Why Is This Taking So Long?
Some have asked why it’s taking so long to launch. I wanted to briefly describe the sample-making process to explain why it takes so long—much longer than we anticipated, even without the pandemic. Colleagues in the know warned me about expecting the process to be quick and easy. But I remained hopeful….
Way back when, we designed a tech pack, which puts on paper exactly what we’re looking for, from measurements to where we want buttons or snaps to where and how big pockets are. The tech pack is then used to go through a process from pattern making to sample making to grading:
The pattern is like the stencil used on fabric to create the pants. It dictates the measurements of the waist, hip, thigh, and knee, as well as room in the butt and how high or low the rise will be. The pattern is based on a specific size; for CurvedWear, the sample pattern is a size 12. After the pattern is created, the manufacturer makes a sample pair of pants from that pattern.
The sample is a prototype of the pants we want to create. The seamstress uses the pattern to cut the fabric and sew the pieces together. Each style of pants—and eventually each size—is cut and sewn by hand by real people in an ethical factory in Los Angeles. This is where apparel design often gets stuck, with CurvedWear being no exception. Each time a sample is made, we can tell what is right and what needs to be changed, which starts the pattern-making process all over again. Ultimately, the sample will be used as a guide for that style of pants and for grading into different sizes.
With a base size of the sample, the pattern is graded into other sizes. When we launch, CurvedWear will offer sizes 12 through 24, with the hope of expanding our size selection soon. While most apparel brands use one fit model for the base size only, CurvedWear plans on using a fit model for each size to ensure that our pants are a perfect fit for everyone.
We’ve already worked through multiple rounds of patterns and samples to get the most perfect fit for us curvy gals. As I mentioned, I’m feeling confident that we’re very close to a final sample to photograph and launch, at which time we can grade the pattern into the varying sizes.
As a new entrepreneur, I’ve already made tons of mistakes getting to the sample phase. The learning curve has been a roller coaster, but one full of amazing learning opportunities—opportunities that I’m using to make sure we get this perfect.