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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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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