News from you 4/11/07

I think I’ll start a new series and call it News From You which will include all of the lovely and interesting things F-I visitors send me. Here are recent submissions plus anything that doesn’t fit in anywhere else.

The Textile show in Los Angeles is next week. Be there or be square. Zoe, Miracle and quite a few kindred will be there. Check the connections forum for TALA meet ups. Zoe posted on this yesterday, mentioning ancillary activities that a friend of hers is hosting that you may enjoy.

The SPESA and Material World show in Miami Beach is four weeks away (May 8-10) with an F-I contingent in attendance (I will be). Check the thread in the forum if you want to meet on site or have questions about hotels. In addition to fabric, this show is the event to attend for all operations related equipment and services related to manufacturing. If you need tools and toys, be at this show because it’s only held every three years. Unsubstantiated rumor has it only every four years now.

This definitely doesn’t belong here but this is a blog, therefore the topic of cats is obligatory. There’s a cat (beautiful) in England who’s been taking the city bus down to the local fish and chips place. Although well behaved by all accounts, he’s stiffing the taxpayers with his failure to pay a fare.

Jess sends a link to the coolest “font”. It’s the mannequin font with several different sets (sample above). For our purposes, I’d think one would want all of them. Poking around, I found a package deal on all of them. Sale expires May 1st.
Price: $134.20 $244.00
Sale: 45% off (ends May 01)
Package number: 252581

The Fashion Spot informs me that I have been allocated 25 invitations. If you recall, they’d closed their forum due to so much traffic but it seems that they’ve eased on that a bit. So, I have invitations I can extend to you. First come, first served -among my customers that is (book owners get perks). Email me.

Diane Sheehan mentions a good resource for info is Tech Exchange. I link to them occasionally but it’s good to bring it up again.

Andrea Loannouand writes to mention she is

…a Second Year Student at the International School of Professional Photography, in South Melbourne. i have a keen interest in fashion photography and have gained experience along the way. i would like to offer my creative services to any fashion students that may need a photographer.

Vicky writes with 2 sewing questions:

  • How do you bag a silk tank top? Let’s say you are making a sleeveless top. Chiffon for body and silk lining. I can’t seem to figure out a way to pull this through after sewing without doing some hand finishing at the shoulders – both shoulders. Do you have any suggestions? I have “bagged” a jacket before, but am lost on this thing.
  • Do you think that seams that are sewn together should have the same shape: particularly the side seam.

If somebody wants to send me a proto cut tank top, I can do a tutorial. Otherwise, post yours in the forum.

Margarite, upon returning from her trip to Albuquerque, tells me that a friend there uses a local pattern maker who is 101 years old! Maybe she’s the oldest pattern maker alive? Oh the stories she could tell. I’ve followed up, hoping for an interview.

Lisa Carroccio writes to mention a new book, A Management Perspective on Sewn Product Quality. I haven’t seen it so I can’t comment. If you can, by all means pass along a review.

Elizabeth has sent in a couple things. First some entertainment (cute overload).
She also mentions some resources, Wholesale Crafts and says:

Don’t know if you know of them. I just found them. For one-of-a-kinders to get their products in front of retailers. You must already sell to two stores. $39 fee. They accept fashion and jewelry. They also have free webinars on wholesale terms, booth design etc.

I was at Panera Bread in Long Island, the other day. Out of all places to make a business connection! You know, I run after everyone in Manhattan to get them to talk to me, and I can’t, but I go in the middle of nowhere and I ran into a gentleman named Robert who is a fabric broker! We had a lovely chat on why big companies are closing down (offshore production, any surprise there?) and he was stunned at small designers purchasing under thousands of yrds of fabric. It’s so sad large suppliers don’t even know we exist. Anyway, he’s a very nice person and he told me of one of his colleagues who does sell, gasp, as low as a roll of fabric! I don’t know how his prices and quality are, I haven’t even had time to look at his website in depth. If you contact him, do mention Bob (Robert). Though he can’t imagine how selling small quantities can compare to selling whole ships of fabric, he said there has to be a change in the industry, because he’s seen many major factories who used to produce for big names like Eddie Bauer and Ralph Lauren close, so it’s up to us, DE’s to talk to make them aware of this side of the industry. I sent him to your website.

Dawn Verbrigghe writes, in part announcing her website:

I just wanted to touch base with you to say that I found your book to be extremely helpful – so down-to-earth and practical. I just know it has saved me a lot of headaches, time and money. In fact, I’m on target to begin sales for my women’s custom suiting business this September. Since I know you like to hear what your DEs are up to, I thought I’d send you the link to my Web site.

