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The suiting thread


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I think these are very nicely made. The finish is a bog standard NC (nitrocellulose), but Tim applied three very thin layers with sanding between layers, resulting in an extremely natural-looking finish. NC often looks like a layer of shiny plastic on the wood. Not this one.

Each shelf is adjustable in 1.5" steps. Two steps up, and two steps down. 

The whole thing is in solid semangkok wood.

This is the fourth project Tim did for me. He made me a 6 feet oak board. Then, three mezza luna pine blocks. Then an 8 feet oak board. Now these two semangkok shelves.

Tim has always behaved to the highest standards in my years of dealing with him. He has a high sensitivity to the feel and appearance of wood, and is conscious of the mechanical soundness of his furniture.

My next project with him will probably be an African teak 6 feet consultation table.

WhatsApp 012-309 0090 untuk pertanyaan lanjut.

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Andrew Ramroop's first suit from 1969. He made it with his own hands. Notice how horizontally the peak of the lapels point.


Historical suits. Left, Rubinacci 1935. Right, Frederick Scholte, founder of the predecessor of Anderson & Sheppard.

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The Sri Damansara girl has completed a baste jacket for me in a light summery Loro Piana fabric. It was drafted by her and also basted by her. She had previously taken my measurements.

We were all too busy to have a proper fitting. So the basted jacket just sat there.

I did put it on briefly. But I was too distracted to come to any conclusions about the fit.

Almost everything is now cut by her. Jackets are basted by her. Trousers are basted by the Mayang boy.

Of course all this happens under my supervision.

But today I did cut something myself. As in, with my own hands. Almost doesn't happen anymore. Waist 45", hips 53".


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In between, handed over a 3-piece in Escorial.

There are many more pressing tasks in the shop, but I've worked through my "weekend" (Mondays and Tuesdays). So instead of going to visit a recalcitrant sewing tailor (a very pressing task), I hauled myself up to Genting.

This past week was an important one because I finally understood what I needed to do regarding social media.

Maybe 2 weeks ago, I came across the term "social media IQ". Some companies have high SMIQ. South Korea, as a nation, has high SMIQ. Malaysia has low SMIQ.

I realized I have very low SMIQ. This realisation caused me to take a closer look at what people are actually doing on social media.

Not that many years ago,IG/FB was simply a place to post pictures of completed garments as a form of online portfolio. You would hear of our existence through a Google search or another person, look us up, and discover our portfolio on social media.

But I realized people now spend many hours a day on IG. They spend more time there than on Netflix. Personally, I'm a YouTube guy. IG is boring to me.

My realisation was, people go on IG to be entertained. They love reels and stories.

(I'm very indifferent to both.)

The "production value" of these things are low. But people don't mind. They spend hours a day watching them.

So, I've jumped into the bandwagon. I need to demonstrate high SMIQ.

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A customer came in with the intention of ordering a few shirts and trousers to "see your cutting first".

He saw the green linen DB above on a mannequin in the consultation room. I noticed his interest. "Would you like to try it on?" I asked.

He left having ordered an identical linen double breasted suit in the same cloth, and a navy suit. And a bunch of shirts and trousers.

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I've been advertising for people who would like to become tailors on indeed and jobstreet and myfuturejobs and in Chinese newspapers for literally years. So few people are interested. I thought it must be due to the tiny size of the company. JT must be an unattractive employer, I thought.

As a consequence of the inability to recruit, prices at JT have gone up. I never wanted it this way. It was necessary to reduce demand by raising prices because capacity is limited.

Then, I advertised for an admin assistant on myfuturejobs. I get about 6 applicants per day.

So now I know it's not about JT. Nobody wants to become tailors.

So maybe I'll just hire admin assistants. Then tell them they can make extra money if they would do such-and-such tailoring task. After a while, they realise they make 2x as much making trouser bastes than in admin. So, they move into tailoring. Then I hire the next "admin assistant" and repeat the process.

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A prospective customer asked:


Do you typically have your tailors attending on your behalf or it will be you personally? Regards,

I never thought of it this way. That there would be a day when an employee of JT could independently see customers.

However, some hope of such a development occurred this morning. A high IQ girl of 24 yo applied for an admin assistant job. As many A's in SPM as I had back in the days. From my limited WhatsApp conversation with her, her English appeared extremely solid. Solid not just for a 24yo Malay girl from the deep provinces; I thought it was world-class solid. I kept thinking she must have been using Google translate when texting with me until she sent me her SPM cert this morning. So many A's.

Realistically though, the customer-facing job will likely be split into two. Salesman and cutter. One interpersonal; the other technical. London tailoring firms do that because it is difficult to find a person strong in both.

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Just now, a customer asked me why it takes 3 months to make a suit.

(I may have forgotten to tell him that's if we really hurry.)

It's a very valid question. Some tailors nearby us can make one in 3 weeks.

"Is it because you send it to China to make?"

I wish we were logistically as sophisticated.

He went for a DB in H&S Perennial Classics.

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I just sat through the presentations by the INTI students on a new interior for JT. I found the designs extremely impressive.

It was done through Microsoft Teams, and one of the students presented from a hospital bed where he was lying.

I'm just shocked right now by how nice the designs are.

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Today, while in the consultation room, a customer tells me "it's a nice place you've got here."

Later, as he was about to leave, he asked if he could take a picture of the workshop. 

He seems genuinely to like the interior.

Truthfully, the workshop is a disaster. I haven't the time to fix it. I have so many things to fix.

Top in priority is the staffing situation. Second, I need to set up the shirt buttonholing machine. I bought it before the pandemic but haven't set it up for use. Just as important, I have two projects to further organise and structure our patternmaking infrastructure in both jackets, trousers (male+female) and shirts.

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On the workshop/consultation room: There’s a certain value in seeing some of the production process, kind of makes the customer feel connected to the product rather than some faceless machine elsewhere churning out the item. Imagine those shopping mall tailors and it feels flash but there’s always a niggling feel that it’s show with no substance, that it’s a boutique with no personal touch.

the quality of the student presentation is really quite amazing

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On 3/7/2022 at 10:57 PM, takashi said:

You might like this JT.

Can still understand without the subtittles?



I posted this video here myself before the pandemic. Of course I understood everything. I still occasionally listen to youtube videos in German while driving to and from work.

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So here's another one by a certain Teo Jia Jia. Altogether 5 proposals were presented to me. The one I posted a few days ago was by a certain Haruna Akiyama, who never visited the site in person because she was in Japan.





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It's very troublesome for me to take screenshots of the pdfs then cropping and uploading. That's why I do it when I have the time.

I may post these on my IG. I'm ok if any other tailor wants to copy the designs for their own outlets.

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