Want to be a "Successful fashion Designer" ?

I talk to 'Sew Heidi' the woman behind the brand "Successful Fashion Designer" about how she started and the pitfalls and advice she can give to new designers.

I first got to know Sew Heidi on Instagram, and loved, that we both shared an obscene amount of appreciation for excel formulas for writing up Tech sheets.  And whilst  I usually interview the people behind their lingerie brands, Sew Heidi has wise words for anyone in the fashion industry; whether you're just starting out or are already involved within the fashion trade; her knowledge, tips and advice on Illustrator and the industry is invaluable.

1. Firstly can you give a brief description of 'Sew Heidi'? 

SH: In 2004, I felt “all grown up” with a very expensive degree in my hands. I was over the moon to graduate. And then I found myself stuck in a boring administrative gig that I was totally overqualified for. **(To be totally inspired on why you should follow your dreams and the hardship it sometimes takes, please take the time to read the link).**

sew heidi interview on vanjonsson design

With no fashion experience and “receptionist” on my resume, I didn’t feel qualified to work in fashion, so I DIY’d it and launched my own label. It took 3 years but I finally landed my dream job as a designer because of my Illustrator skills and the work I’d done with my brand.

Once in that job, I realized students coming out of fashion school didn’t have Illustrator experience - which was crazy to me away since that was a huge reason I got the job. So, I started making Illustrator for fashion videos on YouTube. That turned into real life workshops. And that turned into online courses, a podcast, and a lot more I never would have imagined. 

The name Sew Heidi originated back when I had time to sew. While I’ll still always go by that name, I just rebranded to Successful Fashion Designer. My number one goal is to help people find success in this crazy industry, so the switch was a no brainer.

 

2. Who inspires you?

SH: Passionate people who put themselves out there. The older I get, the more I've realized there are too many people who go through life numb. The fashion industry is not where you find these people. If you're driven and determined, you are an inspiration to us all to get out there and do something.

 

3. What makes something worth designing?

SH: I appreciate fashion for fashion’s sake, but I lean towards designing practical, functional pieces that have fashion added to them. Great trims, subtle details, style lines, and prints can add style to every day items. But first and foremost it has to be practical and comfortable for its purpose - because if it’s not, it’ll never make it into my closet…and I think most people feel the same about what they wear. 

 

4. What three things would you say is hard about designing on Illustrator?

SH: 1. The initial learning curve and understanding why things work they way the do can be tough. 15 years later, I still remember the “aha!” moment I had in Illustrator when the light bulb went off and I finally “got it”! It’s a hard place to get to, but once you get over that hump, things become much easier to learn and understand. Finding the right teacher with the right teaching style for you is key to getting there, otherwise you’ll get frustrated and give up. 

There are a lot of tutorials that tell you step by step how to do something, and you’ll get a result. You may even be able to replicate that a few times on your own. But as soon as something goes wrong - which it always will, you can’t troubleshoot and your frustration peaks. Understanding why the software (and tools) work is critical to gaining confidence and success. Once you understand, you can figure anything out. 

2. Doing things the long way, because that’s the only way you know. There are a lot of ways to do the same thing in Illustrator, and I often see designers doing things a roundabout way because that’s what they know. As a result, most designers are frustrated that “things take FOREVER!”. The challenge is that “you don’t know what you don’t know”, but with some effort spent learning faster ways and better shortcuts, designers can cut their Illustrator time in half.

3. Transitioning from hand sketching gets people every time. The drawing tools in AI work differently, and it can be hard switch to make from paper to screen. I remind people that they didn’t learn to hand sketch overnight, and they won’t learn Illustrator overnight. It takes time and you’ll get better, but just like hand sketching, you have to practice. 

 

5. What is the most common question people ask you?

SH: People ask me all the time, how do I break into the fashion industry? Many of them are especially curious if they don’t have a background or are transitioning from another career. There’s no magic answer and the industry is tough. But I tell them to start doing something.

Put together mood boards and design mini collections.

Learn how to sketch in Illustrator.

Create some designs, sell them at local markets and do fashion shows.

