Author Archives: tyrmi

H&M jeans, 2007, repaired

Bought some very dark jeans from h&m eight years ago. Have used them a lot for the last two years. They’re not my favourite pair, but they fit me well and I’ve worn them since they were perfectly dark blue. I have repaired the crotch, both front pockets, one back pocket, right thigh, left knee. I am experimenting a bit with mending techniques. One of the great things about sewing is you can always rip it up and try again.

The short rise looks very out of style in 2016, almost like women’s jeans. They used to be straight, but I’ve tapered them. The old look was almost like a slim bootcut, but now they are more like regular 80’s jeans.

Not worth the work I’ve put into it, but I like the fact that they’re so worn out.

Factory distressed jeans look ridiculous to me, and I’ve always felt this way. I bought a pair of designer jeans from the Red Cross thrift store with fake wear on the knees, and I’m going to give them to my brother, because I just can’t wear them.

I’ve ordered some olive colored cotton canvas to make a parka, so someday I will post how that goes.

But first I will post an image of Marty McFly’s inside out jeans. The movie is set in 2015. Somehow that never caught on. Even though G star tried.

Sustainable fashion – an oxymoron?

Just learned from a very interesting newsweek article that there’s a global crisis in second hand clothing. Fast fashion is leaving so much low quality second hand clothing that even the African market is getting picky, and 80% of what we give to charity is just burned or discarded.

Too much of what we buy is too impractical, or not durable enough, even for some of the world’s poorest. It really gives a refreshing view on the window displays at H&M and Zara.

Whenever my wife buys something from the Swedish brand Monki, it typically breaks after a few weeks. Which makes me think that these clothes aren’t really clothes, they’re just fashion. You have the textile industry, and the fashion industry, and their products are fashion textiles, but are they clothes? Some of these clothes are simply trash, and too bad to be of any use to anyone in the world. To me that makes them less pretty.

Maybe fashion, at it’s very core, is impractical, vain and wasteful? Maybe fashion can never be sustainable, because the idea of style implies you discard something perfectly usable, just because it’s out of style.

On the other hand I know a few old baby boomers who wear the same parka and Wrangler jeans for 20 years, and I don’t strive for that look either…

I think fashion can be sustainable, but it has to be slow fashion. Also we shouldn’t let the high street brands confuse us as to what fashion is. If you get a camouflage three-piece suit, a shirt with flamingos, or a big hat, wear it twice and then sell it, that’s fashion. It’s silly, it’s wasteful, but at least it’s fun. But you don’t need 6 boring grey shirts from a chain store, that you might never wear. That is not fashion; that’s just clothes. And it’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity, so treat it as such. Which means basically, you buy something nice and new, wear it until it’s become a little less trendy, and then wear it some more, and then you treat yourself to something nice and new again when it’s worn out.

I know it sounds like preaching, but I’m just thinking out loud here…

On a side note I think that any clothes bought second hand are far more sustainable than sustainable fashion can ever be.

I’m not sure about recycling. If I read this article in the Guardian correctly, it’s still some time before it’s actually effective… The thought that my polyester parka could be around for hundreds of years after I’m dead makes me think that maybe it’s worth a try.

I could probably get by for the rest of my life just on clothes discarded by family members. After I started not throwing clothes out, I cant even get rid of the stuff I get for Christmas or inherit.

Jeans done

And here are the honest pictures. I’m not big on selfies, so excuse the blurry pictures. To sum it up they are a pair of size 34 Levi’s 501’s, but I’ve omitted rivets, yoke, watch pocket, and contrast top stiching. The hem is not done yet, but as they are so long I will just wear them folded up, and hem later. Can’t wait to see what a bit of wear will do to these. The fact that I have made the waist a couple of inches smaller means they look more Cowboy and less slacker, but that might not last, as I suspect they will give a little. I didn’t wash the fabric before cutting, so I need to wear them for a long time before eventually washing them very carefully. Will definitely make my own pants in the future! But I won’t use french seams on the inside legs like in the picture below. French seams are for thin fabrics IMO.

 

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Riveting

rode-lommer

I forgot to write last time: I’m omitting rivets. I don’t like them. I just tried to replace the pockets on an old pair of jeans, and it became a mess because of rivets. They make repairing and refitting jeans harder. I’m sure they made sense in 1871, but they don’t any more.

Anyways. When I read about sewing I just want pictures pictures pictures, so here they are:

I’m very happy with the front pockets. They are railroad pattern twill from a jacket I bought second hand to use as scraps. Should last forever. (And if they don’t I can easily replace them because there are no rivets.) I did a French seam on the back first, but I have since unravelled that seam and just zigzagged and topstiched. It became bulky, and I’d traced the 501’s too faithfully. In the future I’ll straighten the lines of my pattern a bit more before cutting. Now they look nice, and I like the look with no yoke.

