Day 21 – Welcome A6 ! (A6, B2, C2)

Finally time for a new garment! Made under a slightly pressed timetable, it’s a black version of the white A5 t-shirt with some minor alternations. I like this design – it’s super comfortable!

The style is slightly oversized with cropped but neatly hemmed sleeves. The neckline rib is wide and cut a bit away from the neck. The hemming is wide.

I opted for the quickest solution, that still gives me four more days with different combinations. So soon I need to make a new garment!

This is how the combination looked today! And now this new t-shirt will also be worn for an additional 99 days – a total of 100 – during the 979 days I have left of the project.

The denim jacket is actually just newly washed, by hand. Let’s see how that was done tomorrow! See you there! And have a wonderful day!

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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Day 20 – Washing! Part 1. (A4, B2, C2)

How do you take care of your clothes when they’re tailor-made? Isn’t it expensive with all that dry-cleaning? That’s the questions I’m often asked. And the fact is, that I never use dry-cleaning services. I wash in machine, or by hand, depending on the item. All done at home. (Or at work.) It’s very inexpensive! And easy on the garments too.

Chapter 1 – The basic hand-wash guide.

So how do you wash by hand then? Well, it’s actually quite easy if you follow some really basic steps. Let’s go through them here!

1. First, preferably use a mild detergent. I myself often use those specifically made for hand-wash. And that’s usually a combined wool-silk detergent. They aren’t ’t quite that harsh, and doesn’t rip the products – or your hands – of their “natural” oils, or coating.

2. Dissolve the detergent into a good amount of warm water. And then soak the garment into that mix. With soaking, I mean letting the water into the fabric by gently spreading the garment under the water surface, and maybe lift it once or twice up over the surface for circulation.

3. Now start the actual washing process by allowing the water-detergent mix to pass through the garment’s fabric fibers. This is achieved by repeatedly soaking – letting the water “into” the garment by spreading it out under the surface – and gripping (squeezing) the water out of the garment. Repeat over and over again in a gentle fashion about 10 times.

4. Let the garment rest for a while in the mixed water, letting the enzymes (in the water) do their job with dissolving dirt and smell out of the fabric. You usually don’t have to leave it long with our modern day detergents – they’re quite effective! And for a more sensitive garment, the shorter you should let those enzymes/chemicals work, sometimes with no “resting” in the mixed water at all. (Try to balance the time used with the intensity of the detergent and the sensitivity of the garment.)

5. Repeat the technique in step 3, the actual washing routine, while checking the garment for cleanness. If there still dirt or possible smell, just rub gently a bit extra in those areas.

6. Now when the garment or garments are washed clean, we have to remove the detergent from them. First we twist the garments to remove as much of the tainted water as possible. Then get rid of that used detergent-mixed water.

7. Time to cleanse the garments! Pour fresh cold water into your container and soak and squeeze the garments repeatedly in the clear water. You will se the water get a bit tainted, and that’s actually exactly what we want – to get the rest of the used water and detergent out of the garment and into the more fresh water.

8. Repeat step 6 and 7 about two times more, in all a three time rinsing. But be sure to check the water. When the rinsing water stays clear, that’s when you know the garment is fully rinsed.

9. Time for the spin! To remove excess water. So, after having twisted the garment as well as you can, after the last rinse, the garment usually still feels rather wet. To help us out with that, we use a couple of (clean) towels. Preferably fluffy ones that soak up a lot of water. Place the garment on top of the open towel, or towels overlapping each other, and just roll it up as tight as you can…

… and then twist it as good as you can. To help you out you can either use one hand in each side, or place your foot at one side and then twist with both hands. But be gentle with sensitive garments! Some garments hardly need any spinnng/twisting at all. Be aware of that the process can give coarse wrinkles. Just as a machine spin would do. And also be aware of the very strong force the hand-spinning actually gives!

10. Finished! Good job! Just hang, or lay, the garment to dry natural. Some wind would help you speeding up the process. Be sure to place the garment in the style and shape you would like it to be, since it will dry into that shape. Feel free to mold, stretch and pat it into your favorite preferable fashion. It’s actually rather surprising how much a moist garment can be reshaped! Also pay attention to your hanger’s shape – it should preferably mirror your own shoulders, and hopefully not be too pointy.

Well done! A gentle but effective wash just copleated. Feel good about it, and be proud of taking care of your garments in a good way.

Chapter 2 – The Project, Day 20.

The 20th day mark reached! And now there’re no more combination possibilities left with the nine garments I currently have. This was the last one. So high time to make a new garment! Let’s do it! And… See you tomorrow!

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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Day 19 – Shirts and deadlines. (A3, B2, C2)

Time is running out. It’s time to make decisions! And work hard.

Chapter 1 – Finishing up!

Closing projects can sometimes be just as difficult as starting them. Actually often just plain hard! It’s not easy to say, this is it! – I’m done. Especially if you are the one making that specific decision.

In tailoring, when you feel that you’re starting to approach the final stitch, it’s actually then it all can becom a bit tricky. At the same time as you have that feeling of soon being ready, there actually are multiple finishing-up things to do, that surprisingly can take hours to get through. All those small “irritating” little details!

But it can also be difficult to let go. You get the feeling that you maybe could have done more. That very feeling can truly be a double-edged sword.

On one side, it keeps you alert! Going through garments thoroughly to look for corrections or mishaps is a good solid and professional routine. But when you start adjusting things that do not need adjusting, you’re on a slippery slope. Time – the hours at hand – can quickly start rushing away uncontrollably.

So make sure you know what your end product should look like, before you start checking the product. Often, a okay is good enough. And especially if you are used to holding a high standard overall.