Whatever it is, do something. I see too many people in the same spot they were a year ago - stuck in a job or industry they hate, but they’ve not done anything to pursue their fashion dreams. 

It’s hard. And you’re not going to just apply for a job and get it without any experience or work of your own to show. But if you start doing something, start meeting people, do that scary “networking” thing, opportunities will arise and you’ll get noticed…as long as you do exceptional work. (See question 7 for more about exceptional work.)

Example of "Successful Fashion Designer" by Sew Heidi

Example of "Successful Fashion Designer" by Sew Heidi

6. What is your workspace like?

SH: I work from a home office and not gonna lie, it’s a hot mess. I’m a cluttered desk kind of gal and I work better in chaos. My Pantone books are usually spread out, microphones, webcams and wires are strewn about ready for podcast interviews and video tutorials, and my cat’s bed sits on the corner of my giant wooden desk so Puma can get comfy and watch birds in the yard (the dog bed is of course at my feet). If you ever jump on a Skype call with me though, it’s all smoke and mirrors. I have the layout staged so what you see on video always looks good :)

 

7. What words of advice would you give aspiring designers?

SH: Do an exceptional job. It sounds obvious, but many people don’t do it. Whether it’s for a client, employer or your own business, the majority of people do an average job. Instead, focus on doing an exceptional job - even if you have to decrease your output. Hold yourself to this standard and you'll sky rocket ahead of the competition...because exceptional gets noticed. 

Do things before you feel ready. Get in over your head and challenge yourself. Stop worrying that you're not ready, that you don't know how or that you're scared. You will figure out a way to get it done. I'll quote Amy Poehler who says it best in her book Yes Please: “You do it, because the doing of it is the thing. The doing is the thing. The talking and worrying and thinking is not the thing…Because what else are we going to do? Say no? Say no to an opportunity that may be slightly out of our comfort zone?” Thank you, Amy, for your wise words.

One other thing I'd like to share :)

SH: I just started a podcast called The Successful Fashion Designer that I'm super excited about and proud of. I've interviewed some amazing designers, heard some crazy stories and discovered their creative and strategic ways of how they got where they are. The episodes are full of actionable advice to help fashionistas get ahead, and anyone working in or pursuing work in the fashion industry should give it a listen :)


If you want to follow Sew Heidi on social media, please click on the links below.

Instagram: sewheidi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sewheidi/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sewheidi

Snapchat: Lol - not a snap chatter....am I dating myself? 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/SuccessfulFashionDesigner/

 

How a dream became a reality now becomes a name change

First came the book, then followed the website with the name "How to become a Lingerie Designer" . The idea came about after receiving requests for advice from people how to start their own label.

This was back when I was running my lingerie brand 'Vanjo', after researching what was out there I noticed that there were many fashion books but not relating solely on lingerie.

After returning back to the UK after lingerie designing in Melbourne, Australia; HTBALD grew allowing me to take it on full time whilst freelancing.

Four books later HTBALD was no longer just about becoming a Lingerie Designer, it was about all the different aspects of designing lingerie. About owning your designs and believing in them, and now my job is to support you, to do that. So it  seemed only natural to umbrella all the aspects of lingerie design under a different name.

This expansion has been not only with technical books "How to spec a bra and brief" and "How to write a bra and brief tech pack" but also with design sheets, to help you take the next step with the technical side of lingerie. Having been there before, I understand that it's those parts that can take your time researching and working them out.

'Van Jonsson Design' now guides you through every aspect of lingerie design, including patterns to get you started, and on the blog are "How to" tutorials and Advice about the industry.

van jonsson design logo lingerie

What's to come is further design sheets and another book is being drafted "How to grade a Bra and Brief" which is the third book in the trilogy of the "How to" books, also I've received such a great response to the patterns, that more will be released. 

If you have any ideas or suggestions on what you would like more knowledge on, then please let me know. 

Welcome to Van Jonsson Design. 

 

*This website can still be reached by howtobecomealingeriedesigner.com

Boobs & bras after breastfeeding

 

Years ago when I met people and I talked about being a lingerie designer, the questions I always got asked "Did I see lots of boobs?" (guys) and "what was the best bra that I had designed and for who?" (ladies). The seeing lots of boobs question still gets asked a lot, but recently what ladies seem to what to know is what bra to go for after they've had children.

