In many industries, there’s a large disconnect between the creative vision for a project and the technical feasibility. Fashion is by no means an exception, as young brands (including my own) will frequently encounter hiccups and unforeseen steps or costs during garment creation. Here’s a step by step guide on translating an idea to a wearable garment.
Garment Creation Step 1: Sketch
For most garments, you’ll start with a sketch. If sketching isn’t your strong suite, you may want to gather similar examples from other brands (materials, stitching styles, fit ,etc.). Either way, make sure to have some sort of visual representation and description of what you want your garment to look like.
Garment Creation Step 2: Pattern
The next step in garment creation to translate this sketch into a pattern. This is where things can get tricky and occasionally expensive. A pattern is the template from which the fabric is cut to create the garment, and creating one is a more specialized skill. If you aren’t familiar with sewing or pattern creation, it’s generally best to outsource this task to a professional.You may find it eaiser to purchase and moidfy an existing pattern to fit your design.
Garment Creation Step 3: Muslin
Once you have a pattern, the next step is to create a muslin, or a basic version of the garment from inexpensive cotton. This allows you to fit on a model or a dress form, and change the pattern as needed. Once you’re happy with the fit, you can move on to grading. Grading is creating different sizes from your pattern (so the smalls, larges, and any other sizes that you’d like to offer other than your initial pattern). Once this process is finished, you should have a series of patterns in your desired sizes.
Garment Creation Step 4: Samples
From here, you can go on to make samples. You’ll want to source the desired fabrics, but for more simple or small-run garments, you can oftentimes find what you need at a fabric store. Different fabrics will have their own limitations, but for simple items these limitations would be discussed and solved by your patternmaker and sample maker.
Garment Creation Step 5: Finished Product
You may need to go through a few sample garments until you reach the perfect look, but once you’ve done so you’re ready for the final product! Make sure to be thorough in working with your sample to ensure that you’re completely happy before producing the final product. You’ve only just begun, but now you have something tangible to photograph, show off, and build upon for your fashion brand!
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