entrepreneur-guide-cover

The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing is often described as the garment industry “blue book”. The most highly rated book in the business is guaranteed to get you off to a solid start or your money back. Many service providers require you read this before they’ll work with you. This book has over 50 five star reviews on Amazon. See what people like you are saying.

Buying a copy qualifies you to be considered for membership in our private forum (the $45 annual fee is waived the first year if you buy a new copy). With over 1500  members, the forum is easily the most active part of the Fashion-Incubator website. There, in a relaxed confidential environment, you can rub elbows with experienced professionals comprising the gamut of the garment industry for sewing contractor referrals and to locate hard to find fabrics in small quantities. Here’s how to join.

Description: The book is 8.5″ x 11″, 240 pages softcover. So what does 240 pages mean when publishers use wide margins, large fonts, deep headings and generous line spacing to beef up their page count? This book does none of those things. As much information as was possible is packed on each page. Although tidy, the margins aren’t generous, headings are scant and the text is set in two columns per page, maximizing the per page word count. In other words, there’s no filler here.

View Table of Contents with links to free chapters.

The cost is $60 USD and is available on Amazon, via Paypal (or use the link in the right side bar) or by calling 505-877-1713 MST with a Visa or Mastercard. You can also mail payment to my address below. Please include $7 for domestic Priority Mail shipping, $3.99 for economy media mail, $22 for Canadian orders or $26 for all other foreign orders to ship Global Priority Mail. If you’re on the East Coast, priority mail shipping is strongly recommended; otherwise it can take 21 days for your parcel to arrive.

Other Services:

I’m available to make patterns or consult with you. You can also plan a visit to see my factory in order to better understand what you need (if you go that route) or to see what a competent contractor and or patternmaker should have.

I specialize in pattern making for complex sewn products and men’s and women’s lined garments -what’s described as “single needle” meaning products that require the highest level of sewing operator skills- with specific emphasis on leather products and outerwear. My rates are reasonable at $75 per hour. If you have patterns already made, I provide digitizing, grading and marking services. I’m also available for pattern checking services which I enjoy. I use StyleCAD software, have a 4′ x 6′ digitizing table and a 72″ Ioline plotter to print markers. Recently, we’ve added sewing and cutting services.

Many people have asked me what brands I work for and will I send photos of work I’ve done for them. Discretion is one reason people hire me but more importantly, it strikes me as facile and predatory to use my customer’s brands for marketing purposes. As to photos, this is simply not done. Would you want me to use photos of your products to solicit work from your competitors? Ever heard of design piracy? I’m not signing on for that -and that’s assuming I had the right to use depictions of my customer’s work, which I don’t. In any event, here and there on this site, are photos of personal projects. Considering the content on the site, I have obvious competencies -check out the tutorials.

Consulting and Instruction:

I’m available for phone consultation at $195 per hour ($150 an hour if you have my book), minimum half hour for an initial consultation and billed in quarter hour segments after that. I enjoy conducting product reviews; other firms charge thousands of dollars for these but in my opinion, few take over three hours. I am available to travel to provide consulting or training to your staff on site with a two day minimum.

Another service I provide is rapid product development -which means you come in and we’ll work on the product start to finish. I make the pattern in CAD (starting with digitizing the pattern if there is one), we cut it, sew it, fit it and rinse, lather and repeat for any needed correction in my 5,000 sqft factory. Ideally, the customer is ready to be introduced to my local contractors to nail down requirements for a production quote the next day -if we don’t do the sewing ourselves. Daily rate is $1500 per day for the first person, $750 for each subsequent person with discounts for 3 or more.

Training for starting and operating a sewing factory is available at our Sewing Factory School in Albuquerque New Mexico. We can comfortably accommodate a maximum of 15 people in our factory training facility. The program fee is $1500 per day with discounts for subsequent attendees from the same company. For those staying two days or more, I provide comfortable and private accommodations in my guest house with breakfast and lunch (vegetarian). My guest house has a bedroom (queen size bed), living room (queen size futon), full kitchen and a bath with shower (stocked with towels, shampoo, soap etc). Transportation to and from the airport is likely but not guaranteed depending on arrival and departure times.