So through lingerie knowledge and personal experience here is what I usually end up talking about: boobs, bras to wear orto design and improving your appearance of your boobs.

Structure of your boobs

1. Your structure of your boobs change once your pregnant, that flatness that most women experience after breast feeding, has occurred during pregnancy, so breast feeding doesn't start to alter your boobs being pregnant in the first place does. Let me digress (puts technical hat on)

- When being pregnant your boobs go through a change that is called maturing (sounds equally as good as being called 'a geriatric mum' when you're pregnant over the age of 35! Whilst being pregnant your boobs become bigger and the fatty tissue is replaced by milk producing tissue, therefore changing the internal structure of the breast. The increase in size may cause the ligaments to stretch, and it's this stretching that may lead to saggier boobs. Think of it like holding a partially filled water balloon in your hand, if you filled it completely your hand would open up to accommodate the balloon, (your fingers represent your ligaments) then if you let water out, your hands are still splayed open but the fullness of the water (ie breast) is no longer apparent so the fullness has gone. There by the structure of your breast has changed.

2. Your bra size will most likely change, not everyones does, some peoples increase size, others decrease, just like whether you'll fit back into your pre-pregnancy clothes, some people will be bigger and other smaller than when they got pregnant.

3. Most likely your boob shape will have change, some people describe their boobs as empty, which means they have lost the fullness of their boobs at the top, and the fullness is more at the bottom of their boobs, this is usually more prominent for those with a bigger cup size.

boobs bras and breastfeeding

Bras after being pregnant and feeding

With the loss of the volume, many women find they have to change the shape of bra they wear, and that the underwire now digs in at the front. If this is the case with yourself, look for wires that don't come up between your boobs (ie balconette bras) and look for push up style, bras with shorter underwires or high apex bras in which the wire sits low, also soft cup triangle bras will be comfortable.

If you find you have no volume at the top of your breast and are a larger cup, the misconception is that you should go for a contour bra (a moulded cup shape with foam) but what mainly occurs is that the upper breast tissue will either look and be jiggly, or that it won't give you enough support , although there are some bras out there that will be tailored to your needs you may find a cut and sew bra (a 3-piece cup or 4-piece cup) more comfortable and give you a better silhouette. 

Designing a bra 

A few things to keep in mind to create a better lift of the boob (or to look out for if you're having trouble finding a bra that gives you a nice shape and lift)

- A vertical seam in the cup will give you more lift. 

- Side boning or denier panelling, will help keep the breast tissue forward and not creeping under the arms, especially on soft bras.

- Double line the cups if you are using stretch fabrics.

Ways to improve the appearance

Sadly once those ligaments are stretched there is not a lot that can be done about it (unless you're wanting to go down the path of surgery) however there are things that can be done to improve the situation.

- Strengthen your pec muscles, making them stronger will lift the chest wall upon where your boobs sit. Press up and bench presses are probably the two better ones to try.

- Alternate cold and warm water blasts in the shower, although only temporary that the cold water tightens the skin, it encourages blood flow.

- Massage oil, going from under the breast outwards to the armpit and over the breast back to where you started, this will over time improve the contour of the breast and get rid of toxins, plus the more you care the part of your body which you don;' like, the more acceptance and gratitude you have of that part of the body.

Though mainly the appearance of your boobs, will be down to genetics, hoping some of these will help.

 

Five pros and cons working as a freelancer

I often get asked which is better to work as a freelancer or In House. Personally working as a freelancer is most suited to me, I love it's freedom it gives though it's not without it's perils. If you're lucky to be in position to be choosing one route or the other I've highlighted what I think are the high and lows of each path.

1. MONEY

There's no denying when I worked for a company I earned far far more than I do as a freelancer, at the peak of my earnings I was clearing 45K and that was with being a freelancer within that time as well. The main trouble I found hard when returning to work for a company was that my CV was viewed as that I didn't have much manger skills having worked by myself freelancing. Even though I know I can run teams of people have have done so in the past, I was up against people who had never left the industry to freelance so had consistent managerial experience. My first freelance job was in Thailand (which I never planned to get I had originally gone travelling) and I loved designing swimwear in the sunshine and the life I was living there, and on the plus side I didn't need much money. 

