Sample Room + Fashion Revolution: Introducing Mai

Sample Room + Fashion Revolution: Introducing Mai

Posted by on Apr 30, 2019 in Fashion, Fashion Design, Follow the Label, Industry Know How, Lifestyle, Manufacturer | 0 comments

In honour of Fashion Revolution Week we would like to introduce Mai, one of our valued sample machinists. Originally from Vietnam, Mai has lived in Australia since 1995 after closing a tailoring shop she ran for 15 years. Mai was recommended from a family member to take the big leap and move to Australia with the promise of good working conditions and pay. Once in Australia, Mai commenced working at a large fashion factory, and stayed loyal to this position for 16 years. This was a huge contrast to her small business in Vietnam, where clothes were measured from a body and then cut. In this 100+ employee factory, Mai learnt about technical elements of producing samples and manufacturing to Australian standards. Mai sees herself as very lucky, as once made redundant from her long time employment, she walked straight into a position at Sample Room. Julia recognised her experience and expertise quickly and hired Mai straight away. Now with Sample Room for over 2 years, Mai says the main difference between Sample Room and per previous position is that at Sample Room everything is done under one roof, where previously elements of development where shipped off-shore. This increased during her time there, when she started her first job in Australia the factory had 100+ employees, when she was made redundant this was halved. Here at Sample Room, we are huge supporters of Fashion Revolution Week and are glad we could share a snippet of Mai’s story. Our founder, Julia Van der Sommen cut her teeth in the fashion industry on the factory floor herself. So has a deep understanding of the importance of respecting the knowledge of her staff, regardless of the job they are...

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Sample Room + Fashion Revolution: Introducing Sharon

Sample Room + Fashion Revolution: Introducing Sharon

Posted by on Apr 30, 2019 in Fashion, Fashion Design, Follow the Label, Industry Know How, Lifestyle, Manufacturer | 0 comments

Here at Sample Room we are proudly ethically accredited and value the importance of a safe and fair workplace. We have staff from all over the world including people local to Melbourne, creating a diverse and experienced team. Julia’s (founder of Sample Room) ethical practices are founded by the passion to respect the knowledge and skills people have. Coming from years of experience on the factory floor herself, she really understands the depth of knowledge and expertise the Sample Room team possess. We are very flattered to have been referred to as the “utopia of pattern development” by a number of people and work hard to keep this alive in our workplace. In honour of Fashion Revolution Week we have interviewed a valued member of our team, Sharon our Fabric Cutter. Introducing Sharon Wickramarathne Sharon has worked at Sample Room for almost one year, starting with us six months after arriving in Australia from Sri Lanka. Following the completion of a textile diploma in Pattern Making, he commenced his textile career in 1998 as a trainee Pattern Maker in a small factory where the main focus was school wear. This suburban factory had about 20 employees, and three short months after starting the traineeship his trainer went on maternity leave, which left Sharon to take the reins. The factory had strong safety processes, if a needle broke the staff would be required to return each piece of the needle or they would not be given a new needle to work with. From here Sharon moved to larger factories, where the buyers enforced approved conditions, keeping the factories to a satisfactory standard. Sharon noted that in Sri Lanka the textile industry is huge and there are also a large number of people to fill the jobs which can push the wages down, making it challenging to make enough money to support a family. The journey to Australia came with its challenges, mainly around language and also an expectation from employees to have local experience. So he was reliant on someone willing to give him a chance to build that sought after local experience. Six months into his job hunt, Sharon secured a job at Sample Room. With different systems and processes to what Sharon was accustomed to, his job role changed and developed shaping around the areas he excelled at. When asked what Sharon values the most about Sample Room his answer was “everything, it’s...

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9 Steps To Be Manufacturer Ready

9 Steps To Be Manufacturer Ready

Posted by on Apr 24, 2019 in Emerging Designers, Established Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Industry Know How, Manufacturer | 0 comments