Sally sends Federico my way. He writes:

My name is Federico and I work for UM Uniformes, an Argentinean company dedicated to the manufacture of protective apparel, our range of clients goes from oil companies, gas stations to iron and steel companies. Now we starting to offer a firemen apparel line. We are looking for a pattern maker who can do firemen apparel and what are the costs and time related. If you like to know more about us please feel welcome to visit our website.

He also mentions the company president will be in the US next week and would like to speak with potential candidates then. Email Federico for more info.

In a similar vein, Gayle (a new visitor) had posted this to the blog but I removed it because it was not on an appropriate post:

I have been trying to find an experienced and reliable sample/pattern maker in the Seattle, WA area and have not been successful. Does anyone have ideas on how I can locate a great person? Thanks!

Eric Wilhelm sends word of the latest Instructables. I Really Try Not To Go There lest I’m overcome with unbridled enthusiasm to build such items of utility as potato launchers (I don’t tell my Eric about these things, he needs no encouragement or new projects). New to the site are instructions to build a spiffy wireless home router (complete with analog meter) and a plastic vacuum forming set up (to build your own prototypes). Instructables also sponsored a recent Use It Again contest with prizes such as a year’s subscription to Popular Science Magazine! This just makes my heart go pitter patter. Don’t let me keep you, head on over.

The eBay seller selling Pattern Magic wrote me back and wants to know how many copies I want. I think something was lost in translation. Email Megumi if you want a copy.

Lauren wrote me hoping I’d add a link in the sidebar to her website. I responded that I don’t link to designer’s sites unless it had some kind of unique twist and she assures me it does. I’ve yet to respond, I was a little despondent trying to figure out a way to tactfully tell her why it was difficult to navigate the site. She wasn’t guilty of any of the things we’ve mentioned before; no annoying flash, music or anything like that but the side to side scroll kills me. It feels unfair, like a stupid tax or penalty for hyperlexic people (moi). Trust me, if you read 800 words a minute, you’ll get vertigo scrolling back and forth. I think side to side scroll is okay if you’ve only got images but it’s not ideal for reading regardless of however many words a minute you read. For what it’s worth, once she explained what she’s doing, I think she’s got an interesting concept going, the kind of things I’m interested in covering under pattern puzzles (so do go check it out) but site design (not to be confused with site “decorating”) can impede the message. And then I can’t even cut and paste to quote her, making it easier to cover the story because her text is saved as an image file.

Movable Type will soon come with an installer! Yippee! This should put this blogging software within reach of everyone. Installing movable type is a nightmare.

Can you help with this? Alisa writes:

Kathleen, I’ve been looking for a contact & can’t seem to jog my own memory as to where I saw the information originally. It was for a CMT place (in LA I think) that specialized in small runs for formal wear. I can’t fathom where I would have seen it if it wasn’t on your site & have been digging around with the search tool on FI, but still can’t come up with it. I’m thinking maybe I ran across the information 6-ish months ago (seems like it was a long time ago, but not quite a year). Just wondering if you might could point me in the right direction. If not, I’ll keep looking. Just wondered if that might ring any bells on your end.

I think this may be a lost cause but maybe you can help? Cathy writes (reposted from comments):

I’m frustrated that there are no measurements for plus size girls. The D6192-98(2004) Standard Tables of Body Measurements for Girls, Sizes 7 to 16 includes slim and regular but not plus. I notice there is a D6860-03 Proposed Standard Tables of Body Measurements for Boys, Sizes 6 to 24 Husky but not an equivalent for girls. Does anyone have any body measurement references for plus size girls?

Julia Szkiba is a regular visitor who teaches in Las Vegas. She’s actively working in eco fashion and mentions

Just sending you a link to an article about the whole Eco movement, and I was interviewed for it, along with two of my students. I will be overseeing the Eco Fashion Show again in August at the second Eco Trade Show. If anyone is interested in exhibiting at the Eco Trade Show, and/or participating in the Eco Fashion Show, feel free to pass on my email information.

There will be a Fashion Career Fair in NEW YORK on Thursday, April 19, 2007, 2pm to 7pm.