2. FREEDOM

The major plus side being a freelancer I think has to be the freedom, pre-children being a freelancer enabled me to travel whenever I wished, within reason. When a project finished I could book cheap flights and spend as long or as little time in whatever country I flew to. But again having the ability to have that freedom, is weighed by having the actual funds whilst freelancing. Nowadays it's all about having the freedom to look after young children whilst working at different times than the normal workforce (ie at night with lots of coffee).

pros and cons of working as a freelancer

3. TIME

With freelancing I think you have be great and time management, it can be easy to get caught up with social media. You have to find a schedule that works for you, I'm still working on this - sometimes I get up early to work and get loads don, other times (usually) it's at night. Also there's all the extras that you need to plan for, like accounts, filling in tax returns, looking for the next piece of work. Keeping up-to-date with everything current. Being a freelancer it's easy to feel like you are looking in on an industry rather than being involved and in the thick of it. If you like structure of a 9-5 (or there abouts) Then in house may be more suited to you, or you could get the best of both worlds and be a freelancer on contract - so you are based within a company but only for a set amount of time.

4. THE SOUL

Depending what type of company you work for - will depend on what you are given to design, I was very fortunate in my first job (designing for high street stores in a UK manufacturer) in that as well have been given design briefs from the buyer, I also presented new designs from the fabrics that I sourced. In another company it was all buyer led, I would be given samples bought from other brands and asked to replicate them, it was very soul destroying, and something I didn't agree with. Working as a freelancer people are coming for you, for either new ideas or the technical side of the design so your never ripping off (well you shouldn't be) other peoples designs.  That's what I love the most about freelancing is that if you have the opportunity to work with someone who is just starting out, they are very willing to push boundaries and design ideas.

5. CONSISTENCY  

This is a major one that often occurs, you can be mental busy for ages, then suddenly you find yourself with a free calendar wondering where the next job is coming from. At the start of my freelancing, I continued to do part time work, as I knew that eventually this is what I wanted to do full time, but didn't want the added pressure of the freelancing supporting me at the beginning, I wanted to build up a client base with good strong work. I've done bar work, shop-work and even worked as a TA in a primary school, then worked freelancing in my spare time and also wrote the books. With freelancing I've never worked regular hours, even when I had a full time job designing I was always building up 'Vanjonsson Design' and worked evenings and weekends. Now having children my working hours are even more erratic, and I often work late into the night. 

A friend texted to see how my day was going, this was my face after being greeted with 102 emails that morning at work.

A friend texted to see how my day was going, this was my face after being greeted with 102 emails that morning at work.

Working in a company, especially at the start, I gained so much knowledge from everyone, and I loved the fast pace of the fashion side of things, producing collections, seeing them through to manufacturing whilst balancing the next season ahead, but with like most jobs, the further you go up the chain of your profession, the more away you move away from it, and are managing other people to do the job you loved and set out to do. I have before come into a previous work to be met with 70+ emails on a daily basis, enquiries from manufacturers, changes in tech packs that needed to be confirmed and altered, costings that needed be changed and suggestions back and forth how to do so. Along with future work that needed to be secured, errors on deliveries or stock. So transitioning to freelance full time was a very natural step for me especially now, as the nearest lingerie company is a daily 2 hour commute each way which is not feasible with two young children.

If you get the chance to work for companies then I would recommend it, you learn so much and the support and structure is there for you. If you find yourself out of university or in-between jobs and can't find yourself work, then make your own, go freelance, approach companies, do it in your spare time, or intern, and keep updating your portfolio because if you're static you're not trying anything new and your designs and knowledge won't progress.

