Taking an idea you have in your mind or perhaps drawn out on paper and making it a reality is one of the most rewarding things about designing and selling apparel. As an entrepreneur or designer it’s important that you understand the process before attempting to create your own cut n sew brand. In a recent video on the John X Santos Youtube Channel we dive into this process so you can better visualize the steps involved and we also share an amazing resource you can use to make your idea a reality.
In this post I want to share some of the key points involved in the cut n sew process when you develop with Indie Source. Keep in mind this is a process you will use regardless of the service you choose. Remember there are additional details I may be leaving out, but for the sake of helping you get your game plan going, I have included the important ones here:
Step 1: Planning and Development
When you start the process it’s important to lay out the groundwork for your collection. This means figuring out your target price points, lead times, the products you are making and the ideal design for them all. This step works best by providing reference samples and materials in order to help the team you work.
Step 2: Sourcing Fabrics
Once you figure out exactly what you are working towards, the next step is in sourcing the fabrics you need for your line. Indie Source is based out of Downtown LA, which has millions of yards available to manufacture products in the USA. This means they will be able to source in the USA.
Step 3: Pattern Making
With the right fabrics and the idea set, the next step is to create the patterns for your design. The patterns are essentially the blueprint or the template to sewing your product together. It’s important that you start with the best patterns possible in order to have the best possible outcome in production.
Step 4: Cutting Fabric For Samples
The next step in the process is cutting your fabrics with the patterns that were made. This will help move your idea into the sampling phase.
Step 5: Sewing The Samples
During the sampling process your design is brought to life. There is a small team or sometimes just one person that is in charge of taking the patterns, directions and instructions in order to sew it all together. They are able to work out any confusion, and help they help get the project one step closer to production.
Step 6: Fitting The Product
During the fitting process the pattern maker and project manager take notes based on the feedback from the designers. The design changes are noted and discussed in order to make adjustments to the product before it goes to production. There can be many different kinds of changes required for a product and you may go through numerous fittings before you green light the production.
Step 7: Grading
Once you are happy with the way your products look, feel and fits during the sampling and fitting process, the next step is grading. Pattern grading by definition means “to turn base size or sample size patterns into additional sizes using a size specification sheet or grading increments.” For entrepreneurs and the designers behind the product, this step is important and should not be overlooked as it ultimately dictates how your apparel fits on your consumer.
Step 8: Marking
Once your patterns are graded and before they go into production they will go through the marking process. Marking patterns ensures that you maximize the space on the fabric with the patterns you are cutting to make your clothing line. Fabric can be expensive, marking helps fit as many pieces onto it so you save as much as you can.
Step 9: Production
With the ground work completed, your line is then taken through the production process. During the production process all of your garments are cut n sewn together in mass quantities.
Step 10: Quality Control
After the garments are sewn together, they are delivered to the team where they undergo a quality control inspection. This is where they check every detail of the garment to ensure the best delivery to you, their customer.
The team behind Indie Source handles your production from the design, development and the manufacturing which allows you to focus on the marketing and sales of your brand. If this resource was around when I started my first at 19 years old, it would have saved me a lot of time and headaches taking it on myself. So if you’re thinking about launching your own cut n sew brand, take the time to book your Kickoff meeting so you can gain a better understanding about your specific situation. During your meeting they will evaluate your needs and provide you with the production plan and price points to get your started.