Endurance! (Good or bad?)

5 days ago I run a marathon. It was one of the warmest ones in Copenhagen Marathon’s history! Wow! That was a really, really hot day! With the sun beaming from a clear blue sky, and almost no shadows in sight. Such a beautiful experience!

It was actually exactly 10 years ago I ran my last one (I’m counting 4 runs now). But otherwise I’m absolutely not a stranger to long-lasting either runs or assignments. Staying awake for hours-and-hours, making monotonous movements is actually a large part of a tailor’s work. Sometimes even working for 36 hours straight with only short breaks, before huge deadlines, is something I’ve done many times. It’s what we call control. Or is it?

So here comes the question. Is endurance really a good or a bad thing? I know it’s a complex question, but anyway? Is being enormously passionate about one thing, and use hours, days, months and even years to perfect that – is that a plus or a minus? I, myself have my doubts sometimes. As in, that some things is harder to control than others, right? And as in, that for some things, there are never time enough! It can be so frustrating.

My conclusion though, personally, here at this very moment, is that things that make you happy is a good thing. Tailoring and creating garments makes me happy! And running! And coffee. But I also think it is important to be realistic, and try to make some sort of planning.

On the other hand, I’m not a believer of quick fixes. I like doing things properly, and I like to stay with things or ideas for a while. Shifting to new things constantly, just for the sake of moving on – well… it’s probably not my greatest force!

That’s probably why I still work with the same thing I did in the 80’s! Because craft and tailoring is such a rich thing! To thoroughly make things from start to finish, although it takes a long time, is such a blessing to be allowed to.

So I think I’ll probably stick with my training and my job for a while yet. Yes! Let’s go to work! And be great! We do deserve that. To evolve. And to enjoy. As much as we can.

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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Trying something new !

It’s now! Right now! You finally decided to create a great collection! But how to do that? How to get it done?

First, you head over to your favorite tailoring academy. And then you make a choise. If you’re experienced and just want it all made – in best quality possible – you should choose Unfold Your Vision, and we will help you make it.

But, if you’re an absolut beginner and have never made a garment before, I would suggest you’d choose I Want To Interact. And there, you can just start exploring, all the wonderful possibilities tailoring itself can offer you – and also, start asking questions about it!

Maybe you just want to be entertained, then choose Inspiration. It’s completely free! A daily dosis.

Or if you want to go to class, and research a project together with others, choose Time To get Serious!

It’s that simple! A free-thinking and independent tailoring academy! It’s our new version of a safe-space, where you can discuss, learn and develop your own garment-making techniques further.

Since our passion and mission always has been to explain how innovative and well-fitted quality garments are made, we thought it would be interesting to turn everything on it’s head! To meet you, where you’re at – instead of you, traveling and adapting to us! To help you solve your problems directly when you have them, and where you have them – instead of you following an already fixed path of learning. In other words, now you decide what to learn. And when. And in what order!

One could say, it’s almost like streaming knowledge! Or leasing your learning! By discussions and projects had at the academy, you will quickly start developing new ways of how to use, and view, quality design and tailoring! Are you ready? We are!

But hey… you might say! Wait a minute! Haven’t we forgot something? What if someone just want one of those traditional one-to-one individual courses, like in the old days? What then? Well… no worries. We got you covered! We saved those over at It’s All About Tailoring. As they say – when you try something new, always be sure to still save the original. Right?

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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T.D.O.H.A.G. – The prequel!

The idea is actually quite simple.

  1. Take one person.
  2. Design 10 trousers (or skirts), 10 tops (or shirts), and 10 “covers” (as in jackets, windbreakers or coats).
  3. Make the garments.
  4. Wear them 100 times each.
  5. That would give a total of 1.000 combination possibilities.

Let’s take that one more time! 30 garments, divided into three groups. Combine them with each other and that will give you a whole new outfit, every day, for 1.000 days.  10 x 10 x 10 = 1.000. Rather obvious one could say – but still kind of amazing! That’s almost three years!

So what’s the hook here? Well, a few actually! Let’s break it down into a couple of questions:

1. Which kind garments should it be? Hm… to make the calculation work we’ll need three categories. My suggestion is a very simple setup called A, B, C. A would stand for “a top”. (Clever, right?) B would stand for bottom. And C for cover (it all). Together, a fully dressed person.

2. What should the garments look like? It’s all up to you. The challenge though, is that all of the pieces in each and every category, should be  combinable with every piece in the other two categories! So think it through properly! Do I need something for weddings? And can I wear that piece 100 times… in some way? (Alternations is okay.)

3. Can a garment endure 100 times of wear? I certainly hope so! You have to make it durable. (Mending and repairing is okay.)

4. What about additional clothing? Well the focus will not be on that part – just on the three categories. But preferably the other items should be self-produced also

5. How much time do we have for preparations? Almost non. Starting Maj 20th 2018. 4 days.

So what do you think? Will you join me? Just to show that lesser garments in good quality maybe still can give you lots of possibilities to look fresh – every day!

Thousand Days Of Hope And Glory! T.D.O.H.A.G. Let’s do it! Right?

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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Are we going backwards…? (Reclaiming pattern-making!)

Making garments have never been easier and quicker. That’s what any salesperson within the digital 3D-rendering pattern-making trade will tell you. In just moments you can design full garments on a virtual mannequin they say. But is that true? And what kind of garment will it really be? Let’s quickly discuss that. But first, a little trip down history lane. Just to understand where it all came from. The technical skill of drafting garments, that is.