One class I think every designer or product developer needs is Production Pattern Making. You will need some tools and basic sewing skills but no pattern making skills are needed to successfully complete this day long class.

Here is a list of equipment and amenities of my sewing factory:

Facilities and equipment

  • 5000 sq ft building
  • 3 dedicated sewing lines served with feed rail
  • cutting room; 2 -50′ tables
  • WI-FI wireless network
  • 800 sqft guest house for visiting clients

CAD

  • StyleCAD pattern, grading & marking software
  • 4′ X 6′ Accugrid digitizing table
  • 72″ Ioline pen plotter
  • Dual monitor PC workstation
  • Synology file server for redundant back up
  • Cloud back up
  • I-digit photo digitizing system

Sewing Machines:

All machines are set on T-Leg caster tables for greatest flexibility in sewing line set up, and upgraded to servo motor technology, reducing energy needs by 75%.

  • Single needle Adler 271 servo
  • 7 -Single needle Adlers 281 servo
  • Zig-Zag, Consew 175 upgraded to servo
  • Flatlock Merrow Activeseam MB-4DFO servo
  • Needle feed, Juki DLN-9010SH servo
  • Coverstitch 5 thread Kansai WX-8803D servo
  • Buttonhole/Bar tack Siruba BH790 servo
  • 2- Walking foot Juki DNU-1541S servo
  • Overlock, 5 thread safety stitch, Reliable MSK-3316N servo
  • Overlock, 3 thread Singer, upgraded to servo
  • Blind hemmer Consew 817, upgraded to servo
  • Single needle Mitsubishi DB-170, upgraded to servo
  • Reece welt pocket machine, model 42
  • Singer pinch tuck machine, upgraded to servo
  • Singer E-stitch (applique) machine, upgraded to servo

Cutting

  • Soabar 275 shade marking system
  • 2-48 foot, 72″ wide Philocraft table w/rails
  • 2-Eastman Blue Streak 8″ cutting knives
  • 2- Eastman chickadees
  • Eastman Cloth Drill
  • Eastman Thread Marker (type L)
  • Over 200 feet of feedrail
  • 2-68″ spreaders

Pressing

  • 1.5 liter Boiler Iron (Reliable)
  • Blower & vacuum extraction pressing station
  • Sussman gravity feed iron
  • Hot Steam, gravity feed iron

Misc equipment

  • button covering machine
  • nail head and snap setting kick press
  • belt and tie turner (production, manual)
  • washer & dryer
  • Alvanon full body form (curvy -UK size 12), 2006
  • Alvanon squishy form, US size 10, 2012
  • Alvanon size 6 child’s full body form, ASTM 2007
  • Alvanon size 46 men’s full body form, ASTM 2005
  • Alvanon size 20W lady’s full body form, custom 2005

Inquiries to:
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

 

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38 comments

  1. Sonja Thomas says:

    I am currently taking patternmaking classes and I am interested in Bespoke Tailoring, that is my love since I started to sew. The problem is that the sewers out there (many that I have talked to) don’t know what Bespoke is or the history of it. I don’t see any schools that is teaching this Art, and I would LOVE to learn it. I want to make women’s tailored garments that are made to high standards as men’s are. What do you think?

    • Kathleen Fasanella

      I think bespoke tailoring is awesome. Try looking for tailoring classes as opposed to bespoke tailoring classes. Most (all?) tailoring courses I know of, are targeted to individuals (aka, bespoke). Have fun!

  2. Hello, you mentioned; “If you have patterns already made, I provide digitizing, grading and marking services. I’m also available for pattern checking services which I enjoy.” Does this extend to undergarments/foundation pieces; bra and pantie patterns? I am interested in having patterns checked, digitazed and graded. If you do not do undergarments/foundations is there someone you would suggest? Thank you in advance. By the way I am about a 1/3 of the way through you book and am finding it extremely usesul so thank you again :) !