 

What to write onto Lingerie Patterns

I think we've all done it, drafted out a pattern, only to return back to it and not quite understand which one it was. Or perhaps your more meticulous and want to write all your information onto your pattern but don't know where to start or exactly what to put on it.

what to write on a lingerie pattern

There are usually six basic things you should write:

1. The company name: This is not always necessary if it's just you seeing your patterns, however it may be worth getting into the habit for the future, for when you're sending patterns out, this will save you time rather than going through them all again.

2. Name and/or style number: So, so important, you want to be able to know instantly what pattern you have in your hand.

3. What part is the pattern: What looks recognisable when you're drafting a pattern, may not be so when you get the pattern out again, or when you've cut it out of fabric.

4. How many to cut: Pretty much self explanatory. For bras it's usually 'cut one pair' rather than cut two.

5. The size: Again pretty much self explanatory, if your pattern is dual sizing just write all the sizes on e.g. 32C/34B/36A

6. Direction of Stretch: Usually this will be indicted by 'Grain line'; on the 'Vanjonsson Design' patterns it's stated by 'Direction of stretch' as the lingerie can be made in a number of stretch fabrics, and as I have no idea on the exact fabric you will be using, the 'direction of stretch' ensures that the main stretch of your fabric is going around your body.

(7.) Any extra information like if you need to put the pattern down the fold of the fabric, and seam allowances if you need them written down to remind you. I also when I first started out, would number the patterns, for example if there was four pattern pieces I would write 1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4. Just so I knew I had every pattern piece before I started cutting the fabric, which when it comes to bras you may find yourself with a pile of patterns which may have a tendency to somehow float and fall off the table!  

Full image of information that needs to be written on a lingerie pattern.

Full image of information that needs to be written on a lingerie pattern.

Where it all began... with this soft bra

Where it all began.... I found this beauty amongst a pile of fabric the other day. It was from my first range of my label Vanjo, that was stocked by Topshop. It sold within a week on their website. 

The first ever soft bra to be stocked by them that went up to a FF cup. It was this style of bra that led me to launch my own label. Often labels come from seeing gaps in the market from personal experiences and mine was no different.

Whilst travelling I carried with me a pile of bikinis and two bras, both underwired, one which was padded. I longed for a soft bra, not a sports top, not a beige or white soft bra that was aimed at the older market. I wanted my lingerie to reflect who was, like my clothes did. I wanted to get on an aeroplane and sit in comfort, not to have to undo the bra half way into the flight. I was 30DD/E at the time and didn't really have the option of going braless.

What if I could find amazing printed fabric and make that soft bra I longed for, this was back in 2004 when small backs/bigger boobs didn't have such a market as it does today, and after many trials, I produced this design using Liberty fabric (red with black line drawings of unicorns).

where it all began USP of your lingerie brand

Your USP of your lingerie brand

I have spent the last few weeks tailoring up new designs to launch into patterns, and looking back at this piece, it evokes memories of what Vanjo stood for. To give women the freedom and choice to have a piece of lingerie which caters for them, for fit and function and for their lingerie to be fun, whether you were a C cup (which Vanjo started at) or a FF cup. It was my USP I suppose.

And sometimes when you get knee deep in patterns, with day to day running of a business you sometimes forget of what you once began and what your business stood for. 

So in full circle I'm bringing back this piece to be able, to buy as a pattern in cup sizes. At present it only goes up to FF cup, so let me know if you are interested for it to be available in bigger sizes. And more importantly if you're struggling with your designs - go back to the beginning. Back to why you wanted to start your lingerie brand. Get reacquainted with your passion and your USP.

What's stopping you move ahead?

As we near the end of March, I'm making more plans with what to add to the website and drafting out time to take on and work with new clients. 

But before I start to draft out blogs, books and new patterns, I want to ask a question to you.

"What's stopping you move forward?"

Whether you are an aspiring designer, a home sewer, a student or someone who just loves lingerie.

What do you need help with to move forward? What would you like to see on the blog? More information on sewing techniques? Grading? The basics? Advice on starting up?

How about patterns? What would you like to see? Bigger sizes? Underwire bras? Intricate lingerie patterns?

Are you looking for online courses in lingerie or videos?

