What is a Toile?

What is a Toile?

Posted by on Aug 3, 2017 in Emerging Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Follow the Label, Industry Know How, Industry Trends, Lifestyle, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

Photo: Actual Toile Fitting in Sample RoomThere are many tricks of the trade within any industry. Certainly, within the fashion industry, one such trick is a toile. But what is it, exactly?A toile is a word, derived from the French language, which describes a mock-up of your design. It is an early version of a garment, made of a cheaper, but similar fabric, to test and perfect the design. You can see how important this is to the industry, and also you, as the designer. It is in this toile that a designer can see if the garment is going to sing or sink. It is a necessary step and will assist in avoiding wasting money on sampling that will otherwise fail. I like to call it a quick and dirty version of your design.When it comes to a toile, it is essential to use a fabric that is similar to the one you will use for your garments. If your design is made from a heavy and stiff fabric, then find something cheap and similar to this. If you’re going for a drapey, slinky and lightweight feel, then yes, do the same: find something close to this, but much cheaper and use for your toile.In addition to being a similar weight and feel to your actual fabric, the fabric for a toile should be light in colour, so that you can use tailor’s chalk to mark out where changes need to be made. Here is where you get to test the design lines, and the fit of the garment. You can make markings on the toile and see if a lower V neckline will suit better than the round neck that you initially sketched. The toile will guide you to add darts, or lengthen the hemline, or if cap sleeves will fit better than a three-quarter sleeve.The toile is your important chance to play with your design.Once you’ve made the changes to the toile, then translate them back to your pattern. If you’ve had to cinch in areas on the toile where there was too much fabric, or if you’ve had to loosen where the toile showed pulling and stretching, translate these into your pattern. You might even choose to make a second toile if you’ve made a lot of changes.We prefer to start with a toile. There is nothing worse than making a garment up with topstitching, pockets, overlocking and lining only to find out the shape is not right. It really is a waste of money. A toile costs approx half the cost of a sample if not less. Therefore this is valuable money wasted. I much prefer that we get the shape, length and placement of key measurements right first before creating the final garment.Another option is the make the toile in the final sample fabric but only make it to a toile standard. We call this a...

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Marketing

Marketing

Posted by on Jun 14, 2017 in Fashion, Industry Know How | 0 comments

Whatever your position is within the fashion industry, if you want to take a leap into becoming a designer, you might be wondering what happens next. What are the best steps to make yourself known?Sample Room’s very own mentoring program, Fashion Label Launchpad, is actively supporting many emerging designers with the finer details that are relatively unknown, and seemingly secretive, in this industry.  But firstly, and probably the most important piece of information to impart is to get onto marketing EARLY. Draw up a marketing plan. Don’t leave anything to chance. This is how customers are going to know about you, place their trust in you and your product, and ultimately make a purchase. This goes for anyone, not just those on our mentoring program. Marketing is the way to get yourself, and your big idea out there.Fashion is ubiquitous, like cafes! There’s a café on nearly every street corner, have you noticed? How are they all managing to sell coffees each day? And food? We don’t actually need to buy coffees and food from a café every day, so that’s where the fashion industry is a bit different. Everybody needs to wear something, so the market is flush with products, from high-end suits to the daggy trackies that we wear when we’re slopping around at home. If you’re going to get someone to buy your wares, you’re going to need to stand out, to market yourself cleverly.And to do this, you need a marketing plan. These plans incorporate a few essentials, such as:Defining your customerYou might choose to design leisure wear for the person in the 50-plus age bracket. Or you might design children’s wear. Regardless, you need to know your customer. You need to research them and their spending patterns, understand what they want. Does an inactive 55 year old person really want Lycra or do they want cheap, fleecy track pants? Does a cash-strapped young single mother still want her child to wear the best they can afford?Social mediaThis form of marketing is important. It’s currently the way the world is turning, in a marketing sense as well as a social, connective way. Facebook’s targeted ads provide a way to market your product to just about anyone. You can target to people based on relationship status, work and business areas, parental status, age, fitness levels, leisure activities to name just a few. Use Facebook to your advantage. It’s also important to separate your social media sites. Your personal site should not be the same one as you use for your products, particularly once you’ve passed the start-up phase.Measurable goals and time framesIn the early days, it’s best not to focus on making money. Don’t bring in huge amounts of stock in the early days; it’s never going to be as easy to sell as you initially think it will. First of all, you need to test your...

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Unusual Designs: RnD

Posted by on Oct 23, 2013 in Sample Room Solutions, Uncategorized | 0 comments

I’m not sure if you guys know this but I am a very keen snowboarder. For anyone who knows anything about the snow we get here in Australia compared to the overseas snowfields, we don’t get a very good deal.So what’s a girl to do? In winter, to get a bit of a snow fix, I volunteer for an organisation called DWA – Disabled Winter Sports – and we go up to the mountain to assist people with disabilities to ski and snowboard.Why am I telling you this? Well, partly so you understand why I can’t meet on Saturdays during winter and also because I want to tell you a quick story about developing an unusual product.One of the pieces of equipment we use is a sit ski; this is for people with spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy or extreme physical and mental disability. It allows someone with limited to no control of their body to enjoy the incredible rush of skiing down a mountain.When I fist started at DWA we used to bundle the students up in clothes, put their feet in boot bags, gaffer tape them in and take three changes of clothes along to keep them warm.There are two issues to think about with this set up: You get cold sitting so close to the snow, especially when not using your body to ski and; snow in Australia is usually wet and slushy, not the nice dry powder like overseas.I didn’t think this was good enough so I decided to use my talents for good instead of evil and developed what’s now called the ‘Snow Worm’.The snow worm is a waterproof, wind proof zip up sleeping bag that allows the wearer to sit without folds of fabric around their hips that may cause pressure sores.They can sit in the sit ski, zip the snow worm up, Velcro it around their wast, pull their jacket down, poke their shoes out if they can wear them or wrap it around a pair of ugg boots and be warm, comfortable and dry.The snow worm is also quite good for some lunchtime play when you can be dragged around the snow!Why have I told you this story? We love using our pattern making brains to develop an idea into a product made of fabric.So how do you put together your ideas if it is something that has never been developed before?-If you have seen a similar item that you think you can improve on, then bring this along.-Or a collection of items that you would like to use different elements of, this will help us see where you are coming from.-Some fabric and a stapler or pins can help to get your idea across.-Cut out some shapes and put them together as best you can. It will give us a starting point to work from.-If you are good at drawing...

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