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The suiting thread

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On 12/6/2020 at 4:59 PM, kotmj said:


This one is much better. He's coming for an interview Wednesday. Fashion design, Raffles JB. 

This boy came for an interview a couple days ago. He scored 111 points on the IQ test. The buttonhole he made during the interview was subpar--I would rank it a C.

When I say boy, I really mean that. A boy is someone who has yet to learn that the world is an impersonal place that is not rooting for you to succeed. How well you fare in the world depends entirely on your ability to figure it out and to make things happen in it. He hasn't yet been through real despair. He is a sapling that has yet to encounter its first storm.

I find him to be quite neurotypical. He's a normal guy. I could discern no amazing talent, or particular intensity.

I can tell he really, really wants the internship. This surprised me because JT is in a state of hibernation: we just moved to smaller premises, and we had lost 2 members of staff. The shop simply doesn't look good. It looks like a losing business, not a winning business. I would never want to intern at JT myself. However, in the tailoring industry, where else would one go?

I am pretty sure I am taking the Lasalle girl on board. The question is, do I take the boy too? Or would that be a wasteful use of my attention.

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I bought two sets of hifi systems over the last couple of days. The Pioneer FS51 with a Yamaha AV receiver, and the Mission 773e with a NAD 302 amp. After a few hours of comparing combinations of these four components, I realised that the best speaker is the Mission, and the best amp the NAD. Both Mission and NAD are now in the living room, while I carted the Pioneer + Yamaha receiver to the shop.

I consume youtube, Audible, Netflix and Spotify on these speakers. The Yamaha is Bluetooth ready; the NAD became Bluetooth ready after I plugged in the Logitech Bluetooth Audio receiver.

Still casting around for a set for the dining room.

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The Pioneers were designed by Andrew Jones, who left Pioneer after 16 years for Elac.

The Missions of that era were designed by Peter Comeau, who today is Director of Acoustics at IAG which owns the brands Wharfedale, Quad, Mission, etc.


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Today, I listened to loudspeakers by the old and possibly defunct English company Rogers. Oh, I think the brand was bought by the Chinese. The organisation is no more, but the brand lives on. 

A floorstander. Only two drivers: tweeter and woofer. Vinyl wrapped cabinet. I think it's from the 1990's.

The treble is quite muted, but present. The bass is adequate to convey the music, but it's audibly weaker than modern speakers. 

But the midrange. In particular, human voices. It's like the person is standing where the speakers are. I could not believe how authentic vocals sounded. 

I think these old BBC-influenced speakers make great YouTube speakers. You know, videos where someone is talking to you. 

For music, modern speakers are much better. But for people talking, these sound so good.

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On 12/10/2020 at 10:56 PM, kotmj said:


You seem to be describing situation A with your "front crotch extension", even if A is a sketch of the rear of trousers. Dotted line shows the crotch being dropped in hopes of providing sufficient clearance to particularly low hanging and/or pendulous balls. 

I think the problem is more likely to be solved as in B. The rear crotch fork is laterally extended. This is a very common move that I make all the time. It has the unwanted side effect of making the thigh roomier; to counteract this, the outseam is curved inwards. 

Generally, a rise (from bottom of crotch vertically upwards to top of waistband) of 9" is suitable for seat measures below 38". If you do this, nobody complains about the crotch, even when you charge them Rm2k for the trousers. 

For seats between 38" to 40", start with 9.5".

Upwards 40", do 10".

Above 42", trousers start to take on a very different shape as the central obesity pushes the front of the trousers down, while the enormous buttocks would reveal an inch or two of buttcrack unless measures are taken. 

Just got my hands on Sven Jungclaus's books in english and decided to do up a muslin with adjustments. Seems very much like a simpler Mueller & Sohn draft. Didn't like the knees, too tight unless its jeans or with a bigger hem, maybe will work better if hem width is 17.5"++. Used MS's knee instead.

Yeah, I googled to check and rise you gave is what MS is doing too.

