By Kathleen Fasanella on Jan 19, 2015 at 4:32 pm
Many entrepreneurs are excited about a new-ish technology called MTM (Made to Measure) that they think will revolutionize retail. The premise is this: A customer is scanned, their measurements uploaded into an MTM CAD program that will spit out a pattern that fits the customer and his or her style preferences. The customer selects the fabric and features they like and after payment, can expect their order to be delivered within a matter of days. To be sure, the MTM system is costly (software + body scanner+ retail space+people to cut and sew onesies and twosies) but the thinking is that customization will be the demand driver, there will be less dead stock and of course, no pattern maker is needed. Sounds awesome, huh? Unfortunately, MTM software isn’t what most people think it is. If it were, me and most of the pattern makers I know would have bought it before now.
The MTM software is better described as a database, not a drafting to measure or pattern making program. In fact, implementing MTM requires a lot of patternmaking in advance. The MTM [database] will definitely spit out pattern pieces specific to given measurements provided those pieces -an enormous data set to include every conceivable size, to be loaded into the system.
Continue reading "Miracle or Myth? MTM (Made to Measure)" »
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By Kathleen Fasanella on Dec 5, 2014 at 5:29 pm
Now that I’m making markers for folks, I am cogitating deeply about block fusing. You said:
“Making a separate marker for block fusing and then to have to spread it as a separate operation seems more costly to me.”
But the alternative is to lay and cut a fusible marker, and that seems to balance out the separate lay and cut of a block fused marker. But then if you add in the extra work of matching and fusing each pattern piece, it seems like block fusing wins. Am I missing something?
I’m searching the blog for a whole post devoted to fusing. Not finding it. I’m shocked, Kathleen. Or I’m inept. One or the other. :-)
I’ve published many posts related to fusing -that link doesn’t include the fusing map entries. But more to your point, I started a series on continuous fusing machines nearly 8 years ago but dropped the project as it didn’t seem that anyone was interested. Not ready to give up so quickly, I wrote another post reviewing the equipment we saw at the SPESA show in 2007. Three years later, I wrote How to apply interfacing (in a commercial environment) which provided still more detail. But anyway, I’m glad to know there is more interest at this late date.
Continue reading "Which is better, block or piece fusing?" »
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By Kathleen Fasanella on Dec 5, 2014 at 4:08 pm
In preparation for a soon to follow post, comes this glossary entry on block fusing. Block fusing is the practice of applying interfacing -edge to edge- onto yardage before the pattern pieces are cut out of the fabric.
Continue reading "What is block fusing?" »
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By Kathleen Fasanella on Nov 26, 2014 at 11:25 am
Keeping in mind that there are many types of samples -at least 13- today we’ll revisit the cost of samples you contract to have made that represent your vision. Speaking of, there are at least 3 good reasons why you should pay for samples (a good post judging from how many times it’s been plagiarized) instead of getting them “free” -because they really aren’t. And sure, it’s an expense but it would be disastrous to contract for sewing without the contractor making a sample first. Heck, ideally you’d arrange to have samples made by two or more contractors since that is the only way you can compare quality and pricing. The only exception I can think of is private label and then we wouldn’t be having this conversation since private labelers will often send free samples because they’re not executing your unique designs anyway.
Culling from the 13 kinds of samples post, you could expect to pay for all the sample types if working domestically, except for maybe the muslin. The latter depends. This means that you’ll pay for protos, pre-pros and production samples. You shouldn’t feel that you’re being targeted because you’re new or not a famous name because pretty much everybody pays -at least domestically. Besides, garmentos who’ve been around, know that many celeb types don’t pay their bills- which is a good reason to not waste your time trying to impress people because you may be convincing -to your detriment.
Continue reading "What do samples cost?" »
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By Kathleen Fasanella on Nov 18, 2014 at 5:46 pm
A conversation with another old school pattern maker brings this topic to the forefront -if you’re a highly skilled pattern maker accustomed to manual work, is it worth getting a CAD system for pattern making? For that matter, if you already have a CAD system but it is aging, should you upgrade to a newer version or get another software program altogether? The latter has been a real sore spot lately so I’ll try to tease these two out. This is a real crisis and I hope this gets through.
First, keep in mind that I’m old school too and I haven’t been using CAD very long myself. I know all of the reasons against it so let’s deal with that first. Oh wait, should I start with why you seriously need to consider it? Gosh, it’ll be hard to read but this is my personal opinion -not saying I’m right, it’s what I believe to be true.
