What does Fashion-Incubator mean to you?

Maybe you guys can help me with a project? I’ve enlisted Danielle to help me put together a brochure about Fashion-Incubator. I’d like to have it in time for the SPESA/Material World show in Miami Beach May 8-10. I’d like to have something other than just a business card to leave with vendors (and DEs) at the show. At the MAGIC show, I was reduced to stuttering and trying to explain what a blog was and why the people listening to me should care. In person, I’m not very compelling or convincing. Ideally, I’d like to get some official advertisers to underwrite the site.

I’m open to all ideas but at this point, Danielle (and Miracle) are asking me for testimonials from visitors. In your opinion, what makes this site valuable and why do you think Fashion-Incubator would be a good value to advertisers? Does what you read here influence you and your purchasing decisions? How has, and how much has Fashion-Incubator influenced you? What if it didn’t exist anymore, would it matter? I would appreciate any contributions and testimonials. Thanks!

Boy, it’d be awful if hardly anybody left a comment.

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  1. Danielle says:

    Good idea to post this Kathleen. It’s the community here that makes F-I so compelling to me. I can literally trace so many of my clients directly back to either you or another person I met on F-I. The lively debates and discussions give me something to come back to every day. Compared to other credible apparel-centric websites out there this one is just ALIVE. There truly is some kind of awesome kinetic energy here.

    Hopefully other F-Iers can articulate these qualities even better than I can.

  2. Heather says:

    This site is an integral part of my education in the design world. I had no idea what was involved when I started my business. I was blundering blindly through the process before I found the book and the site. I come to this site daily for information on sourcing, sequencing, manufacturing, sustainability and all the errata of this kind of business. I have found a wealth of information that directly applies to my business here. There is no other site that is as well indexed, well organized, appropriate and current as Fashion-Incubator is.

    I think my main benefit from the blog is information. Second is community. Third is validation that I’m not insane for wanting to have this business.

    As always, Thank you Kathleen. We wouldn’t be doing this without you.

  3. Rodger says:

    Fashion-Incubator has helped me understand my clothes better, which has allowed me to make better decisions when I go shopping. I can analyze WHY something fits, or doesn’t. I also use the information here to modify patterns when I sew and knit. The articles on sustainability have pushed my brain into new ways of thinking about the way I spend my money. The information about textiles and trends helps me to know what will sell in my own business (a yarn store) by seeing which of the newest ideas is most likely to strike a chord with my customers. Also, it’s just plain informative and fun.

  4. Karen C says:

    Fashion Incubator is priceless to the new emerging designer. It’s a place where not only can we network with other designers and help each other, but also a great way to source products and services. FI helps me understand the whole manufacturing process from marketing, construction, textiles to thought-provoking concepts such as leaving a smaller carbon footprint. I make sure I drop by at least once a day. If not for FI, I may have not perserved with my dream of producing a line.

  5. clothes-pin says:

    Fashion Incubator should be every designers first step. The wealth of information provided on this site is akin to discovering a gem….that just happens to save you money and heartache to boot! It’s the source I recommend most to those who want to get it and the source I wish I could recommend to those who think they get it.

  6. JoJo B. says:

    I visit this blog and the F-I forum daily because without them I would have no clue of how to become a successful DE. Everything that I know about this industry, I have learned on this website and I value the opinions of the F-I community so much that I don’t think I can use a company, service, or resource without the nod of the professionals here.

    I have no formal fashion education, yet I feel very prepared to kickstart my apparel manufacturing/retail company and it’s all thanks to Ms. Kathleen, her fabulous book, and the F-I community!

  7. Nadine says:

    Kathleen, you have an enviable amount of knowledge and are incredibly generous with it. I appreciate your direct style and dry humour, and I check your website every day. I am not in the industry in any way, but I love clothes, sewing and fashion, and I find your book and your sewing tutorials extremely illuminating and helpful. (I’d love to read more sewing/construction tutorials, if you are interested in posting them.)