  • Not sure how to quantify the back crotch extension (is this the proper term?) 
  • Drafted Sven's way, about 2.25" + front 2". Perpendicular distance from hip line is ~5".
  • I think its plenty!
  • Tried Mansie's draft and have a pair of shorts with front crotch extension of 3", comfortable but looks stupid lol. 


Ignore the bad sewing. Drew position of my balls in red, and front crotch line, lol.

  • This is a 10 inch rise, usually 10.5", tried 9" rise but didn't like it! Top of waistband below bellybutton
  • Seat is 38" with 3.5" ease.
  • Also, is there an advantage to drafting back hip at an angle? (red lines, MS does it on the hip line, Sven on crotchline)
  • Seems to be extremely similar if you measure it horizontally (yellow line).

Lastly, I think seat seam angle is very troublesome. When tired, pelvis tilts forward, and you get draglines. Even when fitting the posture constantly changes, especially when you look in the mirror sideways. Where's your common ground. Lol too many questions

Btw, i'm no tailor. Just a beginner, unable to afford the high bespoke prices and hate the local kpop trouser scene.


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The first comment I want to make as I sit here on my massage chair listening to the soundtrack of Isle of Dogs on my Dali speakers and NAD amp is, the cloth for the muslin is suspect. 

It appears to me to be pure polyester. Muslins require a revealing cloth, one that feeds you lots of information. This particular cloth hides information. I use this cloth myself for muslins, but never for the final fitting. That must be done in actual cloth. 

More comments to follow when the opportunity allows. 

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Got it from my tailor who got it from other tailor/fabric shops that closed down.

Apparently it’s supposed to be pure wool but I got it cheap and don’t want to dry clean. So it’s a muslin now lol, definitely not pure polyester though. Might be a poly wool.

Quite thin and porous compared to pure polyester but I’ve felt only really bad pure polyester fabrics

All my work trousers are poly wool 

Will take a photo against natural sunlight tomorrow if it helps



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Second comment is your hip line. It is that line of greatest circumference around your seat/hip. Generally, it is 3" below the seam where the waistband connects to the trousers. 

There is big variability in the level of this line relative to the waistband seam. It varies from 3" to 6", depending on the style of trousers. Trousers for women are particularly variable in this regard. 

You can wear your muslin, and just make a chalk mark of where your butt is most prominent. The hip line goes through that horizontally (like your yellow line). 

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Interesting, I've generally just used Hip/12 (w/o ease allowance),  and never paid much attention to it. Thought MS's method was a little too technical

Just chalked, mine's roughly 5.25" below waistband seam and is almost exact with some margin for error (~+/- 0.5")for the most prominent part.

  • i.e. roughly 3 1/8 inch above crotchline (or 38/12)
  • 10" Rise - 1.5" waistband -> 8.5"
  • Less Hip line height 3 1/8" -> 5 3/8" (5 1/4" chalked)

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Interesting you mentioned Jungclaus, because I received another of his books a few weeks ago. This one is about fit problems and how to change the pattern to correct them. 


This one should describe the problem you have. It's about shortening the back balance, essentially picking up the trousers at the back. Jungclaus says to displace the top of the trousers by "1-2 cm to the right" around the pivot point d1 over the original block pattern. 

The question that arises is what if the customer needs double or triple this amount. So, say, 4 cm is necessary to achieve a clean back. 

Do you do 4 cm or do you stop at 2 cm?

I am of course confronted with this almost daily and have a set of solutions that takes into account the subtleties of the context. 

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Happy new year!

Yup got that book recently too, this particular correction gave me so much trouble. 'Oben' was translated into lower. 

Post reminds me of the Michael Jackson tilt or the MRT posture. Maybe even 10cm not enough!


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The brown cloth isn't the polyester I thought it was. I see now that it is quite suitable as a muslin.

Recently, I made 2 pairs of trousers for a German guy. I don't normally make just odd trousers (or just shirts) for new customers because I never figured out how to make any money off such small orders. However, in this recession, such orders became ok. It's not like we're busy. So I accepted a number of such small orders over the past few months, orders which for years I declined.