Would love to hear your thoughts and give you your next step to help you to move forward with your work.

whats stopping you moving ahead with your lingerie label

A look into "how to become a lingerie designer" book

 

 


CHAPTER ONE: Lingerie - A brief History

This chapter takes a look at the lingerie through out history, including Warners buying 'Mary P Jacob' bra design patent, facts about that women were asked to stop wearing corsets and this freed up enough metal to apparently  build two battleships (for WW1).

lingerie a brief history from how to become a lingerie designer

It also looks at the change in shape through out the years that the bra took, with the advanced technology of fabrics and elastics. This chapter takes you through each decade with facts and how the changing shape of the bra and changed the attitude towards lingerie.

It also questions the bras place and function and how women are fitted still using the 4/5+ system. With the garter belt and stocking dying out will the bra follow place? Or do you think it's here to stay?

For those who are obsessed with Vintage lingerie - check out Under Pinnings online lingerie museum, which documents vintage lingerie.


CHAPTER TWO : INSPIRATION FOR DESIGNING

This chapter takes a look at where to look for gaining for inspiration for your designs. Inspiration comes to us in many forms for designing, it could be images, photos from magazines, or fabrics. I recommend starting a private Pinterest board and over a course of a couple of weeks pin images that inspire you every day, and then take a look at the end and you should see a style emerging.

Within this chapter is also the low down on copyright laws for your lingerie designs and a list of Lingerie Magazines and Fashion magazines which I've found helpful in the past for inspiration.

inspiration and designing from how to become a lingerie designer


CHAPTER THREE : TARGET MARKET

This chapter looks at analysing the market you're aiming for. It talks about Identifying your target market for your lingerie designs and who you are going to be making and designing for. Covering if you have trouble deciding who is your target market, because at some point I'm sure we've all been in the situation where we have 101 ideas going around in our head.

Three main points that are covered that I think important about the direction of your brand are:

1. Passion: Being passionate will carry you through when you are spending every working minute on your brand.

2. Niche: Designing for your target market means you cut out some of your competitors  

3. Style: A strong style brings recognition and trust from your customers.

Also this chapter covers how to keep on track season after season.

target market for my designs from how to become a lingerie designer

CHAPTER FOUR: SKETCH BOOKS & MOOD BOARDS 

"SKETCH BOOKS ARE NOT ABOUT BEING A GREAT DESIGNER THEY ARE ABOUT BEING A GREAT THINKER" 

This chapter leads you through the importance of keeping a sketchbook. It also covers designing mood boards for lingerie and a list of internet sites to help you create your mood-board if you don't have access to Photoshop or Illustrator.

sketchbooks and moodboards (chapter four) in How to become a lingerie designer

CHAPTER FIVE: FASHION DRAWINGS

The blog covered how to draw a fashion model, and it covers it in the book as well. This chapter covers the importance of fashion drawings and how they are relevant to the fashion industry today. 

 

fashions drawings from how to become a lingerie designer

And all the information that you need to write on a pattern.

For those who need a place to start on pattern making then lingerie patterns can be bought from this website.


CHAPTER SIX: WORKING DRAWINGS

Unlike fashion drawings, working drawings are also known as 'technical drawings', always drawn flat and never from an angle. This chapter looks at basic working drawings, and ones with stitch lines and fabric representation. 

working drawings for lingerie


CHAPTER SEVEN: PATTERNS

This chapter covers where patterns began, and the joy of using the same pattern to create different looks.

It also looks at  the three methods usually used to create a lingerie pattern:

1. Flat-pattern Method

2. Drafting Method

3. Draping Method 

How to become a lingerie designer - a look at patterns


CHAPTER EIGHT: BRA PATTERNS

This chapter  covers starting out with soft bras then looking at underwire bras, and explains the two type of bras, cradle or non cradle. It will also show you, how you can create different looks by just using one pattern. (When running Vanjo I only had one style bra for four years) .

Designing around the bras is the most important aspect of designing, and this chapter will show you the starting point of using your wire to start your pattern.

