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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Day 15 – Can mathematics be creative? (A5, B1, C1)

5-1-1…? Or should I take 3-2-2…? How many times did I really wear that favorite ice-wash jacket? Will I really wear each garment exactly 100 times?

So many questions! I suddenly felt things was getting a bit confusing and difficult this morning, trying to keep track on both garments and combinations in the Thousand Days Of Hope And Glory project. Not to wear the same combination more than once for 1.000 days wasn’t all that easy-breezy after all. It was high time to make a list!

So I started to write down the info on the garments I had, first.

Five t-shirts. That was easy. And since garments I was wearing over the waist was categorized as A (for A top), I noted those as A1-5. So far so good.

Then I had made two trousers which I called B (for Bottom), so that was noted as B1-2. And the same with jackets (or Covers as I called them), two of them. So that was noted as C1-2.

Then the mathematics for my combination possibilities. With the garments I had, it would calculate as 5 x 2 x 2 = 20. That was 20 days of different combinations! And I was only on day 15. Apparently it was lot’s to choose between then!

Next up I noted all the possible combinations in a list, and also checked the ones I had already used. D was the letter I gave each project day, combined with a ordered number. The result felt really strange! Like… Haven’t I really had that on yet? Or… Didn’t I have that on just last week…?

The list seemed to show that after the first couple of days, when everything was new, it started to become rather random what I choosed to wear. Not systematically at all! (Which I thought it would be!) I also started to have the feeling, that some specific combinations I just wanted to wear every day! But then again, that was not allowed by the project.

So I just picked a free combination, and took it on. Easy!

The combination picked, was 5-1-1. And I was actually amazed over the fact that I hadn’t been used that before – becase I was almost certain that I had! But after consulting my everyday photo documentation, it showed me my list was correct.

But still, I find it rather mind boggling how fast the combination possibilities speed up for every new garment I make! I realized quite clearly, that even very few garments can be combined in noumerous new ways.

The question now is, can I call this creativity when I create and combine these relativity few garments? Or is it just plain mathematics? And, can creativity be of the practical sort, bringing comfortable solutions to the table? Or is it only unpractical and attention-grabbing ideas that can be labeled as creative? What is really “designing a garment” to you?

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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Day 1 of 1.000! (A1, B1, C1)

First day of the project! My mathematical experiment – Thousand Days Of Hope And Glory. Yes!

Finished these three designs just in time for today. My first combination! And at the same time the very first items from our three categories A – A top, B – Bottom and C – Cover!

First A1 – The black cotton jersey turtleneck. I made this one today.

Then B1 – The black cotton denim jeans. Also made these today.

And last C1 – The black cotton denim jacket.

And this is how it looked together.

Each of these items are to be worn 100 time each. But never together again! So I have to go back to the sewing table tonight. To make more clothes. See you tomorrow!

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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