Business Briefing: My Amazing Technical Designer

Her name is Nupur, and she loves clothes. I’m lucky because she also loves teaching new designers everything she knows about how to make their clothing line successful. After our first three hour meeting yesterday afternoon, my head was spinning. Now I’m trying to come up with a “size ratio”. For example, how many more 12M’s do I think I will sell than 4L’s? I’m trying to accept that I will make mistakes, but I’m also trying to make the least expensive mistakes possible!

Let me give you an example of why a technical designer is so important. Right now, Nupur is measuring my patterns and samples. She will compile the perfect measurements into a “tech pack” for each size. For each shirt that the sewing contractor finishes, an inspector will compare it against the measurements in the tech pack. If the measurements go beyond the allowance provided for in the tech pack, that shirt is discarded.

Here’s how a shirt can end up in the “discard” pile:

1. A tracer uses a wider pencil than usual to trace the pattern onto the fabric. This adds 1/32 of an inch to the pattern, which means 1/16 of an inch to the entire shirt.

2. If the cutter then cuts outside the traced line, it could add a total of 1/8 inch to the pattern, and 1/4 inch to the shirt.

3. If the extra 1/4 inch is in the chest area, that’s serious because my shirts are all about the chest area. The shirt goes into the discard pile.

4. If the extra 1/4 inch is in the length, that’s not a big deal, and the shirt can go to market.

Fascinating, right?

(Nothing after the jump.)

Or Are You a "More than Most"

Thanks to the Journelle blog, I’ve discovered another beautiful line of bras for women who wear cup sizes D-J: DimitySO. So far, their Diamond Affair bra, pictured after the jump, is the only one that goes past a G, but it’s a really pretty option. (Be warned that some Facebook commenters have said that DimitySO’s cups run small.)

I’m not sure what’s up with the model’s expression here, but check out the company’s website for a better picture of the actual bra.

I really like the peep hole and tiny straps on the Ever Night balconette, and I love the ruffly straps on the Wild Seed contour bra.

The Wild Seed is made in georgette and has a matching chemise. How fun!

Are You a "Most"?

My D+ friends and I passed these Coobie bras in a store window in Greenwich Village the other day. The sign says “One Size Fits Most,” so we laughed and kept walking. According to their website, “most” means 32A-36D. However, if their idea of lift and support is seen in the picture after the jump, I’m not sure anyone beyond an A cup should wear this out the door. Some women do seem to like the Coobie for sleeping, though, and the bandeau could be a more expensive version of the cleavage-control option from American Apparel that I mentioned in April.

Curve Cam!

Thanks to my new smart phone, I can now present you with fashion examples from the woman on the street–or in this case, the subway. This woman on the 1 train last Thursday is probably only a C cup, but the way the band beneath her bust creeps up into boob territory makes the dress look a little too small.
Would I buy this dress if it only creeped up this much? You bet! I’d be thrilled that a woven (not knit) empire waist almost sat beneath my bustline. On a hot summer day, this woman looked crisp and stylish with her asymmetrical haircut, orange bag and long necklace.

Corporette recommended this dress last Friday.

I’d be very curious to see how it looked on the single reviewer on the Zappos site who said she was large chested. Perhaps I’ll give it a try and let you know. I’d rather have sleeves, though, and this print is less flattering than the vertical lines on the dress at the top.

What do you think of empire waists? I usually avoid them*, but I really liked the dress at the top. Maybe the pleated ruffles somehow kept it from looking like a maternity dress.

*You can see a little bit of the one I wore last summer here. I didn’t get any compliments, and it felt like I was all bust.