    Oh, and I live in New Zealand, if that helps! International readership and all that. :-)

  8. Michele says:

    F-I is the basis on which to plan a dream – and actually have reason to believe you can make it happen! Through visiting the site every day (and, of course, reading the brilliant book), I have gained invaluable, REAL information about becoming a DE, and, while that goal is still a long way off for me, the information, comments, tutorials, and feedback make the journey hopeful and positive. The best thing about your generous sharing of knowledge, Kathleen, is that you always give honest, clear information based on experience and backed up by alternatives – where else in the world are pitfalls anticipated and dealt with so completely that it is impossible to lose heart?! For someone who had absolutely no idea of the manufacturing process before discovering this site, F-I has been an amazing ongoing learning experience and a great way to feel connected even while working from a rural community.
    If it didn’t exist any more?…No…I don’t even want to go there…

  9. Big Irv says:

    It’s quite obvious the importance Fashion-Incubator.com brings to the new designer/sewn products entrepreneur.

    I think it offers a host of other benefits to people who have been entrenched in the industry as well. I can think of many people within our business with many years experience that could learn a thing or two, myself included.

    Fashion-Incubator has been instrumental with many of my suppliers taking a keen interest in the “design entrepreneur” and while visting the site, have seen the importance of addressing this group and also seeing that our industry is alive and kicking in this hemisphere. It has provided a very big glint of hope for many experienced industry suppliers .

    One this site’s biggest assets is the availability of information. Those willing to invest and research using this site as a tool will be better pepared and have a much better chance at success as we progress into the 21 st century.

  10. Esther says:

    It is only through collaboration and networking that small businesses can grow and develop. It is this same atmosphere that allows innovation and community support. The fashion industry has historically been very insular and that has resulted in a decline of the industry in North America and Europe. Fashion-Incubator injects new energy and hope so desparately needed.

  11. Andrea says:

    Fashion-Incubator has been the sounding board for countless ideas (of mine and others)It is the perfect blend of community, news and information, mentorship and comraderie. Thank you for everything, Kathleen.

  12. Malissa says:

    Kathleen, without you I wouldn’t be as close as I am to pursuing my dream. You are an amazing women with lots of “tough love”. The information here at Fashion-Incubator, has created a positive atmosphere, a place were we can learn, teach, and develop to our fullest potential. If I don’t know something, I look here first, if I can’t find it, I ask, and there’s someone always willing to help. Thank you.

  13. I have benefited immensely from the counsel provided on this site, and in the book. I would like to offer my services to design and print this brochure if you would like. I did a logo for you a while back that was pretty solid, but the logo design contest never happened so, its just sitting around. If you are interested please email me at natty(at)realitybroken.com, and I would be more than happy to help you out in any way I can.


  14. carissa says:

    Sometimes when I look up, I get dizzy at the sight of just how tall the trees are that surround me right now. But, daily Kathleen takes me by the hand and leads me one more step forward into this overwhelming industry. Without F-I, I’d be lost in these woods–no, I’d still be standing just at the tree line in silent admiration of her beauty yet too fearful to dare enter.

  15. Chris says:

    Hi Kathleen,

    This isn’t really a testimonial..but here goes.

    From the perspective of a trade show, I think that you can position yourself as an innovative trade magazine. You reach a lot of people in the early stages of their design/apparel careers and I think that this would especially be valuable to companies that create software and tools to assist with design and manufacturing.

    Additionally you might consider doing something like a product or service of the year award. These sorts of things are great draws for advertisers.


  16. Christy B. says:

    Although geared towards entrepreneurs (which I am currently not), F-I and has given me confidence in my skills and taught me an incredible amount. Without this I would not have rocked the heck out of job interviews and gotten to this wonderful place in my life where I can design full time. This site is invaluable for anyone interested/working in the apparel/sewn products industry. Why else would I be professing my blog love at 1:16AM on a Saturday morning? Thanks for everything you do.

  17. Sandra B says:

    This blog and The Book have given me the framework I so badly needed to actually make a go of being a design entrepreneur. I had the dream, the ideas, the creativity, but the practical structure and day to day realities were beyond me. I appreciate Kathleen’s emphasis on ethics, and her encouragement to consider our role in the sustainability debate. For me, getting involved here has quite literally been life-changing. Thank you, thank you thank you!

  18. Lisa NYC says:

    Venturing into the world of sewn manufacturing can be overwelming for a new company. Both the Fashion-Incubator site and The Entrepeneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing act as my compass in charting my course to success.

