Episode 45: Your garment sample comes in looking terrible, now what?
TOPICS: Design, Pattern making, Proportions, Fabric
Welcome to the Fashion Unearthed podcast. If you need help navigating the fashion industry sustainably, you have come to the right place. I'm your host Belinda Humphrey and my hope is to simplify the fashion industry so that businesses can make the best decisions for people, planet and product.
Hello, and welcome to episode 45 of Fashion Unearthed Podcast. Today, I wanted to give you three tips or areas that you need to look at or analyse if you've got a sample that's come in, and it's not looking quite right. Over the years, I've really honed, I guess what they call a design eye where I can look at a garment and I'll mentally run through these three areas to see why it's not looking the way that I envisaged it coming in.
So the first area I'll look at is fabric. I'll ask myself, is the fabric right for this style? Is it the best choice for what you're trying to do? I'll ask myself, Is it too soft? Is it too drapey? Is it not drapey enough? Is it too stiff? How much stretch? Does it have? Does it not have enough stretch, does it have too much stretch? And if you go through that checklist in your mind, and you think yes, this is the right fabric, or you know, we may have used that fabric before the fabric is not the issue. At least you can rule that out and move on to the next area, which is design.
The proportions of the garment would be something you would analyse here, you would ask yourself, are the pockets the right size for this garment? Are the horizontal lines on the tiers on this skirt, the right proportion? You know, is something throwing it off, it's looking a bit weird around the proportions. Another area I would look at would be the bust darts or any other darts that are on the garments. Are they in the right position? Are they too long? Or too short? Are they pointing to the actual fullness that they're trying to control? And also just the amount of fabric that's in gathers, is it too much? Is it not enough, this can really kind of throw things out when you're looking at a garment.
And then finally, just under the broad topic of execution, how the garment has been put together, or the fit of a garment is a really big one. There's a lot that goes into this and there's a reason why pattern makers train for years to be able to execute a design. But as a starting point, I would always look at the arm holes, the shape of the armhole, the breadth of the shoulder, the shape of the sleeve head and then on the bottoms of the trousers, I would look at the crotch shape and look at things like the leg balance, is it swinging out to one side when it's on the fit model? To me, that would indicate that the balance is a bit off. And also under the topic of execution is all the little one percenters that add up to create the larger picture, things like the thread thickness, the stitches per inch, the SPI what fusing you're using or even if the garment has been really hard pressed instead of being steamed. It's all those little things that don't immediately jump out at you but they're really important in making up the look of your garment.
So as a recap, the three broad areas that I would look at if I was analysing a garment would be the fabric, the design and the execution. And just as a side note, the reason why I haven't included anything to do with factories in this little analysis is that so much of what the garment looks like or how it's constructed is up to you and how you communicate what you want to the factory.
So I hope that's helped give you a different way to approach analysing a sample that's coming, not looking quite right. And if it has helped you, I'd love to know about it. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a DM or a direct message on Instagram @belindahumphrey_ And as always, you'll find the show notes and any links on the website as well in the podcast section. Thanks so much for listening. See you next time.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort is made to ensure that information is accurate at the time of recording, much like the fashion industry itself, this information may change.