I’m going on a road trip today, traipsing across the great state of New Mexico. For those who don’t know, that’s where I live (Las Cruces). I’m going to -finally- meet my cyber pattern colleague Sally who lives in Estancia NM; we’ve been chatting for several years now. By the way, I do get a measure of satisfaction in knowing that one does not need to live in a fashion mecca in order to make a go of apparel manufacturing. I don’t think it is any secret that manufacturing will continue to disperse from traditional fashion centers. The latter is both good and bad news. Good in that DEs (designer-entrepreneurs) are providing meaningful jobs within their communities -usually in smaller towns and cities across the US and Canada- and negative in that the dispersal of manufacturing contributes to continuing fragmentation in the sewn products business. Old timers in the business are always surprised to know where I live -heck, when I wrote my book from Fort Stanton NM (so tiny it’s not even on this map), I was so remote that I didn’t even have an address! To affect telephone installation, I had to use a made up address in Capitan which was 15 miles away.
Likewise, Sally qualifies as remote. That said, she has a Gerber Accumark and with an internet connection and daily UPS delivery so she has no problem sending patterns anywhere in the world (Sally was born and raised in New York city). That’s what we’ll be talking about today, patterns. We’re thinking of starting an industrial pattern product line that DEs could buy to jump start their product lines. The advantages would be great quality patterns that sew up correctly, fit real people (with real sizes), no licensing or royalty fees and they’re designed to be sewn with industrial methods having the correct seam allowances and markings. Similarly, DEs could use these patterns as the basis of product development, in other words, block patterns. Likewise, any industrial pattern maker could participate in the project since we all specialize in different kinds of products and markets anyway; I’d just set up the central pattern library through which all the patterns would be sold (if you’re an industrial pattern maker and would be interested in selling patterns, email me). By the way, all patterns will be vetted and tested through sampling so we’ll eliminate patterns that won’t walk together to eliminate bogus sewing ease you see masquerading as “couture fit” typical of home sewing patterns. Just imagine, no easing in of princess line bust seams and sleeve caps -whadda concept! Accordingly, these would sew up a lot faster too. What do you think of the idea?