    Both have provided an education which I’ve have yet to find elsewhere.

    With friendship,
    Lisa Carroccio
    downtown joey

  19. Laura says:

    Fashion Incubator is the only thing I read ever day. My 8 year old is always asking me why I’m so obsessed this site- “reading the same thing”.Which is funny because I could read it all day everday and still find something I want to get back to. This forum makes me feel connected to what I’m doing- my goals, even when I don’t feel that way. Keeps me on track. Inspires me. I usually don’t comment (Sorry Kathleen!)but I’m always around. I am so grateful for this blog.Info,humor,wit,compassion-endless really. Kathleen is so supportive as well as anyone I’ve connected with from here. I can’t believe this is free!:) Thank you, xoxo!

  20. Paize says:

    This blog and the book is invaluable to me. I come to this site at least daily. And if I ever have any questions, the first place I go to is this website. I use this great network of like-minded people and serious, no-nonsense information. I would lost without it.

  21. EvelynC547 says:

    Fashion Incubator provides a working knowledge for a Design Entrepreneur that can not be found anywhere else, even a Fashion Design program. Without the Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing by Kathleen Fasanella many more businesses would fail each year. In my accessory company it is our Bible. If you are running any type of “fashion” manufacturing business and you have not signed onto Fashion Incubator you are losing the most valuable lifeline on the internet. Without the sources provided by this blog I don’t believe I would have been able to maintain my business. How many times can one say that about a “blog?” I believe only when it relates to Fashion Incubator. Everyone knows that the fashion manufacturing entity is a “closed environment.” Some books and blogs offer a peek into that world, Fashion Incubator and The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing blow the barriers away and puts you dead center in the midst of every aspect of product manufacturing. And to add to it, the value of access to so many experienced professionals is unprecedented anywhere. Where else could you go and mine the knowledge of manufacturers, designers, retailers, sales representatives, couturiers, sewers, cutters, pattern makers, etc.? Not even in a fashion school would you have daily access to so many people with so many years of knowledge and history. The bottom line is if you do not read this blog, then you are not in the know.

    Evelyn Din

  22. M-A says:

    I have been in the clothing manufacturing business for 25 years, 20 of which with my own business. I think what you have going here is a great thing and I wish I had this wealth of information when I was starting out. Business is always changing, so eventhough I know my business very well, I like to read your blog from time to time because I can always learn something new.

  23. SherryR says:

    Dear Potential Fashion-Incubator Advertiser,

    The Fashion-Incubator blog is an invaluable resource and virtual meeting place for fashion industry entrepreneurs of all stripes and experience levels. The blog, its discussion forum, and Kathleen Fasanella’s book comprehensively educate aspiring designer-entrepreneurs about the industry, its culture, practices, nuances, idiosyncrasies, and evolution. Kathleen and her readership/membership provide insight into every nook and cranny of the business of fashion. If there’s something a DE needs to know, she need only pose the question and someone – or many – from this supportive community will provide an answer. The aggregate wisdom and experience of Kathleen and the F-I community is staggering yet humbly and freely shared.

    Thanks to her knowledge, keen professional judgment, and integrity I have come to trust Kathleen absolutely. I have often turned to her for advice and sourcing recommendations. She understands the time and financial constraints that her community members face, and helps us optimize our resources while saving us hours of research and vetting. I have bought materials from a supplier Kathleen endorsed, engaged a (wonderful!) pattern maker based on her recommendation, and am investigating potential sewing contractors that she has suggested.

    Without Fashion-Incubator I, and countless other DEs, would likely flounder and drift and fritter our ways through this industry. Surely many of us would give up the journey – or not begin at all – without her guidance. Life is so much better with Kathleen and F-I here, to help us find our way.

    Any advertiser that Kathleen would allow to underwrite her site would be fortunate indeed. You can, of course, consider quantifiable aspects like F-I readership numbers and clicks and other metrics. You might also contemplate the benefits of presenting your business capabilities to thousands of prospective customers who must have, collectively, hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend and represent millions in future Value of Production. But, there’s intangible value too. The cachet of being a commercial supporter of this extraordinary, magic place – should not be overlooked or underestimated. Fashion-Incubator members are not lemmings, but they are fiercely loyal. And, if you’re good enough to be chosen by Kathleen as a sponsor you will have an opportunity to earn some of that loyalty for your firm. Loyal customers – isn’t that the ideal that all businesses seek?