Let’s be honest -how old are you? When do you plan to retire? If you plan to work another 10 to 15 years, the time to seriously consider it is past; it’s time to set a deadline for a decision
Continue reading "Old school patternmakers: Should you get a CAD system? Or update the one you have?" »
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By Kathleen Fasanella on Nov 17, 2014 at 5:31 pm
An informational interview consists of a list of questions that are posed to a presumed authority, by a student, regarding the status of one’s industry and future employment or business prospects. To save myself some effort since I get requests for these, I thought I’d post the answers to the questions with the idea it might be helpful to others. This could be useful to students but also entrepreneurs considering market entry.
The context of this interview is getting into this business as a business owner of a manufacturing company (DE, designer entrepreneur). The questions fall in these subject areas: Marketplace, Entry into Position and Job Specifics. As I’m not a DE myself, my reporting is likely skewed but I’ll do the best I can. You’re encouraged to contribute your thoughts and amend anything requiring such. Without further ado:
What are your projections for this type of work or industry? Is it stable, growing, declining?
What are the key trends or issues? New developments? Key challenges?
What and where are the opportunities?
What are typical salaries in this type of job, entry-level to experienced? What are the opportunities for career growth?
Continue reading "Responses to an Informational Interview" »
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By Kathleen Fasanella on Nov 3, 2014 at 3:56 pm
Courtesy of Random.org, the winner selected from the 17 qualifying entries was number 11. Congratulations to Erin, winner of this latest giveaway from the review of Fabric for Fashion, The Swatch Book. That said, everyone wins -Laurence King is offering a 35% discount for this title through Jan 5, 2015. Use fashionincubator35 for the discount.
An aside due to the high number of unqualified entries; I’m thinking people don’t know what a haiku is anymore. Hmm. Also, carrying one word over to a second line to match the required number of syllables for the stanza is a grey area that I allowed but won’t next time. Also, many entries had no weaving words per se. Some fabrics are known by their weave (satin -which I suspect was often a lucky choice) but others are not (denim).
Continue reading "Winner: Fabric for Fashion, The Swatch Book" »
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By Kathleen Fasanella on Oct 31, 2014 at 4:05 pm
May as well dispense with formality and open with my conclusion, I’m designating Fabric for Fashion: The Swatch Book as a must buy for fashion oriented entrepreneurs who aren’t textile experts (most of them).
Maybe I should start by explaining what this book isn’t. It isn’t a comprehensive A to Z recitation of dry textile science, stuff we had to learn in school. I think that is the biggest problem for entrepreneurs; they want to know more but most books fall in one of two camps: enthusiast and engineering. Enthusiast books are typically well researched but there’s a gap between intended application and the jargon typically used in the trade. Textile textbooks on the other hand, are written by probable near geniuses who assume readers will pore over every word, memorize it and amuse genteel companions at cocktail parties with witty quotations from it. Okay, maybe not but you know what I mean. Point is, most entrepreneurs are too busy to read enough of a textile textbook to get much (if anything) out of it. Most pages seem to consist of a dense wall of text with black and white grainy photos taken in the 1970’s. Business owners want a cheat sheet -the closest thing to a bullet point list they can get. If that describes you, you’re going to love this one.
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By Kathleen Fasanella on Oct 28, 2014 at 1:03 pm
Last month I posted a personal project I called the “Dot Top” that came out dog-ugly -I thought. I reworked the pattern and made another mock up of it (shown below, larger image):
Continue reading "Dot Top pt.2" »
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By Kathleen Fasanella on Oct 7, 2014 at 3:19 pm
I avoided the follow up to this and this long enough and will have to call for a surrender -mine, need be- the first answer we got was good enough.
That’s what this is all about my friends, good enough -hold that thought. Truly though, I was bogged down in notation and word problems, backtracking to determine the respondent’s intent. For example, writing 3XS and 3XXL but also including 3 plies of black and white, in my (our) book, makes for a total piece count of 9 of each size and in each colorway -in other words, 36 pieces when we needed a maximum of 12. I guess this is where meta cognition comes in. When creating a cut order for production, you need to be sure you’re sending the right message.
But back to good enough -Several people suggested using one ply of black, one ply white, and drawing in the XS and the XXL 3 times. Doing something like this would make my contractors very unhappy and ultimately, the customer. People aren’t stupid to suggest this because they are (wisely) concerned about wasting fabric on ply lay ends, so let’s talk about costs.
Continue reading "Pop Quiz: Ordering sizes for production pt.2 (Surrender)" »
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