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.)