Day 14 – Worked. (A2, B1, C2)

There are a lot of different techniques to master while tailoring and creating clothes, and also many decisions to make. A lot of them centers around quality. Do you want a quick fix, or do you want to reach a higher standard.

Usually the higher standard adds on an enormous amount of extra time that has to be acounted for. But it’s also about signals to send – what you stand for and what your preferences are. Right?

Today I will show you how I made the A2 Denim Jacket’s hand-stitched buttonholes – also often called worked buttonholes – just to give you a glimpse of how much work that’s actually invested into them. And also, to show you how thoroughly they’re made, even though I went for a somewhat rougher look.

Here we go!

First we calculate all placements. Mark top and bottom and then devide with the amount of in-between distances.

Mark each buttonhole’s placement.

Measure the diameter – width – of your buttons, and just add a tiny bit for extra room.

Measure the distance from front edge in, and then the width of the buttonhole.

Mark the placement. (Here done a bit rough with a pencil since I know it will be covered later on. Otherwise you should use basting thread or a tailor’s chalk.)

Marked cuff.

Marked front.

Stitch around each buttonhole either by hand or machine. This is just to keep the layers together while cutting and overcasting. This stitch will be fully covered later on.

Punch a hole within the stitched area, at the outer end of the buttonhole (to be).

Cut the buttonhole open. Try to avoide fraying as much as possible, so do take care. (Denim is actually the worst – it frays enormously! But that’s just another challenge, right?)

Overcast all raw edges with a thinner sewing thread. Be sure to lock in all layers compleatly. I usually go around three times – one from the right side, one from the reversed side, and then again an extra check-up one the right side.

There! A secured and overcasted buttonhole. Actually the buttonholes are already working now, but we do want to add resiliness, and that’s up next.

Start with adding a stay thread. It will prevent the buttonhole from stretching while being used. Pass it in between the fabric layers and place it along the secured edge.

You can use a specially made gimp here – a stiff cord – but I usually just take what I have, and therefore use the same waxed buttonhole twist as I will use for the stitching itself later on. And here doubled to two strings to make it more stable.

Then start the actual buttonhole stitching with a waxed buttonhole twist (thread). You can see that I pass the thread under the needle twice, counter-clockwise, for each stitch, before pulling the thread through.

The knots are pulled sideways to the center of the hole, except at the rounded edge where they are pulled upwards to make enough room for all the crowded knots there.

Continue all the way around.

Make a resilient bar-tack at the end, and the cut off the “starting knots”, and the stay threads.

There! A finished worked buttonhole!

Mark where to place all the buttons.

Make sure that design seams and edges match up perfectly.

Macke holes – but do not cut them – where the buttons are placed, if denim buttons are used.

Press the denim buttons in place.

Finished button placement.

There you go! Worked buttonholes all done! I hoped you enjoyed the process. And now you know the difference between a machine-made buttonhole and one made by hand. You also know what’s hidden beneath the stitching seen, which is a lot.

Thank you for following the process!

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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Day 13 – Is this a tailor? (A4, B1, C2)

Weekend! Yes! But of course I’m still at work, trying to wrap things up allthough I’ve got so much to do. Customers assignments to attend. New ideas to get systemized. Visions to put on paper (well… pixels). And a working day that sometimes can present itself a bit scattered – all over the place. How to do it all simultaneously?

So I’m thinking – what did I actually sign up for, when I choosed this very specific path of work-life? And what did I imagine it would be like, to embark into a tailoring career?

I think the absolute truth is, that I never really got the vision. It was more of a slow search of tools that I could use to solve the problems I encountered while trying to create a version of myself, that I felt was the very true one. It kind of evolved naturally step by step.

I most certainly felt I needed some specific things to compleat me, which I couldn’t get. And I probably felt I needed to know some certain knowledges in order to make those very things things, I couldn’t get. And then, suddenly, there I was titulated as a tailor. But… what is a tailor really? Can a tailor have opinions on existential topics? Can a tailor maybe design things? Could a tailor possible have ideas on the future? And, is there a certain way a tailor should act, be and look like?

I think most people destinctevly separates tailors as producing and altering suits. But really, there’s so much more! Clothes can be almost anything! Anything you need, to be the true you.

Anyway… today I totally made a belt to be serged in to this project. It’s called X2. It reminds me of the late 1970’s. And together with that, I’m wearing A4, B1 and C2.

987 days to go!

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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Day 12 – Adding holes ! (A5, B1, C2)

Some people see it as craziness! I see it as a protest. Some people just don’t care. Finally I got my buttonholes made into my C2 Denim Jacket! Yes! They were made by hand of course.

