As of today, we are changing the fashion industry forever…

Posted by on Jun 6, 2019 in Emerging Designers, Established Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Industry Know How | 0 comments

  It has been five long years. PATTERNROOM.COM has been a dream of mine for a long time now. And there is a good reason why nobody has ever launched anything like Pattern Room before. Simply – it was hard. By no means have we been on an easy or smooth sailing road to lead us to launch Pattern Room today. I have lost count of how many servers we have moved to and then needed to upgrade once again, let alone website platforms that just couldn’t handle the mass that is Pattern Room. BUT we are there. PATTERNROOM.COM is live, housing 10,000’s of commercial-use-ready clothing patterns that myself and my team have individually designed, tested and perfected ensuring they fit a western size. We couldn’t be more proud of this feat. I really look forward to being able to facilitate new and established fashion labels to develop their range at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods. For some, this will change their business model completely. For others, it will mean they can actually follow their dreams and launch a fashion label that they thought they were unable to fund. PATTERNROOM.COM is allowing me to also feed an inner passion to do something that matters. Something that has a positive effect on the environment, protecting this planet we all live on. I know first hand how much fabric is wasted in creating toiles and samples for custom developed patterns. From the fabric used in the garment to the offcuts. It adds up. So thanks to PATTERNROOM.COM one pattern can be sampled and perfected and then used multiple times without the need to be resampled. Furthermore – garments created from our patterns will actually fit a western sized figure. Meaning, clothes are far less likely to be purchased and then discarded due to a bad fit. And labels are more likely to sell their full production, again decreasing what ends up in the landfill. The ethical clothing movement has grown considerably over the last couple of years. And as our patterns are created by our ethically accredited fashion development house, Sample Room, labels using Pattern Room patterns have the opportunity to obtain their accreditation. So what is PATTTERNROOM.COM really all about? Here’s the rundown: An online catalogue housing 10,000’s of clothing patterns Downloadable and available in DXF, AI and PDF 0-2 weeks lead time Paper and card patterns available Sample making available We have tried and tested the patterns for Western fit   One question I have been asked is whether there is an issue of other labels having the same pattern. Think about it this way; we have over 10,000 variations of a t-shirt pattern. So not taking into consideration your fabric and design choices, it is VERY unlikely you will be able to identify another company using the same pattern as you. So whether you are...

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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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Today must be a slow news day. Fit Model Controversy!

Today must be a slow news day. Fit Model Controversy!

Posted by on Jul 7, 2015 in Industry Know How, Industry Trends | 0 comments

This morning I have woken up to the controversy about fit models/receptionists roles within our industry. I believe that ignorance in many areas of life is caused by lack of education, so today it is my aim to provide some education, not only to those outside of the fashion industry, but also to those clients we work with every day, on the importance of fit models. Firstly, a fit model is not a photographic model. You will never see photos of a fit model in advertising. There may be numerous photos taken of your armhole, neckline or sleeve for the purpose of communicating pattern and fit issues but non require touch ups or make up. A fit model is solely for the purpose of fit and comfort and for immediate human feedback on issues that may affect the final customer (you) that cannot be obtained from a firm surface mannequin. I think we need to take a step back further in the process to truly understand the importance of this role, and why a company such as Lorna Jane would in fact need someone in this role, so much so that it may be the majority of their job description with some light duties in between, such as answering the phone. One of the first questions I discuss with all of our clients both in our mentoring program and as established companies is: who is your customer? Are you designing for an 18 year old or 45 year old, are they average height or tall? Are you trying to solve a fit issue that you have a problem with yourself such as big hips and small bust? Or are you just looking to fit to an Australian body shape in an industry of poorly fitting garments (see previous posts)? It is so important to establish this customer profile and more importantly to find a fit model that you can use for every fitting to ensure you are consistent in the fit of every garment in your range. With internet shopping on the rise it is essential that all garments in your range fit to a consistent measurement and shape to reduce returns and customer dissatisfaction. I strongly suggest that you do not fit on your own body. Unfortunately we are all very critical of our own body shapes and you will be not be able to look at the garment objectively. When choosing a fit model for your brand you are looking for the middle size of the size range. For Lorna Jane it is a size 10, so that when the pattern is graded up and down 5cm (made bigger and smaller) it will be the middle size of a 6,8,10,12, 14 size range. If you are working on a plus size range, that’s a size 18 model for a range of 14,16,18,20,22. They must have good proportions,...