Here at Sample Room, we have a number of meticulous steps in place to ensure the highest quality patterns and samples, ultimately providing you with the best chance to create the perfect garment with your manufacturer. Read on to see the 9 steps we take to ensure you are manufacturer ready and on your way to creating an amazing collection! 1. Design the style When we are creating patterns for our clients there are a variety of ways they communicate their design ideas. Some might come to us with sketches that have been developed by a graphic designer, others with physical examples. Communicating your design ideas can be challenging. In our Fashion Label Launchpad course this is where we start guiding new designers through the process. From here, we flesh out the design as the building block to make the pattern from. 2. A pattern is made Our expert pattern makers use a digital system called CAD. Using a system like this allows us to make patterns quickly and efficiently. Where altering and adjusting of patterns is needed, working from a digital software allows us to make edits much quicker than if the pattern was on card. This ultimately reduces time and money for all our clients. 3. A toile is sewn A toile is a type of garment we create in order to test the pattern. The toile is often made from inexpensive material that holds the same characteristics of your sample fabric. This stage aims to test the fit, length, proportions and other important aspects of your design. Think of the toile as the perfect prototype to test your design and to gain a complete overview. This stage is very important. If your pattern does not work on a toile, then it is likely it wont work when creating a sample from your desired, more expensive fabric. 4. Fitting We fit the toile to a model to ensure sizing, design and proportions are correct. 5. Changes are made We pay attention to any specifications or changes that are needing to be made before moving on to create the sample. These initial processes are one of the many ways we test efficiency and accuracy in each garment. The toile process allows the designer to play with their design prior to the finalising stages. If any changes are made during the toile/ fitting process, this is then translated back to the pattern and altered. 6. A sample is sewn Once the toile is correct, a sample garment will be sewn out of the desired fabric. 7. Sample is fitted Final fitting takes place to correct and finalise any required changes Image: Avantur Process is repeated for perfection The processes are carried out until the client is happy with their garments, and no further edits are needing to be made. 8. Graded into other sizes Where grading is required, our...

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Mentee’s Launch: Akilah Active Wear

Mentee’s Launch: Akilah Active Wear

Posted by on Aug 11, 2018 in Emerging Designers | 0 comments

  ‘Akilah’ Active Wear by our mentee, Georgit Maarrawi   At Sample Room, we love seeing our mentees journey throughout the Launch Pad program. A lot of hard work goes into every stage of design, construction and production and it is wonderful to see their collections in their final form. Past mentee, Georgit Maarrawi discusses the concept and processes behind her new activewear range, Akilah. Akilah is a luxury activewear label for curvy women. My aim is to promote body positivity and diversity in the industry and to help women feel confident, strong and beautiful just the way they are.  It is currently for curvy women from sizes 14-22 Before embarking on this journey, I was just working in retail. I did study fashion and always knew I wanted to start my own label someday and so I just kept working and saving my pennies until I was ready both financially and mentally for this journey. The biggest thing I have learnt is to not stress so much! Everything always works out and you are going to get a few bumps along the way but that’s what makes it part of the journey. And most of the time I stressed for nothing! Just stay calm and breathe!   If there is anything I would do differently it would be to not be scared to ask more questions to suppliers. A lot of suppliers are really happy to help out new designers. Currently, our range is only available here at our online store. The best advice I could give is don’t be scared to follow your dream! You will get people who will be negative and put you down but if it is something you are passionate about and want to do just go for it! That’s what I did and honestly, it was the best decision I have ever made. Business is hard but when I look at how far I’ve come I wouldn’t take anything back. Surround yourself with positive people who will be there for you when your feeling stressed and you will be ok!  Also, just save as much money as you can! You need to think about promoting your range once it is developed and getting it out there. You don’t want to miss out on opportunities because of lack of funds. Before coming to Sample Room,  I was lost as to where to even begin and to be honest, I was very overwhelmed. I definitely do recommend getting some guidance and support especially when you don’t know the industry and getting in touch with the right...

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Off-Shore Manufacturing – Will I save money?

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Fashion, Fashion Design | 0 comments

  We have met a number of new designers the last season who have fallen into this trap. It is so sad to hear the stories of someone who has put $10,000 of their heart, soul and cold hard cash into their passion only to receive a shipment of disaster. This blog is for those starting out. I want to say, you can’t send a picture and a couple of garments overseas and expect to get a shipment back of 1000 amazing, top quality, well-made garments back for a fraction of the price of local manufacturing without any effort on your part, but I can’t really say that I can. What I can probably say is the process of manufacturing overseas takes a lot of detailed information, a lot of checking and rechecking and a lot of fingers crossed. Firstly, you need an amazing spec sheet. Secondly, you need to know how to choose a manufacturer a how to create a contract that sticks (even I don’t know how to do this one). Thirdly, you need to know what to ask and when you need to be signing off on it. Fourthly, you need to be in a position of bargaining so that you have the upper hand. Fifthly, you need to go over there and check up on production and you need to know what you are looking for and how to fix it. Sounds easy right! Wrong – This is why overseas manufacturing is for the big boys. People who have had long standing relationships with manufacturers (and even then, as one customer this season attests, does not mean they will do what you said when you said). In my opinion, you are better to make a small run locally so you can learn all there is to learn while you have little money. You might not make as much money but you won’t lose it all either. Even when our clients have managed to get their money back they still have lost a whole season. Alternatively, you could work with someone who has an office in Australia so at least you are dealing with someone whose door you can knock on. Then all you need to worry about is the minimums they require for the time they need to put in. Believe me, there is a way you can work locally, as long as you are not trying to compete on price. Call us to discuss the best solution for your business (03)9940 1510. www.sampleroom.com.au...

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