For me, these were the two shirts I finished up today. Satisfied! Learned a lot. As I always do with each and every product I make. To finish products is an important thing to do, to be able to learn.

Now off to finish up the next two items in the summer 2019 collection – while again using my time weisly. That is, deciding what’s good enough, to still being able to move on.

Chapter 2 – The deadline is closing in. Make a decision!

Today it’s already the 19th day of the Thousand Days Of Hope And Glory project! So that basically tells me that I only have tomorrow, one day, to come up with a solution for keeping the project rolling. A garment. But which one? That decision can be a bit difficult to rush!

Busy as I am right now, I think I can narrow it down to two options. Since I don’t have time to “invent” (create) a compleatly new design, I either make a quick t-shirt – the 6th one – which would give me an additional 4 more days to go on, or, I make a new denim jacket in a different color, which would give me additional 10 days more! But do I have time for making a whole denim jacket? That’s the question!

Do I invest time now, knowing I have other deadlines to reach, to get more elbow room further down the road, or do I make something quicker now, knowing I just pushed the deadline a little tiny bit further in front of me? Work harder now to be awarded later, while walking the thin line, or do the secure and sensible thing now, while still keeping the stressful deadline just in front of me? Getting 10 or 4 days – that’s what I have to decide tomorrow!

One thing is sure though – whichever garment I make, I have to wear it for 100 days. That’s the rule. So it better be comfortable! And hopefully look good too.

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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Day 18 – Do you have time enough? (A2, B2, C2)

Timing your work can be extremely stressful. Do you add some extra time to make it perfect, do you just stop and accept the result, or do you distribute the time at hand for a more even process?

Chapter 1 – The Project’s dilemma.

Mathematical projects can be so unemotional. You make a plan. You follow the rules. Success is then within reach. How hard can it be? Enter, feelings.

Thoughts. Contemplations. Worries. Questions. Have I time enough? Will it work? Should I opt for something more advanced? It’s like a roller-coaster! And you are right there in the front-seat!

The list above was much needed, and very helpful indeed after the initial few easy days. Now it helps me keeping track on all the garments and combinations. Today it showed me I had exactly three choises left before running out of options. So I just picked the first free one, and marked it D18* (Day 18).

What I also could see is that I only have two days left for making another garment. Do I have time enough to make something extraordinary? Or Should I go for something practical, that I just can wear comfortably for 100 days? The dilemma of wanting more hours, but at the same time maybe having enough of them, if used right. To plan far ahead and make great decisions that actually work vs. freefloating creativity! Time to make a choise.

Chapter 2 – Investing in a collection! Time well spent?

Continued the day with the production of our menswear Bespoke Era summer collection for next year. It should be ready soon. I’m making the shorts, chinos and t-shirts at the moment in wonderfully vibrant colors. I like it!

But as usual it takes a lot of time. Time which is noted, checked and filed. I always tend to imagine that items would (or could) be swiftly assembled – an optimist! The reality though, is that it takes exactly the amount of time I invest to get the level of quality I want to achieve. In other words – if I upgrade the garment for aesthetic or resilience reasons, or both, it will take longer to make. Something I’m very aware of.

So how much time should be invested in samples of creative visions? Well… it depends how much time you have to invest. A decision you have to make, if you’re self-employed. But if you ask me, the answer is that I like to present visions clear and precise. Because, then the next garment, in the same style, for a customer, will go just a little bit faster, and will look slightly more coherent.

So I would say, don’t go overboard! Don’t try to achieve all at once! Instead, make your projects in a scale you can comprehend, and do it well. That’s time we’ll spent!

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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Day 17 – Color and choises. (A1, B1, C2)

In summer season, when you go for strong silhouettes and good quality garments, you also want the colors to shine bright!

Chapter 1 – Adding colors!

When planning your collection it’s important that your colors gives a strong message of coherence. The fabrics should not represent everything – they should tell your story!

When choosing, don’t look at them separately. Try to pick up two or three of them and see if they go together. Then shift one of them, and see if you’re still okay.

The idea is that they all should go together within different combinations – then you could use (or buy, or sell) all the garments made with confidence. And that’s our point here! Do not be random. Do your “homework” properly before embarking into your production. That will save both time and money!

Chapter 2 – Make a choise.

When embarking into your production, you should in beforehand have made some quality choises. Do you want a over-the-top handstitched collection? Do you want to focus on a great fit and smooth silhouettes? Is overlook just not your thing? Have you planned your fittings?

To make all these decisions can be hard. Especially if you’re not trained in tailoring and/or collection technique. If your only reference is your own bought wardrobe, or images from the internet, you should invest in some guidance. Get a collaboration assistant! Someone with great experience.

The important thing is not to know it all. The important thing is to plan as much as possible, technically, to not “paint yourself into a corner”, wasting precious time and money.

So make a list on topics as overall look, focus, stitching, thread, buttons, finishing, and so on. And your results will be so much better!

Chapter 3 – The Project.

We arrived to day no. 17! Yes! I’m actually feeling quite proud. It all starting to make sense now, feeling just like a natural thing, to only be wearing these few garments in different new combinations. I don’t even miss my old pre-project clothes!

My list actually did all the difference! Now I can just go through it, and see what combinations I have to choose between. Easy! And now I can also calculate that I have only three days left, before I have to add a new garment. And if I then add another jacket – boom! – then I suddenly have 10 new combinations! (Going from 20 to 30.) And if I then add a pair of trousers on top of that, then I’ve got additional 15 more combinations! This is so much fun!

See you tomorrow for a new project combination, and much more sewing and planning! Have a wonderful day!

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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