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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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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Pre-Production Sample Follow Up

Posted by on Oct 29, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A few months ago you may have received a post from me about Pre-production samples. In the past few weeks it has come to light that this subject may need to be expanded upon. A Pre-production sample is the last check before you commit to thousands of dollars’ worth of fabric and manufacturing. This process is even more important if you are using external contractors for your development process. Why? Well when you have a team working in house with you, a lot of possible mistakes are caught; not whilst in a formal meeting but while you are walking past someone’s desk, while you are talking in the lunch room, when someone sees the fabric arrive in the loading bay. By removing this close contact, your contractors are left to make decisions based on the information they have been given, which might not be the whole picture. It is important to note that the fit of a garment is not always the same as the measurements of a pattern, especially where knit and woven fabrics are concerned. The process of development, of creating a mock up or sample from a pattern, is to see how that particular pattern works with that particular fabric. The pattern is then changed as a reflection of the sample made in that said fabric. If the fabric has stretched and has resulted in a looser fitting style based on the pattern and you like it then we do not change the pattern. It might even be that you make the pattern smaller to compensate for the stretch of the fabric. If the fabric used in production is different from the fabric used in sampling, ask your patternmaker to measure and compare the sample to the pattern measurements. Having this completed will show you how the pattern differs to the sample. This extra, but vital information might be something you wish to spend time and money on. It is also important to remember that if you change the fabric in any way, then you need to trial the pattern again. Take, for example, a recent situation where the fabric used for sampling was a loose knit with very little Lycra. During the sampling process, the fabric stretched. The customer then approved the sample. The pattern was graded, a marker made and was sent off to the manufacturer for production. We later found out via an upset customer that the garments had not been made in the same fabric as the samples. On further investigation, we discovered the first sample was bigger than the pattern and the production garments was smaller than the pattern. This resulted from the designer using a fabric with a lighter weight and a high Lycra content, causing the fabric to bounce back and shrink (as confirmed in pressing tests). The result was a two size difference from sample to production. As...

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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....

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