Melbourne Fashion Lab hosted it's first ever workshop called "Create Your Own Fashion Label", and it was at Siteworx Brunswick.
The one day workshop covered - Branding and Logo Creation // Telling a brand story, How to Price Your Garments / Fashion Design Process, Manufacturing in Australia and PR & Marketing.
If you'd like to sign up for the next workshop, please contact us!
A general observation when going shopping is pricing, one of our deciding factors on if we choose to make a purchase or we choose to leave it behind.
Walk into Kmart, Target, Big W and buy a simple item like a Tshirt for $5.
What is the difference between a $5 tshirt and a $100 tshirt?
What is involved with Sampling?
So you've gotten your inspo, you have your designs & tech packs done... now you are ready to sample!
We need the ingredients:
3. Trims & Threads
These can be provided to us by you, or we can source/create them for you.
The pattern can be made several ways, but the easiest option is to supply a garment that fits as you like in a size Small/10 or XS/8. We can copy and make changes.
We can then sew up the samples.
Fitting & Changes
Once the samples are sewn and sent to you, it is advisable to have a fitting where you have a fit model or someone who fits the size. Changes are advised then the pattern is updated.
Once pattern has been changed, a second sample can be sent to you for approval.
Once the pattern has been approved, it then goes into grading and will be made larger and smaller accordingly to your size set and then this is put onto card.
It's been a little while since we have updated the blog, and we thought the best way to start the new year of 2019 is to talk about the... tech pack.
What is the tech pack and why do you need it? The tech pack is a bible or story telling guide of your new garment, it has important details that a manufacturer needs to make your garment come to real life.
By having a detailed tech pack, there is no need for the sample machinist to stop working to call you and find out what you need if you didn't specify it.
What is included in a Tech Pack?
1. Cover Page - includes a technical drawing of front and back of your garment, style number, size range, fabric and trim details.
2. Labels Page - includes what type of labels are included in your garment such as a branding label, what kind of label, and where is it placed. Also can contain care instructions.
3. Stitching & Seam Page - includes how the garment is put together and what types of stitches and seams are used.
4. Points of Measure page - includes front and back technical drawings with a number of arrows to measure, this allows the patternmaker to ensure your sample fits as per your requirements.
5. Other pages can include - 1st Sample fitting and comment page, Print Page, Packaging Page and more.
We often start with basic information or as much info as the client gives, fill in the pages for them, and allow them (or us!) to add in as the process continues.
1. Create a tech pack based off a image or garment ( include any changes you want)
2. Copy or replicate garment provided for a pattern & 1st sample
3. Check and measure 1st sample, checking size, quality and fabric.
4. Fitting - make any fit changes to pattern (if changes, request a new sample)
5. Grade Pattern
6. Sew size set
Everyone's process is different. Whether you just want a sample sewn, or you want a small run we are here to help you. You may just want some one of a kind pieces made of existing garments and don't want manufacturing, we do this too!
We had the joy of working with Amanda from Minimoochoos, a new kids label start up made 100% in Australia using Australian made fabrics, and created by one mum who wants to inspire other mums that you can do it whatever your dream may be.
Website Coming soon -- www.minimoochoos.com.au
1. What made you decide to create a kidswear label?
When I had my son, who is now 1 year old I decided to make a couple of "one of a kind" pieces for him and that was the beginning of Minimoochoos. I had many problems finding the type of clothing that I wanted him to wear, and what was even more troubling was finding where they were made, and what type of conditions they were made in. I found that everything was very gender orientated, trucks for boys, barbies for girls - I wanted to create pieces that could be worn for either boys or girls.
2. What struggles have you faced as a new label?
The main struggle is the sourcing of materials and trims, followed by the large MOQs required from factories here in Australia to produce the items I wanted. Unfortunately I just can't work with 50 pcs per colour!!
Being a stay at home mum while supporting my family is super important to me, and that is why I chose to work with Melbourne Fashion Lab - the owner there is a mum too and she gets it! What better way to support mums, then work with other mums. When I told her I just wanted afew pieces here and there, she said no problems!
As for fabrics, Melbourne Fashion lab had connections with factories that knew her personally so she could often get sampling fabrics for me without a problem. I tried contacting my own factories just to be turned down, as I'm just so new to everything.