  3. Susie Urschler says:

    Hi, I’m wanting to set up a phone conference and I do own your book. I would like to start a small production run of a coastal type dress but I have fashion illustrations of a leather and silk dress line I tried to start with. I met with the exclusive maker of Donna Karen’s gowns in NY about a year ago and he said you are a true designer simply because my designs were unique and nothing like he’s ever seen before. He of course wanted a fortunate to make a pattern and sample. But this compliment carried through out NY as I met with different possible pattern makers and factories. I do know I don’t want to go the factory route on the leather and silk line. This will be custom made along the same lines as bridal. But my other silk possibly organza and charmeuse fabric with my signature piece can be a small production. I would like to know how to get started. Do I find my own seamstress and do all in house on my own or look for a more small manufacturer to make the pattern/sample and small production run? I would like to be part of the process rather than send these things off to be made. I have the flexibility to travel and move where I need to at this time. Looking forward to your advise! Thanks!!

  4. David Brown says:

    Hey Kathleen, reading about the new factory and incubator space in NM. Sounds very similar to what I have been putting together in North Carolina. Question: The list of machines/equipment above designates servo v. clutch motors – are these running 110v or 220v. I am having the hardest time figuring out the electrical of our new workshop. Thanks for sharing everything (book & website)!!

  5. Chris Atmadja says:

    Hi Kathleen,

    Thanks for all the useful readings you have posted. I am an aspiring Activewear and Swimwear entrepreneur. I was wondering whether you cover these 2 fields in your book (e.g. pattern making for swimwear) ?

    I hope your book contains useful information on those 2 things as I look forward to reading it.

    Thanks.

    Chris

  6. Kathleen says:

    Hi, if you look farther up the page, there is a link to the table of contents. Once there, you can read free chapters. Alas, pattern making, much less swimwear pattern making, isn’t the subject of the book. Good luck!

  7. Esther healy says:

    Been in bridal retailer for 30 years, now my designer daughter is looking for cut and sew on her new bridal design.
    Most of the big factory in Los Angeles only work for ready to wear. The smaller subcontractor ask for lots of money.
    I guess this is why many still go overseas. Anyone know a small company that will do production of 50-100 pcs cut and sew of wedding gown. Not your traditional big poofy but more vintage softer materials no boning, no pettycoats.

    • kathleen says:

      Smaller lots are always going to cost more on a per unit basis and there is little to be done about it, unfortunately. A big factor is cutting. There is little time difference in cutting 50 dresses vs 500 dresses but the contractor has to cover costs no matter the count or he or she goes out of business. Obviously the cost per dress for the 500 unit lot will be much lower than the 50 unit lot.

      Even that isn’t the whole story; we recently completed a 400+ unit job and the roll length was a problem we struggled with. The customer ordered the correct amounts but the rolls were short. I had to put in more time than was budgeted but we made it work. The alternative was an incomplete order -something the customer couldn’t compromise on due to contractual obligations with his buyer. So, my customer had to pay and if he chooses, seek redress with the fabric supplier. I felt bad for him but I also lost money on it and couldn’t sustain more.

      I understand your frustration and hope you find a way to make it work.

  8. Brandon scott says:

    I am in the final stages of creating a prototype for pants a plan to field test and mass produce. How do I go about gathering bids for mass production? I know next to nothing about this industry but have 20 years in the industry the pant will serve.

    • kathleen says:

      Well, a good start would be to read the book that is advertised on this page. My follow up advice is to join our forum where you can discuss the ins and outs of your proposal with others who have done it many times. You’ll also get advice from contractors (like me) who can help you modify and refine your project.

      It’s like your business; what would it take for someone to be as successful at your industry with 20 years of experience, as you’ve been? You’d probably say it’s not as easy as it looks on the surface, that many aspire and don’t make it. It’s like that in our industry too. And I’m sure that in your business, like ours, you can find a lot of misleading albeit plausibly sounding advice on the internet.

  9. Greta says:

    I would love to buy your book but I live in Indonesia, shipping is expensive.