Buttons are on the way in the mail. I’m not putting shitty jeans buttons on my nice jeans. YKK makes some without a logo, which goes well with my minimalistic design. More pics soon!!!

Blue Jeans DIY

20161013_111028I got my blue rigid denim in the mail, and I’ve started cutting and sewing my jeans. The basic idea is to make Jeans Without Unnecessary Stuff. I’m copying a pair of well fitting 501’s which where covered in paint. I cut them up and copied all the parts. Here’s what I’m omitting from the standard 5 pocket 501 design:

  1. Contrast topstitching
  2. Coin pocket
  3. Yoke

I’m not a denim purist, and in my opinion they still look like jeans, only better. I already have jeans with blue topstiching, but I’m curious about how omitting the yoke will work. What I like most about jeans is the fabric and the pocket design. Chino pockets always spill coins.

I won’t go into detail about the construction, but here are a few links I have watched MANY TIMES.

  1. ki-online.net – “DIY: Instructions for sewing a pair of RAW Denim Jeans. Step by Step and easy to follow tutorial, for Beginners and Megalomaniacs.”
  2. Angela Kane – Sewing blue jeans
  3. Youtube – Paul Kruize – Jeans in progress
  4. Youtube – Roman Lemeschko – Designer jeans men’s style

I’m heavily inspired by the first link. The other are not for aesthetics, but more about learning the techniques. I have discovered that taste and sewing skills are two separate things, and I enjoy videos of good sewers even when they make ugly stuff. Not that any of the jeans in the links are ugly, just generally.

20161017_163109

Is this ugly or beautiful? I walk past it every day, and it always makes me happy and angry at the same time..

Aloha, fellow humans.

20161014_171619Haven’t been blogging for years, but WordPress seems to just leave things online forever, so I’ll just pick up where I left… I have been blogging at flatsoles.wordpress.com for a while after I quit this blog, but I’m just going to leave that and go back to my original blog again.

First off: I’m still running around in minimal shoes, although I feel like I don’t have much more to say about it. It’s great, it’s the natural way to run, and that’s fine. Haven’t been in a race for a couple of years, and I’m still not planning to run a marathon. I would rather like to rock the 800m distance, but I mostly just run for fun and to keep back pain away.

I’ve been freelancing as a musician for seven years now, and I’m in a bit of a rut, career-wise. I’m still making money, but I’m not having as much fun, and my ambitions have sort of faded. My friends are performing at Glyndebourne and the Met, and I’m still singing Bach in Copenhagen for symbolic wages. This year I started working part time as a life guard at my local pool, which means I can afford to say no to the singing jobs that pay the least. I also like the regularity of the job. I can tell you that as a life guard I spend most of the time cleaning tiles and windows. I never let my daughter touch shop windows anymore.

the-lifeguardBut ultimately, being a life guard is like a symbol a midlife crisis. I would call many of those who work there drifters, and I don’t mean in a bad way, more like they have found Zen. But I would rather do something that pays more, and something I can do until I’m old, since I’m probably going to have to work until 73 with the new Danish pension reforms. I’m seriously contemplating getting some kind of degree in marketing and communication. Time will tell how that goes. Then maybe I can make people like renaissance music!

One great thing about having a normal job (beside from regular hours and a pension saving), is that my voice is fresh afterwards, unlike a lot of the choir/ensemble work I’ve been doing these last years. It’s nice and all, but I sound like a vacuum cleaner afterwards. Now I can go out and rock “Torna a surriento” at someone’s 60th birthday and have fun with it. I also feel the joy of making music slowly coming back to me.

This blog will be very eclectic from now on. I’ll just write about anything that goes on. I’m quite into sustainable fashion at the moment. I bought a bright red Burton Jacket last year, but other than that I haven’t really shopped new clothes in several years. I’ve sewn wool underwear for my daughter from a second hand sweater (see above), I plan to make my own jeans, and I want to sew a good looking denim jacket from old scraps. My goal is to save a little bit of money, but mostly to keep my wardrobe small but exclusive, while using second hand or organic fabrics.

I have had this idea for years that I want to get better at using my stuff until it’s almost disintegrated. Repairing when possible. I had a friend in high school who had absolutely no money, and he would always buy nice, expensive clothes and wear them every day. I’m inspired by that, but I also want to buy stuff that lasts. SO that Burton jacket might be the last piece of synthetic clothing I’ll buy in a long time.

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Flat soles?