A look into making a bra pattern in how to become a lingerie designer


 

CHAPTER NINE: SPECIFICATION SHEETS

This chapter covers 'what is a spec sheet' why to use them and what goes on them. It also shows you the industry measurements in which the sizes increase or decrease. A lot of people in the industry still manually enter the sizes, which if you then have to change the sample measurement, it takes an age to change the other sizes. This book shows you the formulas you can use on Excel to automatically fill in the sizes. This chapter covers measuring both briefs and bras.

how to write a specification sheet


CHAPTER TEN: GRADING 

This chapter covers what grading is, and using the information we gained from chapter nine (specification sheets) and shows you the basic way to grade on a brief pattern. It also covers cross grading - how a bra cup volume 32C can be the same cup volume as a 36A, and when to not use the standard grade.

how to become a lingerie designer - grading


CHAPTER ELEVEN: SAMPLE SPEC SHEETS

This chapter covers what a sample spec sheet, and why it's important to use them for you, it also includes what to put on them. (the book image is from How to write a tech pack for a bra and brief).

how to become a lingerie designer sample sheets

CHAPTER TWELVE: COSTING

This chapter covers the basic way to make a costing, it guides you through measuring elastics and fabrics to working out how much 1 meter of fabric will make. It also gives you an example of a broken-down cost sheet to look at. *Remember the bigger companies will always be able to compete on the costings - look for something else for you company to offer*

working out costings for lingerie

CHAPTER THIRTEEN:MANUFACTURING

This chapter covers the decline of manufacturing, and the pros and cons of hand-making your lingerie or getting it manufactured, it also gives you a couple of lingerie manufacturers in the UK.

Image inside Stitching Academy in North London

Image inside Stitching Academy in North London


CHAPTER FOURTEEN: PHOTOSHOOTS 

This chapter looks at doing your photography in the studio or location, whether to video it, and what you might need.

chapter 14 of how to become a lingerie designer - photoshoots
shooting a lingerie photoshoot  outside

 

CHAPTER FIFTEEN: ADDITION INFORMATION

This chapter covers all the extras you may need to consider,  such as your website and business stationary.


CHAPTER SIXTEEN: TRADE SHOWS

This chapter covers showing at shows, contacting buyers, the pros and cons of sale or return and gives you a list of lingerie trade shows. 


CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: PRESS RELEASES

This chapter covers the formatting of press releases and working with your journalist.


CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: LINGERIE COURSES

This chapter gives you a brief overview of UK and online Lingerie courses.


INTERVIEW WITH LINGERIE DESIGNERS

This chapter covers interviews with independent lingerie designers, who at the end get asked "What words of advice would you give to aspiring designers?"


When to give up on a design

Let's talk about quitting on a design, or shelving it for a later time. That design you've invested so much time to, the one which is about finished and if you just maybe work on it for a bit longer give it that final push you can move on to another design right?

Yes? No? Maybe?

This is always a hard one for me, there's the logical aspect of designing and timing then there's the designing which feels right, where you can lose time, get in the flow. I usually follow the second aspect though my head screams at me sometimes, just commit to this idea, it's nearly finished.

I'm there right now, the Harper soft bra, is a pattern I produced last year. I've spent hours on it, making it, fitting it, re-making it, re-fitting it. Changing the pattern so the seam which when into the apex now goes into the underarm for easy sewing. I've graded it, mapped out the pattern pack, and now just need to draw it up and lay it out. So the hours left to invest in this bra is less than the hours I've already committed to it. 

When should I give up on a design

Yet something isn't right. And I don't know what it is. I've even changed the named the name of this bra pattern, it started out as Hemmie, and now it's Harper - to see if it was that (I know right??)

So I'm pulling it. It's standing in my way of new things. Every time I start a new pattern, I keep thinking of the soft bra pattern that I haven't finished. Just get it out the way then I can move on my brain thinks. But every time I head back to it, every alteration is slow, every sewing procedure stalls.  

I've learnt through experience that when this happens, it's best to shelve it. Not get rid. Just put it away ready to head back to it if I so desire. It's by making this choice that I can embrace new patterns to make available, that my work can hopefully speed up to the level I like to work at. 

It's hard letting go of something you've invested so much time to, but once you make that decision, a whole lot of new opportunities become available.

Try it. What have you been stalling on?