Designer Resource: Sample Making

Before the holiday season I had the pleasure of interviewing Camilla of Soldat Tailoring.  While Camilla gets her women’s wear line off the ground she opened a sample making service for extra income.  I jumped at the chance to pick her brain and have her lay out the sample making process for you, my readers.  Since then Camilla is now moving on from sample making to opening a small production shop.  Once she is up and running I will be interviewing her again so you can learn about her services.  For now read on to learn about sample making and how it applies to you the designer.


Outline why someone should use a sample maker rather than do it themself or pay a production shop.

A production shop is exactly that, a production service. They are equipped to make production runs and might not have the time to perfect a 1st sample
for you. It might take some time to get the perfect look for your sample.
You can make your samples yourself, as long as they don’t look home made. But even the most experienced designer might be too busy doing all the other things that are involved in running their own company than to sew and might need help with samples.

What is the importance of a good sample?

If you want to start a fashion line the most important thing you need is a sample line.These are samples you will show to potential buyers and press. These samples have to look AMAZING, as the quality of your samples can make or break the deal.

How does the sample making process work and what does someone need to supply a sample maker to get started?

All you need is a sketch (the more detailed the better) which does not have to be perfect, just something on paper to help me see what it is you want.
If you have fabric already purchased that helps, but you can also purchase that later once we know how much it is that you need.  I do need to know if you are planning on using a knit fabric or a woven (stretch or non stretch) fabric. But if you don’t have a sketch that is fine too. I can sit down with you and I can sketch for you. If you want a special fit for your garment (for example when making a pant do you want a super skinny fit or a more relaxed fit). It helps if you can bring a store bought sample so I can see what the fit is like.

What if someone is not happy with their samples?

Making a 1st test sample in a fabric called muslin will help us reach the perfect sample. I will adjust the pattern with any changes you might want to make.
I will work with you to make sure the samples are what you want. If for some reason you are not happy with the final product I will make a new one for you of course!
Attached are some pictures of samples that Soldat Tailoring has made.
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