I’m tired of the title of this blog, so I’m simply renaming it to Flat Soles, and moving to a fitting WordPress subdomain.

Trying to keep the singularity of thematics, or whatever it’s called. I’m not really writing about opera anyway. So, flat soles it is.

The benefit of having 0.199 readers is nobody cares if you move blogs.😉

But you are all more than welcome to follow me at http://flatsoles.wordpress.com if you want to hear more of my endeavors running in old school sneakers.

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Too little sleep

Too little sleep.

Too many muffins.

Nice long run.

http://runkeeper.com/user/etyrmi/activity/73496885

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Routine

It’s good to have a weekly goal. If I feel uninspired I can focus on reaching my weekly goal of 16km. And this week I overshot it by two km again. Might need to up the ante. 18 kilometers it is!

22,5 km left to beat my monthly record.

http://runkeeper.com/user/etyrmi/activity/72556594

http://runkeeper.com/user/etyrmi/activity/72228212

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Spontaneous run

Was supposed to just do a couple of easy km’s and I ended up running 10.

http://runkeeper.com/user/etyrmi/activity/71880140

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Easy does it.

Today I achieved my most important goal: Totally carefree and easy running. After 5.3 km I ran home for dinner. Then I ran another 3.6 km, burping vietnamese food all the way.

Not fast, but more enjoyable than ever. If it continues in this direction, I’ll be able to skip my way through the half marathon in April. While whistling.

http://runkeeper.com/user/etyrmi/activity/71051884

http://runkeeper.com/user/etyrmi/activity/71052490

Edit: Maybe the reason it felt so good was the temperature. A comfortable +5°C (41°F)!
Spring is here.

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Fatherhood and intervals

Since my last post I’ve become father of a beautiful daughter who enjoys milk a lot. She hasn’t got a name yet, but we call her “Lanugo” after the little baby-hairs on her shoulders. She makes life a lot more enjoyable and that includes my interval running. Also, a few days without running makes running more enjoyable.

Interval work: Second km 4:15, fourth 04:13.

(Short term-goal: 3 1km laps under 4:10. This earns me new shoes.)

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/149451554

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Interval training

It’s getting warmer, and I’m longing for the day when I can simply put on a t-shirt and shorts and head out the door.

4:11/1 km is fast for me. Had fun today. Found a good “track-like” route, with good, new tarmac, and almost exactly 1km. In the slow laps I tried to incorporate some drills like butt-kicks and high knees. My target race speed for the half marathon is about 05:00, so I consider this “sprinting” (for now). Will be doing more interval training.

1 km laps:

1: 6:17.4

2: 4:10.7

3: 6:53.7

4: 4:24.6

http://runkeeper.com/user/etyrmi/activity/69987620

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Running in winter

This kind of weather is extreme for Denmark. Yesterday the brake-wires on my bike were frozen. Today was a bit warmer: A comfortable -5 °C. Good run today, and fast considering i’ts very slippery outside. Lots of powder snow. Quads and ankles are OK, and I overshot my weekly goal by 3 Km.

http://runkeeper.com/user/etyrmi/activity/69508130

And here’s some inspiration:

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Will power.

What is will power? It used to be the ability to put on my running shoes and force myself out the door. Those were simple days.

These days will power is what I need to respect my rest days, and not go for meaningless runs like the one today. Hobbling along with legs hurting doesn’t do any good for my form or VO2 Max.

I should focus on getting some cross-training done, and eating less junk. Got to lose six kg before half marathon in April. That is not going to happen if I don’t start eating better tomorrow. Wish me luck. Or will power.

http://runkeeper.com/user/etyrmi/activity/69302660

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Top ten most gimmicky shoes…

… acccording to BirthdayShoes.com. I had some good laughs here, especially at some of the commercials and slogans. I think KangaROOS should have made the list. Shoes with pockets, how great is  that! And how extremely gimmicky! And the ones with the blinking lights! But I guess those are HONEST gimmicks, and not as fun as the one below.

Nevermind how they look: That shoe is unstable and harmful. I would never let my granddad wear them,  for safety reasons. Actually the common factor in most of the shoes on the list, is that they are unstable. Which in my opinion is a bad thing for a shoe. Reebook  says it flat out in this commmercial for EasyTone: “There’s actually a little instability built into the shoe.” At least it’s being marketed to healthy women.

Read the whole list here:

http://birthdayshoes.com/top-10-most-gimmicky-shoes

I’m forgiving when it comes to gimmicks. All sports gear is is peppered with technology and most of it is… well gimmicky. It adds to the hype, and possibly the pleasure of the wearer to know there is something special and new about their garment or shoes. It gives us something to talk about.

