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Your company needs its own blocks. And while I'm on subject, you need fit models too.

What is a block? A block is a master pattern that fits the "medium(s)" in the size ranges for your company. Having a well-drafted, nicely fitting pattern block is your best asset when it comes to drafting your styles. If you want your designs to fit well (of course you do!) then having a nicely fitting block is your perfect head start.

Creating blocks is not a complicated process. We will need a few measurements from your model to draft your pattern. Then, we make up the muslin fitting. All in all, a block is not expensive to produce, and with a few fittings to clean it up, we can get it perfect. It then becomes the basis for the designs we make for you, or you can take it with you to another pattern maker in digital or oaktag form.

Your block can be graded according to your company's grading specifications as well.

Having your own company blocks that reflect the design & fitting specifications of your company is an exceptional asset and cost savings over the long run, and reduces wasted time and extra fittings that would otherwise occur in the final designs had we not used a block.

We recommend The Entrpreneur's Guide To Sewn Product Manufacturing by Kathleen Fasanella, for her writing on this topic, as well as every other topic she addresses. You can buy KathleenÔÇÖs Book | Designer-Entrepreneurs ( here.

Mannequin for fashion design

The "ideal customer" is a concept used in every business, but it means something very different to a fashion designer. It's a collection of very specific pieces of information, that your pattern maker needs to know.

So, you have a great idea for a fashion line, and you are ready to get some samples made. Awesome! Here are some things that you will need to know to get started, and one of the things I like to talk about in our free consultations with prospective clients.

Plan your product line around your ideal customer

Every business plan will ask you to describe your ideal customer, and mostly the goal is to design your marketing and brand identity. When it comes to pattern making, and creating your product, the question "who is your ideal customer?" is more specific, in a different way.

Know the gender, size, and age of your customer

We need to know things like:

What genders and age groups are you designing for?

Are your customers average, tall, or petite?

What is the size and body type of your ideal customer?

Are your customers North American, Asian, European, or some other nationality?

What are your customers' lifestyle habits? Do they like easy-care, wash and wear clothing, or high-end, dry clean only? Are they eco-conscious, and want only organic fibers?

What is their income level? What are your goals for the ending price point, and how you will arrive there? (We can often suggest money saving tips!)

Where will your customers most likely wear your styles? Is it an every day or special occasion piece?

What brand item currently on the market is most like the garment you are creating, in size, care, and utility?

What are your own goals for the design? Telling us how you want the garment to look and feel on your customer gives us ideas about how to incorporate things like design ease and drape to create your silhouette.

We can now use the above informaton, and translate it into numerical data, as the first step in your product development.

tape measure

So, what are the first steps? We can break that down to 1-2-3.

  • Develop size charts
  • Develop blocks --these are the unstyled fitting shells for your "medium" range customer.
  • Draft your first patterns

Look for our posts on each one of these important topics, which will prepare you for action!

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