How Our Samples Are Made

Posted by baker miller

sample making plus-size clothes

There are three stages to bring a clothing line from concept to final product: 1) design, 2) development (also known as sample making), and 3) production.

Now that we had completed our designs and sourced the fabrics we wanted to use for our dresses, it was time to move on to development.

Development is critical because it sets the foundation for a smooth production process.

With a sample, you can test the fit of your garment and its shape. You constantly refine the design, fabric, fit, and construction issues during sample making.

If done correctly, the development process will ensure a garment will fit properly and be constructed well.

Before moving to development, we had to find a company to make these samples. Sample making requires serious attention to detail, so we wanted to find someone local to us in Los Angeles.

We evaluated several local development houses based on their capabilities, reputation, quality of work, and list of current and past clients. We ultimately decided to work with a company with a lot of experience with plus-size brands and startup brands like baker miller.

Let’s dive into the different aspects of development:

Tech pack

The first part of the development process is turning our designs into tech packs by a technical designer. The tech pack includes flat sketches of our garments.

Flat sketches are 2D black and white drawings that convey your design as though it were lying flat, with front and back views.

Other design details are included in a tech pack, such as construction details, stitches and seams, measurements, materials, colors, trim, hardware, label and care tags, etc. The more detailed the tech pack, the less room for error and miscommunication.

The tech pack is a blueprint of your garment design. It tells your factory all the necessary components to turn your design into a final product. Think of it as similar to an architectural plan for building a house. The architect illustrates and explains every detail so the builders know how to make the house.

The technical designer will call out every detail in a tech pack, so the factory has no questions about making the samples and eventually producing the garments.

Once the tech pack is completed, the pattern is created. The technical designer will create specs (detailed measurements) for the sample size, which in our case was size 2X/18-20, and then create a pattern based on those specs.

Pattern making

While a tech pack is a blueprint, the garment pattern is the cutting template.

Once a pattern has been made, the fabric is cut, and a sample is sewn.

The pattern has a lot of influence over the quality of a product. A well-made pattern is crucial for making a great product.

Our next blog post will discuss the fit-testing part of the development and how we achieve a great fit.

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