  24. J C Sprowls says:

    It’s so hard to say so little. So, I’m giving you a lot of marketing phraseology to use at your discretion:

    Kathleen Fasanella is the owner and operator of Apparel Technical Services (ATS), an independent consultancy firm to the sewn products industry. Kathleen specializes, almost wholly, on niche manufacturing and has done so with alacrity for nearly XX years. She has helped numerous Designer-Entrepreneurs (DEs) establish, organize (in some cases, reorganize), operate and grow their home-based businesses into thriving cottage industries. Among recent notables are Fit Couture (www.FitCouture.com) about whom you may have read in the NNN issue of Apparel Magazine and [name_drop and notable_event].

    Through ATS, Kathleen offers patternmaking services, pre-production analysis and teaches lean product development methods to independent designers. In addition, she has been an key note speaker for Lean Manufacturing methods at venues like Bobbin and SPESA since 19XX. Throughout her career, Kathleen has uncovered a broader audience who needed knowledge of “the basics” that aren’t taught in fashion programs and authored, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing.

    Today, Kathleen hosts an online community, as an adjunct to “the book” at http://www.Fashion-Incubator.com. The Fashion-Incubator (F-I) blog is open to the public; and, contains daily articles on various topics, like: construction method, operational advice, coverage of trade shows, the occasional irreverent outtake, and the raising of moral consciousness with regard to manufacturing waste and its ecological impact. The real value, however, is in the forum. Only owners of The Entrepreneur’s Guide may participate in this private forum; and, it is money well-spent. While “the book” provides the framework, the forum allows other niche manufacturers the opportunity to network, collaborate and help each other overcome obstacles in their respective businesses. If “the book” is the framework, the forum is its life’s blood.

    Until now, Kathleen has supported both her publishing and her hosting venture, entirely out of her own pocket. Through sweat equity, she has built a community of XX registered users of the forum; and, a daily average count of XX page hits per day. Hers is a functional community of cottage business owners who need raw materials they can convert into viable sewn products. Though the scale of their operations may be small, they’re producing and selling new and unique products every single day! What’s more, through the Lean methods Kathleen teaches, these niche manufacturers are not wasting their resources, nor are their products falling into the off-price retail market, or worse yet – landfills!

    On a personal note, I have owned and operated Declan Steed, a private clothing label, since 1993. I originally began as a custom tailor in 1986 and have also worked in manufacturing facilities. Because of my experience and exposure, I can relate to what Kathleen teaches. But, I also look back and think to myself: “Wow! If only I had worked for someone like her! She’s passionate and really takes the time to explain the how, why, and wherefore of where I went wrong.” Kathleen is forward-thinking and is tireless at making sure her clients receive the best work she can possibly do.

    I do own “the book” and I participate in the F-I forum. Hers is the only site I read everyday. And, it’s because of her teaching and ongoing articles that I have restructured my business. Since 1996, I have tried – very unsuccessfully I might add – to launch a small line under the Declan Steed label. I’ve spent well over $50,000 of my time over the past 10 years spinning wheels and searching for information about how to get my line produced, all the while keeping up on custom tailoring for clients and juggling a full-time day job in order to save up. In the year-and-a-half since purchasing Kathleen’s book and joining her forum, I have recovered almost $20,000 of my previous loss because I’m now talking to the right people and speaking their language – I’m not wasting time anymore. Through the frank conversations and exchanges I’ve had with sundry niche manufacturers in the F-I forum, I’ve decided to forego going back to school for an MFA in Fashion Design. I now recognize the issue wasn’t my education, it was the mis-information I had been forced to eat up all these years. In that regard, F-I has saved me another $25,000 in wasted time.

    Every once in a while, I read a disparaging comment from an outsider who screams and hollers that Kathleen’s site is aimed to only sell books. Let me tell you, these people clearly cannot see past their own nose! As I just explained, my $60 investment in The Entrepreneur’s Guide (which is very reasonable I might add) has saved me almost $45,000 by preventing mistakes and wasting less time. I experienced this return in less than 2 years! Frankly, you’ll never see any other investment return as much. If $60 is too much, then you’re clearly not ready to be in business – just wait your turn.