Were I’m more worried is when these are sold as a way to cure conditions, to people looking for e.g. pain relief. For example, I know several people who had to stop wearing their expensive MBT shoes, because their back pain got worse. The only thing that shoe did was force them to walk heavily on their heels. Try to notice if you see anyone wearing these, they probably have lousy posture.

That kind of gimmick can make me angry. When did we start taking medical advice from salesmen?

My addition to the list:

Actually, a pocket for money isn’t a terrible idea. I’m more skeptical to the Dynacoil that returns the energy you  put into the ground. Wow, does that mean that actually NO energy is spent on shock absorption? Anyway I can see why kids would want this shoe in 1986. It looks awesome, and has NASA technology, and a pocket. Who can argue with that?

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Barefoot running fun.

A good sign that barefoot running is becoming mainstream is the inevitable Youtube parodies. And since barefoot runners are “simple”, to quote the first video, they are happy to laugh along with ordinary runners, the ones in high heels I mean.

I am not a barefoot runner myself, but I do subscribe to the general concept. Our legs have a great suspension system so why not use it?

Here are my favorites so far.

“The Barefoot Runner”

This one popped up two months ago, right about the time everybody, including me, grew a mustache. On a serious note, I have read, from a certified podiatrist, that 80% of runners are overpronators, and need supportive shoes. 80%! I know we are a degenerated poulation, but that just can’t be right.

“Sh*t Barefoot Runners Say”

Another installment in the Sh*t people say-series. And very realistic.

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Wind chill

My weather app says “-9 C, feels like -16 C”. It accounts for the wind chill factor. Keeping the torso warm is not  a big problem, but any exposed skin really feels it. And how do I keep my TEETH warm? If this weather holds up, I’m getting a ski mask.

http://runkeeper.com/user/etyrmi/activity/69155292

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Real running.

Today went well all the way until the big dents in the pace at 3km, when I got a cramp in the back (the one at 1 km is just a traffic light). But it still felt OK, now I’m finally really running. That means I am limited by the shape I’m in and not some microscopic ligaments in my ankles trying to adapt. Changing form is boring… Can’t believe I found the patience to go through with it, but I’m glad I did.

Today I just put the foot down relaxed in a neutral position, and ran. No thinking about how the foot lands, or how the legs moved at all. Kept my focus on trying to relax the shoulders.

It’s like I found a second gear today, how to run easy and relaxed at about 4:30/km pace. I think this might be my ideal race pace. The first couple of km’s felt incredibly light and easy. My slow pace is about 6:00/km. I’ll see if it sticks.

http://runkeeper.com/user/etyrmi/activity/69056920

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Investments

We are expecting a baby soon, so I think twice before making any investment. I customized my own hip bag into a fuel belt for the neat price of 15 Danish Kroner. That’s about 5% of what a fuel belt would cost. I may add more flasks later on if I need to. Can’t wait to try it out. I also bought a jump rope for about the same price.

This totally justifies buying a pair of NB Minimus Zero for the next race, right?

Home made fuelbelt

My needlework, just to show that anyone could do it.

Supposedly good warm up.

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Industrial espionage

Unfortunately I couldn't explore the red areas. I might go another time without camera and NOT dressed in black, to avoid looking like a spy from a Hollywood movie. Click the images for higher resolution.

Nordhavn

There is a large part of the old harbour that’s no longer in use, making for some scenic views. Sort of like a horror movie theme park. It’s marked green in the map. There was a girl photographing graffiti with a tripod. Kulturkajen Docken (The cultural quay “The Dock”) is marked yellow. They sometimes have 90’s style rave parties. I hope there will soon be an end to that, because we live only 3 km away, and it’s unbelievably noisy! It’s supposedly a nice place to drink a beer in the summer. I also saw one jogger and a fisherman. Other than that, the peninsula was completely empty.

There’s also an old shipyard and an enormous container port (red), but they are unfortunately closed to the public. At the far end of the peninsula, past the marina is a small strip of grass, a perfect place to eat Jennifer’s home made granola bar. Please also note my white Adidas gloves! They are prototypes from around 2003. I have no idea if you can get them, but they are nice and not too airtight, and I can operate my camera with them. Recommend thin cotton gloves to anyone running in winter.

And then I went home and watched this for a while…

34km! Another weekly record according to Runkeeper. I’m starting to get somewhere. Soon I need to do fartlek/speedwork. And some actual running. But it seems I’ve been right to take it easy and be patient: Running is now easier than ever. It’s really been a drag at times, waiting for my legs to build the necessary muscles to achieve a relaxed forefoot landing.

Really looking forward to running a half marathon. And to my next urban exploration run.

http://runkeeper.com/user/etyrmi/activity/68532873

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