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The suiting thread


kotmj
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The last couple of working days were spent editing patterns. Something like seven garments. 

Today, we did two video fitting sessions. And made the interior pocket, above. Pretty happy how mine turned out. It's almost production quality. 

The Mayang boy wasn't as happy with his, below. The welts are too thick. 

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Tomorrow will almost entirely be used for further pattern editing, so progress on this practice jacket will be almost nil. 

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Everyone who works in tailoring wants to be a cutter. It's the position everybody wants to have, especially when they first join. It's the highest paid position, and many cutters go on to start their own businesses. 

My policy has always been that I would love to be replaced as cutter. I would much rather simply be proprietor. Watching staff and customers via cameras while I sip coffee at home in Bukit Tinggi. I look at the revenues every day. And ideate about all the things I want to buy for myself. 

So, by default, every staff has a training trajectory that ultimately leads them to becoming cutters. Because it relieves me of a burdensome job. I want them to get there. No job is more complex than that in tailoring. The only job worth having is a very complex one. Simple jobs are not worth doing. 

In all cases, I see the person and I see the job requirements and I cannot reconcile the two. 

With the Mayang boy, I wondered just now if his brain can contain the concept of undercorrection. In optics, there is the term "undercorrected spherical aberration", or its alternative "residual spherical aberration". Its an aberration that has not been fully resolved, not necessarily because the designer is stupid, but because there are other considerations. 

So I used the term undercorrected back balance length with him. I wonder if he has sufficient nuance, subtlelity and complexity in his thought-world to be able to deduce its meaning. 

With many humans, anything more than "if hungry, eat" is unnecessarily complex. And therefore to be ignored. 

Every sewing tailor has tried to be a cutter at least once. They failed. That's why they are sewing tailors. 

They are too simple to be cutters. 

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I've been looking at Lebanon and Turkey lately. The situation in both countries has many examples of how the middle class can be made very poor. 

Basically, your net worth can be wiped out when the ringgit cannot buy you much. So, if you have 1M ringgit in EPF but the ringgit becomes a banana currency, you are wiped out. As it turns out, countries periodically have their currencies devalued. 

This is how the Japanese yen, the Korean won, and the Indonesian rupiah are in such large denominations. Sometime in their histories, there was hyperinflation. Even multiple hyperinflations. Which wiped out entire fortunes based on those currencies. 

In 1997, the ringgit underwent devaluation. Which made people substantially poorer (in real terms, not nominal terms) because most people's wealth is in ringgit with the EPF. 

You have to diversify away from the ringgit. 

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We are probably experiencing the fastest pace of inflation, worldwide, in real terms.

All fiat currencies fail. Waiting to see what will happen when the USD fails.
 

7 hours ago, kotmj said:

You have to diversify away from the ringgit. 

What happened to the Sky-Dweller?

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Attached the lapel facings to the lapels. This means you can no longer see the canvas, the edge tape or the pad stitches on the lapels. They are now all covered by...the lapel facing. The jacket gains a more finished look. 

In fact, the lapel facing does more. It covers the inside of the entire front and contains all the interior pockets. It's a major part of the jacket. 

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On 7/19/2021 at 1:02 AM, kotmj said:

I was in a grocery shop just now and thought I'd get some eggs for the dogs. 

I could only find one tray with 7 eggs on it. One of the eggs was visibly cracked; another had a dark discolouration, indicating possible staleness. I asked the shop owner if these are to be sold or are they reject eggs? He says those are all he has because he is not stocking eggs. 

"Eggs are very expensive now! So I'm not stocking them! You get yourself some nice horse grass eggs from the stalls! These are normal eggs!" 

I said these are for my dogs. 

"Eggs are very, very expensive now! One tray used to be, what, seven or eight ringgit? They are now ten plus ringgit per tray!" 

I calculate a 50% price increase? 

I predicted inflation, but this is more than I had expected. I wrote a few weeks back how inflation must necessarily happen even to basic necessities. This is because, of the few companies allowed to operate, only 60% of their workforce are working. To make things worse, to maintain output, they are sometimes reliant on vendors who are not allowed to operate. So, output is low. 

But demand for eggs remains the same. 

Supply is lower. Demand is unchanged. Price has to go up. 

But it goes up at a time when people's incomes are dramatically down.

It doesn't affect me personally. Because I do not eat eggs. And because eggs are too cheap---they can cost 5x as much and I still wouldn't notice. 

But I know it matters to a large percentage of the population. For them, life is not worth living without chicken and eggs. 

It is interesting to me that the eggs I get in SG are from Malaysia and have cost me SGD2 for a tray of 10 since forever.

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I shot this video for my coatmaker, to demonstrate how I expect the fronts to be. Namely, curved towards the body. 

They put up a lot of resistance, etc. and would accuse me of being clueless, of not knowing anything about tailoring and of talking a lot of cock. Even though most of their income come from me. 