3. What are your aspirations for Minimoochoos?
I would love to grow the brand further, and offer a great ranges of classic pieces that are interchangable and matching pieces for adults. Why do the kids get to have all the fun, when Mum or Dad can join in.
I also want to continue to support our Australian Made community, use aussie made fabrics, and work with other mums to support their families too.
Melbourne Fashion Lab was invited to the Bachelor of Textiles Exhibit early in December to see the showcases of over 40 recent graduates. We had picked our favorites & asked them if they could be interviewed, and Jade @ Crenatives said Yes!
1. Introduce yourself
I am Jade Mercedes. Rather than the title of designer or maker, I define myself as a “crenative”, representing my brand CRENATIVES definition of those “native to creativity”. I graduated from RMIT University where I completed an Associate Degree in Fashion Design & Technology, and more recently a Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design). What has been rewarding throughout the duration of my studies is developing my own definition of what textile and fashion design is and responding through a cross-disciplinary approach to my practice.
2. Tell me about your collection
My graduating collection URBAN_IS-ME explores the relationship between cloth and the human body. Developing a collection of wearable concepts, the range approaches how we dress and the use for materials by applying zero waste cutting to reconstruct and modify basic squares of cloth. Dimension restraints challenged an exploration of play where fabric was draped, sliced and sewn to form contemporary outcomes from traditional coverings. In response to a shift in adaptive lifestyles, our physical use of textiles is impacted our surroundings, and extends from a layer, to a platform for self-expression, identity and connection.
I focused on digital print for this collection, developing abstract patterns inspired by the Melbourne’s urban landscape. Sublimation print was explored where designs were transferred to fabric using an industrial heat press. I incorporated unconventional materials into my collection; using factory offcuts such as heavy-duty shock cord to develop a range of “hardwear” accessories.
3. How did you go about Fabric Sourcing, & Patternmaking?
All material used for this collection were sourced locally, using fabric overruns from fashion houses, and factory off cuts found at recycle suppliers. I have gathered a list of places I regularly visit through online research, word of mouth and exploring local areas. I also approached the development of my collection with resourceful methods to pattern making. I developed wearable concepts through draping and zero waste techniques, exploring versatility and multi-function with fabric lengths.
4. If you had to design your collection again, what would you have done differently?
The development of URBAN_IS-ME was the focus to provide a platform to trial concepts rather than creating resolved outcomes. There are concepts I will revisit and continue to extend from this collection, exploring wearability and function in particular. I do not feel however, I would have approached the collection differently as it is a work in progress.
5. What advice do you have for someone wanting to study textiles?
Immerse yourself in textiles to expand your understanding of what textile design is and most importantly, what it means to you. Participating in textile-related workshops, attending an exhibition or event, watching a documentary or having a conversation could be what powers your creativity. Be resourceful in your approach to support your growth by getting the most out of your connections, facilities and resources accessible to you.
This collaboration was one of my favorites working with Amanda from Cake Sport, (www.cakesport.com.au).
Amanda was completing her Bachelor of Fashion in Mid 2018 and asked us to assist with her sample making, and we did!
She was inspired by mixing casual fabrics with luxury fabrics, a mish mash of athleisure meets casual glamour if there is such a thing.
Some of the fabrics included - Cotton Jerseys, Lycras, Silk Dupion, and Eveningwear Sequins.
Other elements included laser cutting accessories, appliques, and machine knitting panels on an old school 80s knitting machine.
When launching a small label, there are some big problems to solve before your product can get out there.
Road Blocks when launching your line...Who is your crew?
You need to know who is your target market, do they even exist, where do these people hang out, what do they eat, what do they do with their time, and how can you get them to buy your stuff.
Finding a "point of difference", because you need to stand out.
How can you be different from your so competitors? What makes your t-shirt different from someone else tshirt? Do you have a design feature that will be your signature? You can literally walk into a store, any store, and if branded correctly you'll know what the brand is without even looking at the tag.
How do you find your point of difference, and design signature?
Design a collection. What inspiration do you use? What types of fabric work for you? What is your story, it's got to be an exciting story too with passion. If there's no passion your brand is already dead.
Fabrics - start thinking of these before you make your patterns. A fabric can make or break your collection if it doesn't preform well, or suit the type of garments you are making. The issue with fabrics is that in the real world you would go to a manufacturer and get the fabric made for your order, and that would come with a 500 mtr mininum order which clearly as a start up you can't really afford.
