Welcome to the Process!
Welcome to WorkWear Community! We’re excited that you’re interested in our startup, apparel brand for women. Our focus is to create modern work wear for ladies who work tough and love getting dirty. You probably heard of us through a Facebook or Instagram post, and we are so grateful for your support. A special thanks to those of you who took our survey to let us know what you need in your work wear wardrobe. If you haven’t yet, check it out here.
We wanted to share our first blog post with you to welcome you to WorkWear. Here’s a little bit about what we’re doing right now.
Over the past several weeks, we’ve been fine tuning our business plan, getting help from Denver’s small business advisory services, and hearing from YOU about what YOU need. Our business plan will help keep our goals on track and will eventually help us fund production when our samples are ready. What’s a sample you ask? Here we go. Welcome to the sample making process!
- We had an idea - We’ve jotted down our notes and found inspiration through personal experiences and research.
- We found someone who could help - Sketching, patternmaking, fitting, sewing, sourcing, tech packs, the list goes on and on. Creating clothing is very technical, and we didn’t go to school for fashion design or pattern making. So, we need someone who has years of experience with all of the technical aspects of design. We’ve narrowed it down to a great prospect, and she’s local! She’ll be able to help us bring our ideas to life.
- Step 1: The Muslin - Our pattern maker will first start by making what’s called a muslin. Muslin is an inexpensive, cotton fabric that is used to make the very first pattern of a clothing item. This fabric allows us to tweak the fit as it’s being sewn together and determine if we’re on the right path.
- Step 2: The First Sample - Once the muslin looks good, we’ll move on to making this exact pattern with a fabric that is similar to the final product. This will also include finding our trims ie: zippers, buttons, cuff materials, etc. As this first sample comes together, we continue to tweak fit and features like pockets and loops. Once this first sample is golden, we make the next sample in the actual fabric and trims we are going to use. This finalizes the fit, the fall of the fabric, functionality, and overall aesthetic. Whew! Done? Nope!
- Step 3: Techy Stuff - Now our fantastic pattern maker needs to put this finalized paper pattern, with all of our tweaks and changes, into the computer. This digitized version allows us to grade our item. The pattern and sample that we’ve been tweaking the last several weeks is fit to our model aka: fit model, aka: me (the owner). Now we need to standardize this pattern to fit the general size that I am, around a 6. But we don’t want to only offer size 6, and that’s where grading comes in. We now need to make that pattern to fit all the sizes we want to carry, let’s just say 0-14. Now, we have all of our patterns for all of our sizes. Then, we can go on to making a sample in each size to ensure proper fit.
- Step 4: Tech Packs - Tech packs are step-by-step instructions, with an incredible amount of details and pictures, on how to sew a garment from start to finish. A factory will use these tech packs to make this item in large quantities. Tech packs ensure that each item is made the same way every time and that our details are clearly understood.
- Step 5: Off to Production - We have our details on paper, in the computer, and in a physical sample, so now it’s time to send all of that to the factory along with all of the fabric and trims. Once the factory has completed our quantities, and we’ve inspected each item, we can get this work wear into your hands!
So that’s where we are. Getting the ideas for our first pieces into working prototypes, so we can tweak and perfect our first release items. Each time we create a new item, we have to go through this process. It gets easier as the collection grows, but as you can see, it’s still a work of art and quite the process.
Stay tuned to find out what we’re making first! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram: workwear_community. We want to keep building support for WorkWear Community and for those women who work hard every day. Spread the word!