So what’s the difference in machine vs. man? And why do I do it? And finally, what’s the protest all about? Well, let’s break it down, and I’ll try to give you some answers.

First, the huge difference between handmade vs. machine-made buttonholes is, that handmade (or worked as they often are called) are covering and reinforcing the already opened (button)hole made in the fabric. The machine-stitched on the other hand, is stitched first and opened afterwards. That means the machine-made is not that resilient, and is often fraying. The handmade on the other hand is both prepped and stitched in layers and is very seldom worn to bits.

So why do I do it? Knowing that it takes so much longer to make? Well, except for the obvious reason mentioned above (that they are much more powerful), I do think they are much more beautiful! They have a personality to them. Everyone is different from the other, and I can alter them to fit the garmen just the way I want them to. Like rough. Or neat. Or maybe in between? In fact, I do think garments deserve them.

And the protest thing, then? What was that all about? Well, I think it’s a pro-individuality thing for me. I mean, where can you get your hands on personalized denim jackets, properly made without the use of overlock, and with handmade buttonholes in them that look almost like industrial ones? Well, yes! Almost nowhere. Except the ones I, and a few others, make.

Then compare that with all the generic denim jackets floating around! They are supposed to ooze of quality, originality, and individuality – when they in reality are an extremely conformed and often poorly made product, produced in huge factories far away. What’s the coolness in that? Or beauty? Or egyness? Or quality? Absolutely non, I would say! Truly non existent.

So my quiet protest against mass-market throw-away boredom is, an absolut individual denim jacket, that almost, for the untrained eye, looks like the other thing. But is not.

My point is, that I can create exactly the garment I want, individually. And the factory cannot. That’s why I wear my C2 Denim Jacket with pride. Starting out during the planned 100 days, and probably for years to come afterwards!

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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Day 11 – The Cool Jacket. (A1, B2, C2)

The Ice-Wash Jacket C2, my new favorite! How was that done? Here are some highlights below! Enjoy! (Remember that all these clothes can be ordered in your size, or, learned how to make yourself. Please contact Alexander@StenMartin.com for more info.)

Here we go! After cutting the fabric I’m starting with sewing the main counter seams.

At all the seam intersections where the fabric layer pile-ups are, I give it a go with the leather hammer before I stitch across it. Just to flatten it somewhat.

Here’s a typical seam intersection flattened, stitched and done. The thing is to get the stitching straight and continuous even though it can be op to 16 layers of fabric at some places. (Here it’s just 10 layers.)

It’s also important to end evenly at the raw “end-edges” of each seam, not transporting the top layers too much out of place compared to the lower layers. You always want to keep the shape in the right places, and not just cut off “excess” fabric at the end.

Here you can see the four-layer counter seams on both right and reversed side. I always try to keep them both as neat and even as I can, since the jacket of course will not be lined at all.

The right side of the half-finished front pocket fundament, before adding yoke and pocket flap.

And here is the reversed side of the half-finished front pocket fundament.

Adding collar and neck-strap (loop).

Making the sleeve vents.

Here’s a close-up of the sleeve vent, before adding the sleeve to the body, closing the sleeve and sideseam in one, and finally adding cuffs and waistband.

If any thread suddenly ends in the middle of a seam, or at planned secured spots where the seam naturally ends, I almost always secure the thread ends by hand, and hide the last bit between fabric layers with the help of a needle.

Three! All done! (Buttonholes will be added later on when I have a bit more time. I’ll keep you posted!)

And here it is, worn in today’s combination! Day 11 of 1.000! Let’s do this! See you tomorrow!

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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Day 9 – Mix it up ! (A5, B2, C2)

New items in! Adding the Ice-Wash Denim Jacket and the Basic White T-shirt to the Thousand Days Of Hope And Glory project. I call them C2 and A5.

Both just made, this t-shirt has a relaxed fit, short sleeves an a rather old-school neckline. A kind-of anachronistic look, mixing 1980’s a bit naive clean-cut fresh look (neckline, fresh white, properly made and oversized) with a mid 2010’s deconstructed relaxed feel (narrow shoulders, small sleeves, drape over torso).

The denim jacket is also a mix of decades, honoring the 1980’s distressed denim look, but still made clean-cut, well and properly, and not at all oversized, to echo a more current vibe. (Hand-made buttonholes will be added later when I have a bit of sparetime. As long as it can be worn, right?)

And this is how it ended up! I hope you like it! Now I got even more combination possibilities!

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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