  25. Marguerite says:

    “Fashion-Incubator has helped me understand my clothes better, which has allowed me to make better decisions when I go shopping. I can analyze WHY something fits, or doesn’t. I also use the information here to modify patterns when I sew and knit. The articles on sustainability have pushed my brain into new ways of thinking about the way I spend my money. The information about textiles and trends helps me to know what will sell in my own business (a yarn store) by seeing which of the newest ideas is most likely to strike a chord with my customers. Also, it’s just plain informative and fun.”
    DITTO (without the yarn store ;~))
    I am also not a DE, but I frequent this site, I’m a weaver and knitter, designing my own one of a kind pieces occasionally. This site offers links to what is happening in the fashion world that are important to me, perhaps some of the advertisers would be interested to know that it is not only DEs that frequent this site, but other fiber artists too.

  26. Megan says:

    I’m glad you’re getting comments! LOL

    I am so glad that I found Fashion Incubator. It gives me a great and unique perspective to the fashion world. Even though I don’t make clothing, I have gained valuable insight and information that relates to my jewelry design business. Thank you!!!

  27. Ditto what Marguerite said. I’m a weaver, knitter, and I sew for fun. I’m not educated in fashion, or textiles, or sewing. But, I sew a lot, and quite often I make something and wear it once, hate it, and send it to Goodwill. I’ve never understood why a garment would not fit me. My sewing skills are adequate, I follow directions, I take my time, and still sometime things just turn out funky. I read your blog near-daily because I have learned so much about fitting, and about how the industry cuts corners, and about what I should realistically expect from a commercial pattern. The information I’ve gleaned from your site has made me much less hesitant to follow my instinct and diverge from a pattern. I also enjoy learning vocabulary, and the history of sizing posts are fascinating to me. And, I’ve learned a lot about why a quality garment is actually quality. I went on and on last month to my husband about sleeve cap ease, and even he was interested! That’s how good FI is!

  28. cindy says:

    This blog is so great because you offer more practical knowledge and advice than i learned in 2 years of fashion design school. and i’m pretty sure i’d still be learning more here than if i’d have stayed for 4, 6, 8, whatever! i recently found your tutorial index and am now “teaching myself” all those things i never learned. i am inspired by the everyday practicality and the way you de-mystify things.

    i also really enjoy your diversions into other things, like the ‘which tarot card are you’ link and general business links. you are very intelligent, wise, funny and honest and i very much appreciate it and your blog. thank you!!!

  29. Josh & Jess says:

    I would say that it’s you that makes this blog so great. You are a colorful and interesting person who has passion flowing from every pore. Oh yeah, and you wrote the most important book to read when entering this business. And if you advertise something on this site then I can be assured it’s good as gold.

  30. Babette says:

    FI is my first port of call with any fashion related business issue and to some extent also my first technical support source of information.

    Often enough, I get the answer in full from FI. On most occasions though it provides me with a fuller understanding of the issue so that I am armed with the right questions to ask and the appropriate terminology (although there are a few slight differences in the Australian industry) to find a service provider and be sure that I’m going to get what I need from them.

    When it comes to equipment purchases, FI is a trusted source. The ability to have recommendations from hands on users and posts from major distributors is invaluable. (I’d already bought an iron when you had your guy do his post. Relief that the one I chose had all the recommended features and I had still been able to afford it.)

  31. Lisa says:

    Fashion Incubator allows me to be part of a respectable intelligent modern profession, regardless of my location. I would buy books, equipment, supplies and services endorsed by the site and would investigate doing business with those that supported the site as being “like-minded folk” who would be understanding of my business. I’d definitely buy fabric and notions from suppliers that supply small quantities if they advertised on this site. I imagine swing tag suppliers, stylists, agents, distributors and even couriers would find a this a worthwhile site on which to advertise.

  32. Mariel says:

    I came across F-I researching line sheets and I never left. I bought at least five books before knowing about Kathleen’s and none of them offered such complete, specific and practical information as hers.
    The website is the perfect complement to the Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing and allows me to get even more information about the topics covered by the book as well as getting to know other people out there who share their passion and knowledge of this business.
    The website is as addicting as motivating and I don’t think there’s anything around like it.