I learnt one thing. Even in a recession such orders make no economic sense.

I could tell immediately that this German customer has a rather atypical body shape. The jeans he was wearing was falling off his butt, revealing quite a bit of buttcrack, masked only by the shirt he was wearing. There was no abrupt transition from waist to butt; they were both almost tubular. On the front, the protruding belly pushed the trouser waistband downwards to pubic hair level.

However, I have had all kinds of challenges in the past and in many cases (not all), I emerged victorious. Maybe I'll figure it out this time too.

It was not to be. His wife didn't like the look of it. He wanted to come for alterations. I was not keen on continuing with this order because I've already given him what I judged to be the best possible approach and execution to the trousers given the context and constraints. The drags at the rear were not the result of malpractice, or misjudgement. I intentionally left them there since he is sitting 90% of the time, and comfort in the sitting position is more important than looks in the mirror while standing.

I refunded him in full.

He is an extremely intelligent person, probably with an IQ above 150, and is a seasoned businessperson, so during the telephone conversation we had where I offered a refund instead of having to see him again (my time is precious), he sensed there is something he is not getting. He suspected there is more going on than he knows. He wanted to get to the bottom of the situation, but I was having lunch and in no mood to talk at any length.

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There is also the trust factor. I don't think he trusts me enough to accept any kind of explanation. When there is insufficient trust, any explanation sounds like an excuse. So I chose to give zero explanation. I just gave him his money back. He even gets to keep the trousers.

He tried talking to me to understand the situation, but I sensed a trust deficit. Also, I was having lunch. Anything I say may sound like an excuse. So I took the higher path.

Also, he is so "jumpy" as a customer that I think he is not suitable as a customer. Jittery. Expecting perfection in every dimension, including price. So there was no point keeping him.


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I find myself at the PC this evening. I hate PCs. They're prehistoric in every way. I have a full-sized keyboard in front of me.

I delivered quite a number of suits lately. One, to a young Punjabi couple getting married. The bride-to-be was cute like hell. I would marry her. He just sent me a pic today of himself in the suit I made and his bride, thanking me for the work I did. His suit was a challenge in every way. I learnt a lot from having done it. That order expanded JT's experience with unconventional patternmaking techniques. It also taught us how to deal with Punjabi customers, reputedly the world's most demanding.

I delivered a four-piece (3 pc suit + shirt) to another couple. The groom is a financial journalist; the bride a consultant with the premier consulting firm in the world. She was jittery as hell. I was not keen on taking that order, because the bride-to-be found indirect ways to make me understand that there will be dire consequences for me if the results are not great. So I never invoiced them. But they called. And they wrote. Each of them, individually. I couldn't wiggle myself out of their order. There are hundreds of tailors in KL---why must it be me? Reluctantly, I invoiced them and took their money. Fortunately for me, the suit turned out quite great. She told me so herself.

An old customer who is a partner at a major accounting firm came to try on 3 suits we had made for him. The chest needed taking in. I know the reason for this. If I had the energy, I could write a whole chapter about this phenomenon, and all the side effects etc.. Maybe I'll do it in my memoirs. 

He still has another 2 suits on order. For these two, I am thinking of revising his jacket pattern to take into account all that I have learnt about cutting for corpulent figures. I think he will be shocked at how much better the jacket looks after the revision.

This particular technique for corpulent figures came about after I was very unhappy with the Donlon wedge. The Donlon wedge is a technique on jacket patterns to help the jacket better encompass the protruding gut. I used it on several customers, but: they look fat with, or without the jacket. I wanted a cut that makes them lose 10kg with the jacket on. How?

Well, I may have found out how. I first used it on a senior Kenanga guy. He was blown away by the suit. Immediately ordered another. Again blown away.

The Kenanga guy is the childhood friend of a senior bank negara guy, for whom I've made several. They met at a function, and the Kenanga guy asked the bnm guy who made him his suit. That's how he learnt about me.

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