A lost art? Hardly.

More than one person has asked, when they found out that I design and sew, “Isn’t that a lost art?”

It hardly is.

What are you wearing right now?  What’s in your drawers and in your closet?

A whole bunch of things from socks and underwear to dresses, suits, and coats.  How many different brands made in how many different countries?

In a nutshell:  Someone sourced the fabric.  The designer said, “I’m going to design X out of this fabric and in these other colors, too.”  The pattern maker made the first pattern based on that company’s size specifications or the design was draped and a first pattern made from the drape.  Someone cut it out.  The sample sewer sewed it.  The designer and the pattern maker and who knows who else looked at the garment on a live fit model or on a dress form.  If there were any problems, the pattern was adjusted and another sample was made–this until the garment was right.  The technical designer got the specs and made sure that the design was able to be produced.  Once the garment was right–fit, fabric, details, etc.–the pattern was finalized for production.  The production pattern and the fabric(s) and interfacing and trims were sent to the cutting room where the cutters cut out however many of that style was needed.  The cut pieces were then separated into bundles of all the parts for a single garment.  These bundles were then sewn into many of the garment (or, of course, bag/tent/curtain/whatever).  They were pressed then tagged and prepared to be sent to the stores.

Of course, I do custom work, so what I do is a tiny bit different, but not by much.  I tell those people who think design and sewing are a lost art that they’re not.

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