Get no where with fabric manufacturers because you are a "little guy", you may as well be a small fish swimming in a tank with Sharks. The Sharks being the big brands who can afford your fabric, waiting to eat you up because you have no place with the big sharks just yet.
Find fabric places that will accept smaller orders like 50 mtr rolls - which is still alot because when you think about the amount of designs you will make, you need to be smart on ordering fabric. If you were to order 50mtr roll of black fabric, it would be best to be able to use it on a series of garments so you are not wasting the large roll. A top, pants, and jumper could eat up a substantial amount of fabric if you do it across a size set.
If you are unable to find fabric manufacturers that work off smaller amounts, then you need to go to retailers of fabrics and then see if you can get a discount, perhaps if you order a larger amount like 10 or 20 mtrs they will give you a 10-20% discount.
Buy at fabric sales - this only works if you know you can use this fabric, and the fabric will be enough for however many you need to sew. Quite often, end of the roll fabric sales are discontinued styles and therefor can not be reproduced.
Next step is to find your "reference samples" styles of clothing any brand that fit well and are similar to your style, the pattern maker will use this as a base then make changes as required. Quite often there would be a set up fee for a new style, followed by a pattern charge, and sample charge if they make your sample for you as well.
Specification Packs or "Teck Packs" for short , fill in all those key measurements, key sewing information, technical drawings and photos, everything you need for your manufacturer.
Once you are happy with your designs, your fabric and trims are ordered, your samples are approved along with your pattern and spec sheet you are ready for the next step.
Find a manufacturer - Local or International. Both can cause you problems without proper research and good manufacturers are scarce. Locally can cost you more but in theory a faster turn around being in the same country. International should be cheaper but then you need to place larger orders followed by dealing with customs, importing, shipping, language barriers,etc.
Quite often both the above processes will not like to make you one sample only, and a small order of 5pcs. Melbourne Fashion Lab is happy to go through this whole process with you, and happy if you order 1 pc or 50 pcs - we have no Mininum Order Quantity (MOQ).
By dealing with Melbourne Fashion Lab, we work with many small fish and get the work done quickly lead times can be as soon as 1 week or 2 weeks.
One Fashion Myth for the day...The myth that you need to "get a college degree in Fashion" to launch a line is not true. I meet people every day that launch successful ideas, and literally know nothing about fashion. Sure, understanding how a garment goes together, finding a factory, and making it to production is important but not the end of the world if you don't have that skill set.
So what are you waiting for? Contact us today!
If you've had a quick read of the blog you'll see here at Melbourne Fashion Lab we do things differently, which means our weeks are never ever dull & we work on many different projects.
We were recently approached by a natural handmade gift store to sew up some aprons using Linen for staff uniforms, this is one of the final products.
Client supplied fabric to us and inspiration, we did the rest!
Keep in mind if you are supplying fabric to us, that it must be pre-washed. The easiest way to look at it is to wash the fabric, how you intend to wash in the future.
Why? This removes any factory finishes / sizing to the garment. Fabric always feels different after a wash, this is a true feel and handle.
Ever had a garment,washed it & shrunk? The fabric wasn't pre-washed first.
Are you interested in a one of a kind uniform for your staff? We would love to help you.
We recently had the pleasure of working with Monique Doust Designs, a textile graduate from RMIT who specializes in prints and swimwear.
Monique came to us with some fantasticly fun floral printed lycra, and some patterns she had drafted off existing garments. We cut & sewed her fabrics into a one piece, and two bikinis using industrial equipment including the overlocker and the twin needle cover stitch machine which is essential for completing stretch fabrics giving a professional look vs the home made look by incorrect finishes.
The inspiration behind her collection came from the bohemian and gypsy styles from Byron Bay brands and also the whole lifestyle of creativity, colour and adventure that this style suggests. I designed the busy floral patterns, featuring ethnic geometric border designs, in vibrant colours to create a playful and exciting collection for summer.
Monique's hopes for the future is to be working as a textile designer for a small Australian fashion or homewares brand next year, with the hope that soon I will start my own fashion and lifestyle brand.
You can follow Monique on instagram @monique_doust_designs
We wish her all the best with her textile career!