  33. I really wished I had bought Kathleen’s book & visited her Website before I set up my small fashion business, Frocked de la Vallière ltd, even though we are based in another country: Wales UK!

    I was looking for another book on Amazon, & after I had read Kathleen’s review on it I discovered her own book, & there was no hesitation in deciding to get this shipped over once I read all the reviews…well, just a little over the shipping cost. It was worth every penny & pound/dollar & dime…& led me to her Website: fashion-incubator.com.

    I visited her Fashion Incubator Website & received a reply from her – I felt honoured, & have since discovered what a generous person she is with her vast amount of industry knowledge that she shares with us all. As quoted above by Malissa, I agree that Kathleen is full of “tough-love”, & add that she is a ‘straight-to-the-point’ honest author with the benefit of actually being IN the industry. If you are looking at setting up as a Designer Entrepreneur business, I wholly recommend you BUY this book, VISIT the Website, & learn ‘how’ to do it better.

    The book & Website are a truly invaluable source for advice, not only when starting out but also when more established. The F-I Website is an unbelievable tool for learning from Kathleen herself, & from other people’s comments on solving manufacturing & pattern problems, learning ‘how to do it right in the first place’ & the processes in manufacturing, selling, marketing etc that will go a long way to help build productive business relations …& thus help grow your own business.

    Information from the Site has been implemented in our pattern development & manufacturing, & been instrumental in changing the way we do things in the Frocked studio. I have also used the Website for sourcing, although being in the UK, & value links offered on the Site by others in this industry – especially if promoted by Kathleen; I have bought recommended books but also taken note of other suppliers, & would have bought from them if they had been based in the same country. The Fashion Incubator Website is also a great place to network with others; breaking the distance barrier for all of us from other continents, of which I hope to benefit more from once Frocked starts to market/export more, & proves an inspiration for the times when the going gets tough – helps you not feel ‘so-alone-&-wondering-why-on-earth-I-am-doing-this’!

    To have so much information to hand from somebody’s own experiences is truly invaluable & would be unbelievably useful, not to say time-saving, if companies who offered the tools & supplies we need promoted their wares/links on Fashion Incubator…& it would be so detrimental to a lot in this industry if this Website were gone,especially us novices!

  34. trish says:

    Fashion-Incubator is a unique interactive tool. Kathleen’s keen insight into the apparel industry and the comments that are posted are always informative and engaging.

    As a college apparel instructor, I am often approached by people interested in starting an apparel related business. My first sentence to them includes Kathleen’s name and the name of her book and blog.

    F-I gives people the opportunity to pose questions and have answers posted by industry savy individuals. This is just amazing. I know that all of us who started 25 – 30 years ago wish we would have had such a fabulous service at our fingertips.

  35. Vesta says:

    Eeeek! I’ve been swamped and am just getting caught up with posts.

    F-I and Kathleen’s book have more to do with my current success than any other single component of my background (in science, of all things!). I now contribute half of my household income and employ four of my “neighbors” in jobs they love. We provide work for villagers in Guatemala, many people in India, and contract stitchers here in Dallas. I was feeling my way blindly through the archaic rituals of the apparel industry before Kathleen so graciously opened the door and let me in. I wish I could say that I am as generous, but I have to admit that I guard Kathleen like a trade secret. I’m sorry, Kathleen! Thank you, Kathleen!

    See you next week!

  36. Phil J says:

    Fashion Incubator is the hand that gathers the eggs from which designers are hatched with minor or no stress.

  37. Lisa Laree says:

    Although I am not in the garment industry, as a home sewing enthusiast I find Kathleen’s posts to be wonderful sources of information and techniques not available elsewhere.

    On Stitcher’s Guild this week, a comment was made that if Kathleen ever wrote a book on true industrial techniques aimed at homesewers she would line up for it. I could only add that I would, too.

  38. Jasmin says:

    I know you’ve been to your conference, but I’d like to add a testimonial too. I and my sister are home sewers, enjoy design, pattern making, modifying, and creation. I was drawn to your site via a Vionnet search (that great scarf!) and then kept reading and love your site. I am a home sewer, but I love design, and mathematics, and deeply profoundly enjoy your site. And I’m in New Zealand too, so you are covering the world!

