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the process of making a garment

the process of making a garment

in honour of fashion revolution week, we wanted to write this post in the name of transparency, especially for those of you who aren't intimately familiar with how clothing is made. here’s the thing - a lot goes into a well made garment - at least 30 steps according to our list. 

the below list is our summary of our process.  our goal in sharing it is to show the many steps involved and how the process requires both creativity as well as technical skills perfected over many years. the process is also very tactile and depends greatly on expert human hands - all clothes are, in fact, handmade. because we cut and sew all our garments in vancouver, with factory partners we respect and we compensate fairly, we can be intimately involved in every stage of this process. and we wouldn't want it any other way. 

without further ado, the process of making a garment:

  1. come up with initial concept/inspiration for a collection (colour, theme, silhouettes, fabrics, etc.)
  2. decide what pieces belong in the collection (editing collection, determining coordinates, etc.)
  3. make initial sketch of garment
  4. decide what fabric garment should be made in? with what trims?
  5. source fabric and trims & order sample yardage (this can take a LONG time and involves a lot of research into exactly how fibers are grown, milled, and dyed)
  6. test fabric shrinkage on sample yardage 
  7. make detailed sketch of garment
  8. make pattern in sample size
  9. sew sample
  10. fit sample (especially tricky with kids where there is really no sample size and kids are constantly on the move)
  11. make fit comments
  12. adjust pattern if necessary and possibly cut a second or a third sample 
  13. re-fit garment (it’s a really good day when you can approve on the first sample)
  14. approve sample
  15. grade pattern for all sizes (this is the process whereby all sizes are created)
  16. check grading
  17. go to approved factories (there is much leg work to get to the point where you have such a list) to get costings for production
  18. get a counter sample from factory you have chosen to produce the garment and approve it 
  19. order production fabric and trims
  20. re-test fabric shrinkage with production fabric 
  21. create a spec with all technical details about the garment down to every single stitch
  22. agree on a price and delivery date with factory
  23. assemble all fabric and trims (every label, elastic, button, lining, etc.) for delivery to factory
  24. create a cut sheet that will tell the cutter how many units of each size and colour they will cut
  25. create a marker (a large roll of paper with all the pattern pieces for all sizes that will be cut out of the fabric like puzzle pieces)
  26. fabric is cut and bundled
  27. get one garment sewn up by the factory as a TOP (top of production) to approve sewing. make sewing comments if necessary
  28. garments are sewn
  29. garment washing happens here before labels and trims are applied
  30. garments are finished with all threads clipped, all garments pressed, hang tags applied and, in our case, garments packed in reusable plastic tubs


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