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Are you a successful business that has lost faith in your pattern library?

Are you a successful business that has lost faith in your pattern library?

Posted by on Jul 3, 2015 in Established Designers, Industry Know How | 0 comments

You are not alone. I often talk on this blog about issues that start-ups encounter. Mainly because they are many and varied and a new issue arises each week. Today I would like to talk to you about another key group of customers that often call us in absolute panic and with an urgent, very problem. Quite often this customer has been in business for 5-10 yrs. They have built a business on a great idea, sales have grown at a steady rate but they have now reached a sustainable level which is great but this now exposes some major pattern making issues that have compounded from cheap start-up costs and a culmination of different pattern makers, specification sheets and off shore patterns. Customers have started complaining and sales are lost sending the business backwards quickly. Whilst the above paragraph seems scary to many of us, it is nothing in comparison to the huge collection of patterns that need changing and the unknown costs to do so. How much will this cost to correct ALL these patterns? Where do you start? Is this going to break your business more than a few unhappy customers? Well it does not have to be as big a job as it may seem, in fact it is a chance to take on a new level of professionalism and gain a whole new customer base. On the plus side, you know how to sell, you have a name people know, and if you have caught it early the damage will not be too great. I love working with these customers but it is clear to me there is a smart way of going about it and an expensive way of going about it. There may be some pattern makers who start at pattern 1 and move through the range 1 pattern at a time racking up a huge bill at the end. At Sample Room we take a more holistic approach. We meet for an in-depth consultation where we overview the whole range, talk about what is working and the company goals. So often what is discovered is through the growth of the company the owner admits that there have been some decisions made that now don’t make a lot of sense. Once we have overviewed the whole situation it is possible that you have 4 core styles and once these styles are corrected and approved you can develop 16 styles off these in line with your current patterns. With computer pattern making it is easy. You will have a clearer approach and much smaller bill than expected. So if you have found your business in this predicament and you would like to know more, give us a call on 03 9041 3488 to arrange a consultation. We also conduct meetings on skype so if you are interstate or overseas you can still talk...

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What the MOQ?

What the MOQ?

Posted by on May 14, 2015 in Industry Know How | 0 comments

I am writing this post from the side of isle G in hall 9.2 of the Canton fair. With over 4000 suppliers attending, to say that my feet are sore and my head is spinning is an understatement. If you have attended Canton Fair you will know what I mean. If you have not then I hope this post and some future posts might give you some idea of what is involved. I would like to share with you today my most FAQ. What is your MOQ (minimum order quantity). On approaching a stall, this is my first question to which I regularly receive answers from 1000 per colour per style to 2000 per colour per style. Straight away it is understood that these factories supply Europe and USA. It does not take long with some key questions and all of a sudden this same supplier is offering quantities of 200-500 pieces per style 2 colour ways. Why did they drop so quickly? It is about understanding what the limiting factor for each garment style is. One of your most important tools in negotiation is understanding what is the key component that cost the manufacturer that they cannot reduce. For example, if you are talking to a swim wear manufacturer it will be foam cup production. If you are talking to a woven shirt and dress manufacturer it will be fabric production. If you are talking to an underwear supplier it will be the size of their production run. You can easily reduce the quantity size down by Offering to use current styles and add onto production Using stock fabric from the market Supplying the factory with completed pattern, sample and specification (one factory dropped from 1000 to 50 with this offer) Offering higher cost per item for a smaller quantity to be produced Understanding what a manufacturer needs to produce product with a profit for everyone will give you the quantity you need and the quality you...

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