October - November 2020
Designs, Sampling and Patterns
Launching a new collection is one of the biggest highs you can feel when doing this job! In order for it to get to the point of selling there has been months of behind the scenes work and more often than not many things going wrong before they start to go right.
So it is safe to say that launching this Spring Summer 2021 collection at the beginning of April has been no mean feat given the current circumstances.
Each collection begins with Heidi and her designs. Because we make everything in-house, our lead times are much shorter than brands which order stock, which means although we can start a little later, we have a lot more to do ourselves as we don’t outsource the making processes.
October - Inspiration and Design
(From top left to right - pink bin inspiration, fabric samples, Heidi's design desk, sample fabric on roll, tassels, trainer inspiration)
October 2020 was the beginning of Heidi’s initial design phase for this Spring Summer (SS) collection. This is the month that our Autumn Winter (AW) collection went live and so as the design process begins we are also beginning our biggest selling period for the run up to Christmas. In bigger companies you would have a team to handle the selling / marketing side of the business, but it is just Heidi and I for this, so we had all the plates spinning by the end of October.
Once the designs are finished it is a case of sampling. Sampling is when the designs come to life and it is then that we begin to whittle down the collection in terms of what is going to work and what isn’t for the next season. The samples are made by our wonderful in-house seamstresses. So from an operational standpoint it is about finding the time for them to make samples amongst the AW orders. The two collections use different types of fabrics, colours and also threads, therefore it is two different processes for the sewing team.
November - First Samples
(From top left to right - Heidi wears first samples, Heidi and I Watsapp regarding fit [we were working remotely a lot during this month])
December- Initial SS21 designs are sampled in person!
(From left: Joss trying on dress sample, Heidi & Joss trying on long sleeved cropped tees and joggers. At this stage of testing each garment was made utilising previous collection left over fabric)
Meanwhile, we are watching customer reaction to the current collection. We say it a lot, but we do genuinely appreciate the feedback we receive from customers as this is our best way to make sure we are bettering our designs and processes each season. We keep an eye out for any repetition in feedback as this really highlights where changes would be beneficial. A couple of good examples from AW were the love for pockets in our dresses and the length of joggers being too short. 2020’s SS collection did not have pockets in the dresses, but as you will see we have learnt that they are something you love and so each dress in this collection contains pockets. We also heard on numerous occasions that our joggers were too short on longer legs. This can often be hard to judge as no two bodies are ever the same, but as the ankles of joggers are elasticated and can be pulled up, we have decided to amend all our jogger patterns to be 8cm longer overall.
November - Pattern tweaks begin
(From top to bottom: New pattern being cut, pattern sampling chart)
Speaking of patterns, this is another task on our plate (and by our, I mean Heidi!). For every style of garment you release, a pattern is required in every size, in order for the cutter to cut each order. The AW collection was the first time we increased our sizes to include XS, 3XL, 4XL & 5XL and so having received a lot of really useful feedback from family / friends / customers / models we have been working on improving all the patterns for the SS season.
December onwards - Family & Friends feedback
(A selection of our nearest and dearest tried on new fit samples. We started with family and friends knowing they will provide the most honest feedback!)
To read part 2 click here
Or to shop the new Spring Summer collection click👉👉 here 🤫🤫🤫
Thank you for reading! xx