5 Top Specification Tips

5 Top Specification Tips

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Emerging Designers, Established Designers, Fashion Design, Industry Know How, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

It has again been so long since my last blog, sorry. As a perfectionist I am waiting for the right thing to write instead of the latest question I have been asked. As always these blogs are developed as little messages to you, based on what we have seen in our work room and what we have explained to our customers to make their life easier and help them understand a small sections of the technical side of the industry.Specifications are a mystery to many and through the development of the fashion industry over the last 10 years, they have lost their way a little. Originally a specification was created after the pattern was made to assist the manufacturer and ensure that any noticeable shrinkage or discrepancies in the pattern making process where caught through the aid of measurements.With the change in processes 10 years ago, and more people moving offshore for their development and manufacturing, the process and reasoning behind a specification got a little bit lost.The change meant specifications were created by measuring garments and guessing numbers. The idea being that a pattern could be created from these measurements and then through fitting, the correct sample would develop.For those who have worked with offshore manufacturing you understand that very little interpretation of these measurements is taken and no consideration to balance or fit is understood.From the pattern makers’ perspective it is important to note that a range of numbers do not make a pattern any more than a dot to dot makes the image of a kangaroo.I have seen very few specifications created in a way that a pattern maker can correctly interpret.In light of this we have found that when designers who traditionally work with overseas manufacturers move to local pattern makers they still feel the need for specifications.The general process plays out like this:A garment is brought in to the meeting and discussed, including what changes are needed and what the desired result of the design is.A specification is presented.What then happens from a pattern maker’s perspective is a pattern is made and then just as much time is taken to try to fit back to the specifications that often goes against what was discussed and against the desired result.I will then ring the designer and ask permission to use the garment that we have and my pattern knowledge to create the desired look and then create specifications after approval of the sample.I understand that many of the designers we work with have never worked in an industry where you have direct and easy contact with technicians to discuss their needs. I also understand the need for some sort of control to keep the range consistent and for the buyers of their product to understand how they came to this desired result based on past sales and company design culture. However, I feel it is...

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Orientation of a Design

Posted by on Apr 16, 2013 in Uncategorized | 7 comments

  Every customer who comes to our business to create a pattern, a sample or a specification has a different end goal in mind. The design brief process helps us understand what that goal is for you.Whether you run a boutique design house, or a large company producing sportswear for major retail stores, particular areas of the design process will be important to you so we use the design brief to save you time, heartache and money.What to bring: When you meet us for the first time, bring a sketch, maybe some measurements, maybe a garment and sometimes a pattern to work from. We’ll use the meeting to talk about these, and discover which of these is the most important to you, and how they fit together. We’ll ask questions such as:Do you need the end garment to look EXACTLY like the photo or sketch you first bought in?Do you need the end garment to fit the same way as the pattern you have bought in?Do you need the measurements to be as close as possible to those you bring?Do you need the end garment to look and fit EXACTLY like the original garment you bought in?Most likely, the measurements won’t give the look of the sketch, the design won’t match the measurements, the pattern may not reflect the design, or the garment may be a very bad fit (in our eyes). To save your time and money we need to know how much leeway we have to create the end result you need.This might be sounding odd to you: you may have heard other pattern makers and designers talking about a ‘spec sheet’ that does a lot of the talking. That’s another way of working, which we don’t prefer.Design oriented pattern starts with a sketch and a chat: we create the pattern, make a garment, try it on a fit model – maybe we go back and forth a few times to perfect the fit – and only when the fit, look and feel are perfect do we make the spec sheet. A spec oriented design follows a different path – the pattern is created using pattern making knowledge but using spec measurements.  It is very hard to solve fit issues and design issues with this method.We don’t like starting with a spec sheet because unless you’re running a huge fashion house with a precisely defined spec list, you’re not getting the full range of service from your pattern maker. We believe that if you are going to spend the money to use a local pattern maker, you should get your money’s worth and use the design knowledge we can bring to your design!  A good pattern maker has a very strong sense of design, they should know how low and wide a neckline should sit or a hem line should be. These are the design elements we work...

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