I suspended the front from its neckpoint by pinching with two fingers. You see that it has a natural tendency to curve around a wearer's body. 

You can count on one or two fingers the number of coatmakers in KL whose fronts are like this. They are all very hopeless (coatmakers). 

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On 7/22/2021 at 12:06 PM, vrp said:

We are probably experiencing the fastest pace of inflation, worldwide, in real terms.

All fiat currencies fail. Waiting to see what will happen when the USD fails.
 

What happened to the Sky-Dweller?

Yes, yes, Rolexes are great inflation hedges. Should buy as many as you can. 

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On 7/24/2021 at 12:46 AM, sid11111 said:

It is interesting to me that the eggs I get in SG are from Malaysia and have cost me SGD2 for a tray of 10 since forever.

I was talking about square trays made of recycled paper pulp which hold a great deal more than 10 eggs. 

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More progress. The fronts have been sewn to the back, and the lining has been attached. 

I would say that at this point, maybe 50% of the jacket is done. 

Tomorrow, the Mayang boy and I will sew the shoulder seams. 

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"Chong advised those residing in the Klang Valley and who exhibited Covid-19 symptoms to consider themselves “possibly infected” and go for a test.

“If you are positive, please inform those you have been in contact with to quarantine for 10 days. Testing is not necessary unless they develop symptoms. What is important is to stay at home and monitor your condition daily.

“Those who think they have been exposed but are not identified as close contacts are encouraged to test at private health facilities. This includes doing a saliva-based self-test,” he said.

---Dr Chong Chee Kheong, today

 

He says you should go test yourself. If positive, he says you should inform those you came into contact with in the last 10 days and that all should home quarantine.

So, the governmental covid task force is now asking you to jaga sendiri. You test yourself. You quarantine yourself. You inform your close contacts yourself. 

Wakaka. 

Banana republic. 

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What my sifu called a turtle back. The white basting in the approximate shape of a normal distribution is fairly common in tailoring around the world. It seems to be an efficient way of holding the back and the lining together as the jacket is being made. 

Let's look at the lining side of it. 

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You see the other side of the normal distribution. But what is that horizontal ridge of lining at waistline? 

An excess of 5mm of lining is localised at the waistline. You see, the lining of a jacket must be bigger than the jacket itself in every dimension. Only so can we be sure that the lining is not bearing the tensions of the jacket. The lining is a fragile material. It is not a "load bearing" material. By making the lining larger than the jacket, we ensure that loads are borne by the much stronger wool material, not the lining. 

That 5mm of vertical ease will be evenly distributed across the back once we remove the basting stitches holding it narrowly localised (in the form of a ridge). 

But what about the horizontal ease of the lining? Isn't the lining supposed to be larger than the jacket both vertically and horizontally? Ah, that is cleverly hidden in the center back in the form of a pleat. It's not particularly visible at this stage, but it is there. 

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No progress on my jacket today since I discovered yesterday what an incredibly poor job the Mayang boy did the past two days. He has now unpicked 2 days of work and redoing them as I watch via WhatsApp. 

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This is an interesting one. Picture from the customer. Fused suit. I never touched the pattern. I never touched the cloth. I never touched the suit.

Nonetheless the suit was made. I organised everything via WhatsApp while stuck in Bukit Tinggi.

It's far from the ideal way of doing things. It's just a way of coping with the movement restrictions. 

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Dear Jeremy Tok Tailor,

I hope you're having a lovely day.

This is Lawrence from Buzzworks Films :) I am writing to you because our team is producing a video for RHB Bank that revolves around a father and son running a tailor shop business. We are looking for a modern and trendy men’s suit tailor shop to film at. We came across your shop online and thought it might be suitable for our video :)

I’m writing to you to request permission for filming at your shop. Our budget is RM1,000 for a one-day shoot, and we’re tentatively looking to shoot anytime between 13th September 2021 - 17th September 2021.

Do let us know if this is doable? We would appreciate it if you could kindly get back to us by Wednesday, 4/8/2021 so that we can move forward with our planning. Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you :)

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Hi Lawrence,

 
Thank you very much for writing. Such an interesting proposition. Alas, looking at things objectively, I very much doubt my tailoring workshop suits your needs. It's heavily oriented towards manufacturing, not retail. There is no decor to speak of.
 
Also, we are resolutely closed until allowed to open again. I live in Pahang, and would not be able to cross the state border to open the door for you.
 
Cheers, 
Jeremy 
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It's good to know I can at least become a coatmaker if I fail as a cutter. Hehe. 

This isn't entirely a joke. A friend tells me he finds the jacket very short, and the buttoning point too high and the lapel too wide. 

All these are within the purview of the cutter. 

In mitigation, this is my personal pattern from 5 years ago and I did not want to invest the time to review the silhouette. The focus is on the construction. 

When you're my age, you're in the zenith of productive fervour. How you use your attention is everything. 

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