, at times even exposing socks. Fold ups are a no- no due to sand in the desert - as real bushjacket trousers have the option to be worn with boots or even leather gaiters.

 

Do take note.

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Doc is looking dapper. Fine looking dandy.

Aye he's fine looking chap indeed. Blue steel

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Pattern for the bush jacket of the decade. From left, top to bottom: Front panel with folded sleeve on top; one-piece collar and side panel; yoke and back panel.

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I'm thinking of letting my shirtmaker make the shirt sans pockets, then hand it to my coatmaker to make the (relatively) sophisticated lined pockets. The weakness of the sample bush jacket I was given are the ridiculous serged seams throughout. Like, wtf. You know why? Because coatmakers don't know how to sew French seams. Shirtmakers, OTOH, can sew French seams in their sleep.

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On the outside of the jacket, all the seams have a double row of stitching which would suggest French (or flat-felled or lapped) seams. On the inside, a different story: everything's serged. Why? Because it was sewn by a coatmaker who doesn't know how to sew a French seam.

 

To test my theory, while discussing this jacket with my coatmaker (who never admits to ignorance), I asked him what seam allowances I should leave in the pattern for the French seams. It's a trick question. Every cutter in KL knows how much to leave. They leave it in every shirt pattern they cut.

 

My coatmaker stood there, dumbfounded. He mumbled something indefinite. So I know he hasn't a clue.

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I didn't tell me you this Jeremy - that was a trick bj with so any flaws.....yes you do surprise me...your really do. A big clue was the single fold instead of a full pocket at the back...the other was the collar wasn't fused. Jeremy do take your time....trust me you learn from frontier men like me. You will - I didn't expect you to notice that detailing - not at all. Evidently you did - unbeknown to you I was waiting for that tete de fete - may I say that was moat observant of you!

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Back in 2013, made this for a French customer. He had a Cerruti jacket in cotton which he always wore as he motorbiked to work. It got really tattered, and that's when he came to me for a replacement in linen.

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Saw a stunning bush jacket being made at my shirtmaker just now. Then I suddenly realised it was my order that was being sewn.

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IMG_20160728_222113_zpsjwmyfouy.jpg

 

About 80% complete. Some of the special features: the two gusseted bottom pockets are lined on the inside in pocketing fabric for enhanced abrasion and puncture resistance.

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IMG_20160728_222228_zps2nphcswj.jpg

 

One of the breast pockets has a compartment for glasses, so that it doesn't take up a diagonal position in the pocket. I demonstrate the use of this compartment with my own glasses.

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IMG_20160728_222445_zpswoar9c86.jpg

 

There is one more pocket to be made. A welted pocket under the armpit for a pocket knife. I used my own Opinel No. 8 to determine the size, as chalked.

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IMG_20160729_011957_zps609ckccq.jpg

 

A truly bizarre picture I came across today on instagram. Th gentleman is Timothy Everest, known as a bespoke tailor in London. He is wearing a bush jacket. He is in the jeans studio of Mohsin Sajid to pick up a few meters of Cone Mills denim.

 

It would also be nice to be a bush jacket wearing bespoke tailor who shuttles between a bespoke tailoring shop and a jeans studio.

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