    Do you have it available for sale in pdf or e-reader format?

  10. JEFFRI TORI says:

    Hi There,
    Just purchased your book, have not yet received. Is there anything that can refer me to how to make a proposal contract for an apparel service client? How to determine what to charge?

    Thx for any input

  11. Cathy Wright says:

    Hello, I am looking for someone to sew a skirt and ladies top prototype. I will need the pattern made as well. Fabrics will be very specific though–can you also help with that?

    • Kathleen Fasanella

      If you’re a member of the forum, people who do more sourcing than me, can provide better guidance.

      I’ve always been someone who has focused on my strengths instead of numbly going off into directions that I don’t know much about; the results posing a danger to myself and others. I do some sourcing but only under limited circumstances. This is not to say that I don’t know of suppliers; I know TONS of them. However, to do sourcing well (different from just saying you can do it) means you have solid purchasing relationships with those vendors. And I just don’t. In short, I can point you to sources but my hands are tied from there, for the most part.

  12. Adebanke Odukale says:

    Hi Kathleen,
    I am excited to come across an experienced person like you who is willing to teach newcomers. Please I would like to buy your book through you,I live in Lagos Nigeria. Kindly explain on how to make payment.

  13. Apryl Wynona Hall says:

    This information is outstanding. I understand denim shrinkage, and how it applies to the manufacturing process. Its also great to know how denim is weaved. This is information that anyone interested in the fashion manufacturing industry needs to know. This may sound comical, but this one article has made it possible to sleep soundly this evening. I am excited about purchasing Kathleen fasanella’s book!

  14. Apryl Wynona+Hall says:

    I am very pleased to have ordered The Entrepreneurs Guide to Sewn Manufacturing. I called the office to order my book and was honored to have an opportunity to speak to Kathleen! I do have some questions regarding customizing already made clothing, like jeans. When a garment is embelished it is required to carry an additional identification tag and or registration number? I have been to the Federal Trade Commission site, but found no answer. Please let me know what the requirements would be. These customized items would be sold commercially. Thank you.

  15. Apryl Wynona Hall says:

    I just received my copy of THE ENTREPRENEUR’S GUIDE TO SEWN PRODUCT MANUFACTURING. This encyclopedia of information (folks still encyclopedias), is priceless. After reading posts on the site and reading articles in the book’s table of contents; I was convinced that this was the investment most valuable to my “new” status as a DE. I even had an opportunity to speak to KATHLEEN FASANELLA when I ordered the book. This book is imperative to the understanding and success of anyone seeking a niche in the garment industry business.

  16. Apryl Wynona+Hall says:

    Another important aspect, If you are going to make progress in this business it’s necessary to be aware of the verbal nuances associated with the mindset of those people actively engaged in the process. KATHLEEN FASANELLA provides this bridge. BUT YOU MUST BUY THE BOOK, AND YOU MUST READ IT !!!!!!

  17. Apryl Wynona Hall says:

    This book is fascinating. I have made so many of the “faux paus” mentioned like using commercial patterns, until I’m now beginning to feel like a respectable DE. I’m so thankful to leave the “clueless” stage behind. Yes it’s true when I talk to people who haven’t read the book they don’t have a sense of protocols. In discussions with veterans, they are pleased and surprised to know that I’ve removed some of the “green” off of my newness to the industry. And it is true these veterans are likely to speak to me respectfully because I’m not attempting to hide what I’m learning. The Entrepreneur’s guide is written so well that it’s hard to put it down.

    • Adebanke Odukale says:

      I have been longing to buy the book because I know that it is a one stop solution for a DE but I still don’t know how.I reside I Lagos Nigeria,would be glad if you can put me through.Thank you.Adebanke Odukale

      • Apryl Wynona Hall says:

        You can contact Kathleen FASANELLA through the Fashion Incubator web site. Amazon sells the book. I’m not trying to be a comedian, but at this time with all of the methods of communication and shipping it seems as though being able to obtain this book is a phone call or e mail away.

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