Welcome to Fashion-Incubator, the comprehensive skills and information encyclopedia for apparel manufacturers on the web with half a million visitors every month. I am your hostess and editor, Kathleen Fasanella. With the exception of the occasional guest post, I write nearly all of the content on Fashion-Incubator.com. I also host its adjunct, the largest private forum for apparel manufacturers on the web.

I started production patternmaking in 1981. Starting in 1993, I began providing consulting and engineering services to manufacturers, small companies, and start ups with an emphasis on developing owner-operator domestic cut and sew operations. I offer pattern and prototyping services (StyleCAD) to include digitizing of existing styles, grading, and marking. I specialize in sizing development and production consulting. We also offer production cutting, sewing services and training (if you want to open your own factory) from our new 5,000 sqft fully equipped sewing factory –The Sewing Factory School.

I’m the author of The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing, the most highly rated book of any topic in the garment industry. I’ve been mentioned numerous times in New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, National Public Radio, Boston Globe, LA Times, Vogue, French Vogue and have at least 15 Project Runway alums at last count. Se habla Español.

Specialties
Suits, coats, outerwear, menswear, leather and complex sewn utility products. Knowledgeable in CPSIA, sustainability and compliance issues. I specialize in solving a broad range of problems for apparel manufacturers to include sizing difficulties, training of sewing operators and pattern makers at your location or mine. I also provide master classes for professionals and professors. I speak Spanish with native fluency.

Education:
El Centro, Dallas County Community College. Pattern Design
University of Texas at Austin: Economics, Spanish and Latin American Studies.

Personal:
I’m the best kept garment industry secret in Albuquerque, New Mexico USA where I live with my husband, adult (disabled) son, two and half dogs, five cats and twelve chickens.

Affiliations: Member AAFA, ASTM, SME and ITAA.

Contact:
Kathleen Fasanella
Apparel Technical Svcs
The Sewing Factory School
410 Old Coors Dr. SW
Albuquerque NM 87121
T: 505-877-1713
C: 575-635-8131
Email Me

Click here for information on how to make the most of this site. The site features a variety of guest authors (feel free to volunteer). In the past, Zoe Hong, Mike Cerny and Miracle Wanzo have blogged here.  Stuart Friedberg continues to write about technical matters. I also have another blog where I write about sizing -specifically the myth of vanity sizing.

Update: Since commenting has been enabled on this page, I’ve received numerous requests for information on how to start a clothing line. My advice is to read The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing and then to join our forum. Of course I’m amenable to consulting, please see details on services I provide. As far as I know, mine is the only facility in the world that provides pattern, cutting and sewing services while you wait. Seeing how all the pieces of manufacturing fit together, in real time, provides inestimable value.

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12 comments

  1. Hello,
    I am needing some advice on how to grow my business. I see other handmade shops with the same designs making 100s of the same product and selling them. I cannot manufacture large enough quantities and would like to get noticed for my designs as well. Looking for some info, thank you!

    -Grace

  2. Karen Welton says:

    Hi Kathleen,

    I am in the process of opening a start-up and the major glitch I have come into is finding a skilled pattern maker. I have gone through 5 now, and countless samples and tons of money. I am very very close to having my designs perfected, but it seems like I make 1 step ahead and 3 steps back. Even though they tell you that they have training and experience in the field, until I get samples back, I realize if they can walk the walk they are talking!! I am in Canada. Do you have any insight/advice?

    Karen

    • Kathleen Fasanella

      This problem seems to be worse than ever. With the dramatic increase in fashion school enrollment and decreasing job opportunities, those grads need to make money somehow. And they’re not even being patently dishonest; they think they know or they’re padding their resumes the way they think everyone else does.

      My standard response is, join the forum. It is the only confidential and qualified entity of its kind. Members can help you determine a candidate’s suitability for your job. We know who is any good and warn you against some notably bad players.

      Social media has become largely useless and even the press is perilously misleading. Case in point, one newspaper featured a domestic manufacturing broker. I thought the business looked great and even planned to contact them. I’ve since discovered that the company is not just incompetent but possibly, fraudulently and grossly incompetent, certainly worthy of filing suit against them. I’d be shocked if the firm wasn’t judged against.

  3. AudreL Davis-Jones says:

    Hello Kathleen, I just recently came across fashion incubator, I am so happy. I am a designer in West Palm Beach FL, and is in the process if designing an urban wear line. I am interested in learning more how to refine my pattern and the process of manufacturing the line myself vs. Sewing contractors.

  4. Frankie Lyne says:

    Hi Kathleen, I was recently sourcing contacts for manufacturing materials and production and I come across your page. I am based in London, UK. Do you have any advice on where to source the right manufacture for a Men’s clothing line for materials and production?
    Kind Regards, Frankie

    • Kathleen Fasanella

      We cannot make public referrals. If we did, the site would become a magnet for ads from businesses that we have no way of vetting. Also, visitors would likely get burnt and then I’d hear about it. I know because this is how it used to be. I can only suggest that you join our forum and get recommendations from other members who are in your area and in a better position to know. Good luck.

  5. Adebanke Odukale says:

    Hi Kathleen,
    I was absolutely excited when I came across your page and it was a God sent answer to all my questions on garment production.I am a fashion designer in lagos Nigeria with interest in garment production.I tried to order your book on Amazon but unfortunately Amazon would not ship to my country.I will really appreciate if you can consult for my company especially in the areas of Stylecad,grading and marking.
    How can I get to buy your book as well.
    Regards,
    Adebanke

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