Being offered are full-time and freelance positions in Apparel, Footwear, Accessories, Home Fashions, Textiles and Corporate Retail. Positions available include (but are not limited to): Designers, Pattern Makers, Brand Managers, Technical Designers, Marker Makers, Graders, Line Builders, CAD Designers, Graphic Designers, Textile Colorists, Buyers, Print/Surface Designers, PDM Specialists, Merchandisers, Textile Designers, Sourcing, Planners, Allocators, Product Managers, Quality Auditors, Stylists, Production, Manufacturing, Corporate Visuals, Account Execs, Etc…

Resumes must be screened before entry. By pre-registering for the career fair, we can screen your resume before the event, allowing you to skip the on-site registration line. Pre-registering will save you 45 minutes to an hour of wait time. Our jobs are for experienced, fashion industry professionals only. Students, store-level and transitional job seekers should not apply. Admission is $10. Tickets will be available at the door, cash only. METROPOLITAN PAVILION, 125 West 18th Street (b/n 6th & 7th)

Ali has set up a site for designers to post ratings of various retail accounts. At Retail Dish, you can search for feedback on stores by state. I’d think this would be a good place to visit before agreeing to fill orders from that new customer you picked up…

Speaking of websites, Suzanne mentions she has started a blog for her company The Good Mama. Suzanne manufactures cool cloth diapers in sustainable velours, cottons and I think, wools. Stop in to encourage her, she’s got a few photos up of projects and her shop.

Dalila Seckar (an entomology grad student from Winnepeg) sends a long informative email about MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) a Canadian retailer of outdoor products.

Unlike many retailers, though, they contract sewn and other product manufacturing and sell them under their MEC brand. This tends to result in a less expensive item when compared to something from NorthFace or especially Patagonia of similar quality. Well, back to the catalogue — it mentioned that information on Ethical Sourcing is available on the website so I went to have a look.

This excerpt is interesting:
Our factory visits over the past five years have shown recurring infractions in four main categories. Root causes of infractions are complex; understanding them is critical to effecting change. Our 2005 Ethical Sourcing Report contains the full details of our factory conditions. Although infractions tend to be more frequent and severe in eastern (Asian) factories than western (Canadian) factories, Canadian factories are not flawless. Workers in the east are more likely to be physically harmed and improperly paid, but western factories have their share of health, safety, and payroll issues. We also see an overwhelming concentration of Asian immigrant women in local factories, which suggests an inequity common in developed economies: an occupational ghetto low in pay, status, and power, dominated by ethnic minority women.

The inimitable Julian Roberts announces he’s prepared a PowerPoint presentation (21Megs!) showing current projects and requests for support and sponsorship of his next big project, his 13th collection for show at LFW (don’t know what that is).

Tracey writes with a concept for a project she thinks I should consider.

Before you left for MAGIC we had a conversation about pattern making books. I am looking for a book with general rules that I can grab when I go out on jobs. For example sleeve rules, dart rules etc. Do you know of any book of “patternmaking rules”? I have many books, but they are more in-depth and large, including pattern draft instructions. I could assemble rules from these. I just wondered if it had been done already?

Right now I am doing a complicated job for a “fashion design” student from the Cal Academy. I feel really sorry for these graduates as they are taught to be “designers” yet get very little pattern training. They have to use the poor skills that come along with all the “art and Inspiration” to create “masterpieces”. I feel their pain as Art School almost killed me and it took me years to recover. I would like the “little book of patternmaking rules” to stick in my to go kit. If the book does not exist maybe it could be your next one?

Tracey and I talked about this more by phone. I’d actually thought of a project like this but it’d be a boooorrrrrring reference book. What do you think? Other than that it’d be guaranteed generally unsaleable?

Madelyn McLemore says

I have a website link that I think would be a good idea for the fashion- incubator site. The Kaufman Foundation is a non profit organization for entrepreneurs. I found lots of helpful info on this site and thought it might help others who are getting started, no matter what area of the business they are going into.

J C Sprowls sends a useful link for what’s described as “service line sheets”. Tip: select your Pfaff machine number from the drop down list, then select “Sonstiges Dokument” and click -and yes, this is the English page. There’s also several helpful FAQs if you are looking for solutions.

If you like quilting, Joan Hawley has created a Lazy Angle ruler. More information as well as an in depth tutorial on quilt designing is included.

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  1. Ayanna says:

    I really like this new blog category. If you are an internet junkie like I am, you tend to find ALL KINDS of useful and “not-so-useful” sites on the web, sometimes related to fashion and the industry and sometimes…”not-so-much”. I LOVED the website referral. Had no idea something like that was even out there, but nowadays….what, or who, ISN’T on the internet.

  2. AnonyMouse says:

    A definitely passive-aggressive, but borderline snarky comment was removed from this space because in the 36 hours since it went up, the rate of commenting plummeted. I’ve noticed negativity affecting comment frequency many times before. So, I removed it, not going to let it ruin my weekend too.

  3. Ali says:

    Kathleen, for next week/month’s News from You (me) ;) Vera Wang just did a new website with HP that talks about the fabrics she used for her Fall/Winter 07 line. It talks about the Russian inspiration, but shows the fabrics in a way I haven’t seen online before. Kind of interesting. Here’s the site: I guess we’ll know if you like it soon enough! :)

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