If we just start with going back to the early 1940’s only, roughly a lifetime ago, there were already size-changeable – or should we say interactive – pattern’s around. They were all firmly built on mathematical ideas of human (esthetical) proportions put forward during the late 19’th century. One would think these ideas were perused and invented by tailors, because they needed them. But no, they were published and discussed by mathematicians. One could say, to systemically ruel out all creative individuality. (Although that was not the aim.)

So what was mathematical about it? Well… to conclude any interactive cutting pattern, analog as well as digital, you will need a system of numbers to render the very main-frame which the pattern then is built around. These numbers we call measurements. It could basically be anything on the human body measured, but typically it starts with the chest girth, the widest circumference on the body, and then one gradually works one’s way down to other smaller circumferences, widths and lengths.

The idea is, the more you measure the more exact it will become. But…! At a certain point, with too many measurements, the esthetics will be thrown out of the window. Becase, you still want, according to the systems, save some areas where you should calculate them proportionally against your other main measurements instead.

So what was, and is, technically so new about all of this? The truth is – nothing much. You had cutting patterns with measurements included already circulating in the 17th century, roughly 400 hundred years ago! They were just fixed patterns. The tailor then corrected the garments directly on the customer by using all his skills and tricks. One could actually argue that back then, the tailor himself was his own interactive tool, and not the computer. He himself computed things with individual and esthetically pleasing results.

But what about the cutting process? Isn’t the computer perfect for stopping waste, by cutting all pieces extremely close to each other? Well, yes. But that’s really nothing new either. A good tailor has always cut with minimum waste – that’s a part of his skill! Just look at any old cutting diagram – absolutely no waste at all! Because the garments are designed to work that way.

If we then move up about 200 years to the 19th century, more digets start to appear on all the pattern cutting diagrams. Industrialism goes hand in hand with technology. The tailor now has to now “exactly” how to draw the garment since there’s a growing focus on preciseness. The fact that the tailor then, afterwards, still had to correct the pattern into the customer’s size – well, never mind that!

And as the years went by, more and more numbers were added, to draw every curve, dart and straight line “correct”. The added numbers is an indication of the tailor’s lesser and lesser importance in a fully creative way. What the tailor now is used for, is to correct all the “precise” pattern pieces when they strangely enough don’t match the customer’s body… “How can that be? Did you not draw the pattern exactly as it said on the chart?” Well… the patterns were still fixed, so the tailor was also still very useful in altering them, if you did care about a good fit.

But here’s what I’m thinking about. The more I study these old patterns, the more I feel that there’s something magical about their simplicity. It almost seems like building a furniture, or house, or something not wearable. “This is how it should look. Make this.” A template diagram. You’ll get what you see, and then you figure out the result by yourself, according to your skills and choise of fabric, style and size. It’s like a suggestion for a garment! Like, it could be this – but it could also be something compleatly else! It’s your choice!

 

So what I’m trying to question here, is, if we in reality really are going backwards with all this digital technology nowadays? To a less creative place? Yes, everything goes faster. But to what extent? You can digitally 3D render garments all day long if you want to, but the harch reality probably is, that you still know next to nothing about how the actual finished garment will function on a person in real life, when he moves around and does “his thing”. What you really are creating, is more of an empty shell. That actually fit’s nobody that well. And for all the 3Dscanning? Well, unlimited (more) measurements does not necessarily equal with a better fit. Because what each and every person believes is a good fit is a complex and often emotional, and almost always an individual, thing. And there’s no equation for that – yet. (I’m looking at you AI!)

What would be “forward” then? For creativity? Something that’s absolutely not sultifying, but nurturing? Something that suggests, rather than argues? I would say, go old-school!

Why not trying to simplify the whole cutting and designing process? Trying something extremely un-digital, like drawing a pattern as they did centurys ago – but with a contemporary cut, a denim jacket or something? It would be us reclaiming pattern-making! Let’s do it! Right?

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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Getting ready for summer!

While spring slowly turns into summer, at some point, I usually feel the need for a thorough clean-up! And that was today! The daylight gets brighter, the sun rises higher, and all colors just pop-up everywhere – everything suddenly seems so full of life! And that’s when it all needs a fresh back-drop.

The bright light also, of course, reminds me of washing windows… letting the sun in, clean and crisp – it’s a must! And having the studio in an old late 18th century building, placed in a neighborhood dating centuries back, I really love seeing all the colorful old facades on the other side of the narrow street, contrasting to the blue sky. So windows need to be done. Check!

And then floors… Having your workspace functioning as both production and customer greeting area, cleaning and tidying up the studio can be a constant struggle. Unlike other traditional stores, that have their production placed elswhere, or online shops where you usually don’t see the premises at all, we don’t really hide any parts of our design and tailoring work processes. It all happens right here! For you to see. But naturally we still want it to look okay and not compleatly messy (as it often can end up doing in the tailoring and sewing trade). And sometimes it needs an extra push. Like today!

The blue sky and all the other coloring outside also inspires our work! As we’re finalizing all planning for next spring, our blue naturally ends up right there in the center! Bright colors turned into active wear!

And yellow, and orange, and mint, and stripes and flowers! Yes! Amazing to finally letting it all come together in lot’s of bursting feelings and fun! Can’t wait to get started! But first… finishing to swab the floors, right?

There! The sunny, bright heat and coloring outside in the street! And comforting and freshly cooling shadows inside. Now let’s get back to the “actual” work, shan’t we? Getting all ready for summer!

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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If you enjoyed this content, feel free to support us by sharing this article, subscribe to one or two of our different platforms with informative content on tailoring and design, or, by just donating a sum. As a small independent company, we’re always greatful for your support, big or small.

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