The Willary isn't just pants! We'll also launch with a dress and two (maybe three!) shirts. I know I say this a lot (or at least I feel like I do) but we're getting SO close with the pants. So close in fact that I felt like it was time to refocus on our shirts. Armed with more know-how and some key lessons learned I'm hoping for a speedy shirt development process that will hopefully finish up just as our pants are (FINALLY) done and ready for some testing!
I'm thinking a lot about how these months of product development have taught me what I need to do during pre-production to ensure quality, timely and cost effective garments. There are maybe 5 key points I've come to, but the one on my mind right now is this: Nothing is obvious.[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="600.0"] My attempt at making things completely obvious.[/caption]
See, the person you show the tech drawing to might be different from the person drafting the pattern, who is different than the stitcher, who could be different than the person at the fitting. Even if these tasks are shared by the same person, they've likely made and fit 50 patterns between the day you dropped off your drawing to the day of your fitting. And in all this action tech pack pages get lost, words don't translate well, your point person goes out of town, someone has an off day (or a day off) and that one detail that you told that one person about that very first day–that one detail that seems so clear in your mind and so imperative to the design of the garment (and, as you obsess at night, becomes the very foundation of your collection)–just isn't as obvious to anyone working on your garment once you walk out the door. This isn't a slight on my contractors, this is a call to action on my part!
So for the shirts it's my mission to address the confusions that held up samples in the past and make everything as obvious and clear as possible. It's taken a solid week of updating my tech packs and re-labeling my fit samples, but yesterday I handed the project off to the shop. Muslins should be ready Thursday and we'll see if all this prep work pays off. It's looking promising already, the foreman knocked some dollars off the original estimate. Honestly I didn't ask him why, partly because I didn't want to remind him he quoted me more before, but my friend surmised it's because he has a lot less guess work to do. I'll take it!