  39. Shermane says:

    Hi Kathleen,

    I missed the opportunity to speak about what the
    “Fashion Incubator” site means to me. I’d like to
    share that now briefly.

    When I lived in the U.S. I taught sewing, created a
    pattern company the compnay flourished, but my
    management was a complete failure. I took a major
    left turn and moved to Europe to go to Ecole de la
    Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Parisienne. I
    didn’t speak french, my father had just died, but I
    did it.

    After that experience I left the business completely
    realizing that I didn’t have the spirit for such a
    superficial cutthroat business.

    I’ve been in Europe for 11 years. A friend tuned me
    on to your site as I always kept a eye out for all and
    anything involving fashion clothing creation etc. as
    once it is in you, it remains.

    I receive the feed-blitz each day or two. I’ve been
    introduced, thanks to you, to the Julian and Sophie
    school of pattern cutting, brilliant, and Hugh
    MacLeod, How to be creative. After seeing and reading
    all you have to say and looking at the J&S site and
    How to be creative, I started a blog
    http://parisstreetchic.blogspot.com/ registered a
    domain name and have a refound the passion I had when
    I started my company in 1990.

    Thank you sincerely, Shermane

  40. Alison Cummins says:

    Ah, Shermane of the wonderful knit top patterns! You got great reviews in Threads but when I went to buy some of your patterns they were no longer out there.


  41. Birgitte Mutrux says:

    I’m posting this email I sent to Kathleen in private (I’m new to blogging + a little shy.) I realize it’s my duty to help spread the word about a book that has already helped me beyond my wildest dreams.

    Dear Kathleen,
    I’ve been lurking around your site for quite some time, and also purchased your book- twice (for a friend.) I would like to express my gratitude for the tremendous work you do for all of us. I found your blog when I was searching Google for help with – of all things – sleeve ease! It’s something that has always annoyed me, and as I was making a dress for my daughter I had just about had it! I have what my mom calls rubber fingers (it’s a direct translation from Norwegian;-) and not much can stop them from getting things done, but this was just getting ridiculous. I taught myself to sew when I was 15 (a looong time ago), as I worked at a fabric store in Norway. I never bought a “How To Sew” book, or listened to “experts”, which -thanks to you- I now know is a GOOD thing. Whenever I make something I want it to look right, hang right, yes- as if it was store-bought! Over the years I have accumulated- thanks to a very thoughtful, generous husband!- a nice arsenal of machines and tools (even power tools, but I won’t bother you with that…) so I felt there really wasn’t any excuse for something to look “Home Made”. The fact that you are a pattern maker by profession impressed me greatly, and everything I’ve read on your blog continues to impress me. I just love that you only deal with facts; for something to be workable it has to be proven to work. So back to the sleeve ease problem- you solved it for me! And the reason that I write to you today is because I just completed my first MAJOR alteration project on a jacket for myself (I always DREAD sewing for myself- picture someone in a small bathroom with a waist-length mirror trying to pin fabric-not body parts!) I bought a Burda pattern and made a mock-up out of the least forgiving fabric I had around. I could tell right away the sleeves would be the major problem (LIKE ALWAYS…) Since I’m not a pattern maker (I wish…) I decided I would try something drastic. I removed the sleeves, made a slit straight down the grain from top of shoulder seam, and then pinned the sleeve back- without sleeve ease. I overlapped the excess fabric and let the line gradually taper down to to a natural stop. I also added some more to the back and took away in front- just like you show on your tutorial. It worked! And then I just couldn’t stop… I cut down all seam allowances to the correct widths (from the book). I found your tips on interfacing (followed it to a T) and then it was time for facing and lining… again you stepped in with exactly what I needed ( I used your book and then your nameless tutorial #2 for how to sew a professional looking finnish)- WOW! The proof ‘s in the pudding, eh- jacket… Maybe I’ll email a picture someday.

    This has been a long email, and I’m sorry to take up so much of your time. Thank you again for your great service and dedication, and for being a true professional. I will continue to visit your blog and make donations (thank you for your personal Thank You card, absolutely not necessary but greatly appreciated.) Maybe someday, in the not so distant future, I will finally take the leap and become a DE.

    Yours truly,
    Birgitte Mutrux
    Los Angeles, CA

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