Episode 35

The Grey Areas of Pattern Cutting

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 As pattern cutters, things aren’t always clear cut. Its our job to use our experience and knowledge and sometimes actually just our instinct to interpret the correct alteration or shape to put onto a pattern. Things aren’t always in black and white with pattern cutting so in this episode we try to answer some of those all too familiar questions that we often get asked and don’t really have a Yes or No answer for.


Points that we discuss in this episode

  • What’s the right way to do it?
  •  Is there a standard way to do things?
  • Why did/didn’t you do the alteration to the pattern like that?
  • Can you teach me how to pattern cut?
  • Is it ok for the design to change? 
  • Is the process different in different companies?

Some notes from our catch up

Kathryn talked about a treasure hunt game that you can play in the museums, there are many companies who offer this but the one that she has tried and loved is a company called breadcrumbs.


Is there a topic you’d like us to cover? We’d love to hear from you! Contact Kathryn and Caroline directly with any comments / feedback on fashionhalfcut@gmail.com. Alternatively you can reach out on instagram @fashionhalfcut.

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Episode 34

Costume Making, with Declan Jackson

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We are joined by Declan Jackson, professional pattern cutter turned costume maker.
He shares his journey from his start in the fashion industry to his move into the film industry. Having already got some big name productions under his belt, like Bridgerton and Mission Impossible, he’s onto an amazing start in his new career. Declan has always oozed creativity, as well as being super inspiring he also has some great tips and words of wisdom for any potential pattern cutters and costume makers.


Who is Declan?

Instagram

A huge thank you to Declan for joining us!

Declan started life in the fashion industry working as a pattern maker after studying fashion design at Ravensbourne. He’s worked for brands like Giles Deacon, Victoria Beckham, Topman and Karen Millen.
He’s always doing something super creative, from draping the most incredible pieces, to amazing drawings and illustrations and designing the most swoon worthy drag looks, so it’s no surprise that he made the move from commercial pattern cutter  to costume maker. You can now find him on the sets of big production films and series including the Little mermaid, Mission impossible. And the series we’re all obsessed with at the moment….Bridgerton.

Take a look at some of Declan’s amazing work

How to get into costume making

Declan recommends getting a BA (hons) degree in costume making to make a smooth entry to the industry. While his journey has been a little different, he is finding that many of his team have come through the “Costume for Theatre and Screen” course at UAL. This is the Wimbledon course that he references in the episode.


Is there a topic you’d like us to cover? We’d love to hear from you! Contact Kathryn and Caroline directly with any comments / feedback on fashionhalfcut@gmail.com. Alternatively you can reach out on instagram @fashionhalfcut.

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Episode 33

Everything You Need To Know About Darts

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Understanding darts, how they work and what to do with them is a fundamental part of pattern cutting. In this Episode we’re delving into the technical world of pattern making. Explaining what darts are, talking you through some theory, manipulations and much, much more!


We love hearing and sharing your feedback, thank you the @worthydesignstudio for making our day with this lovely message!

At the risk of sounding like a complete sap, I just wanted to say a massive thank you to you both for your work that you put into your podcast. As a designer getting back into pattern drafting after over 10 years out of practice, listening to your episode fills me with so much excitement and leaves me dying to get back to the cutting/dining room table. You’ve helped to remind me that the skills I learned in college are still there, I just need to practice them again. I’m in the middle of developing some new patterns for my little indie pattern company and you two are like a little cheerleading team on my shoulder so thank you both. Genuinely, you’ve been such an inspiration. Congrats and happy first podcast birthday

DART ROTATION

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT DART MANIPULATION?

Kathryn and Caroline both have online classes where you can learn more about darts and how to manipulate and change them.


Is there a topic you’d like us to cover? We’d love to hear from you! Contact Kathryn and Caroline directly with any comments / feedback on fashionhalfcut@gmail.com. Alternatively you can reach out on instagram @fashionhalfcut.

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Episode 32

Our One Year Anniversary

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It’s been one whole year since we launched our podcast, can you believe it?!
Thank you all so much for your support, we wouldn’t be here without all of you.
We’re keeping it light hearted and fun for this one, with a Q & A reflecting on our time in the industry. Expect stories (both good and bad) and lots of silly moments together.



Is there a topic you’d like us to cover? We’d love to hear from you! Contact Kathryn and Caroline directly with any comments / feedback on fashionhalfcut@gmail.com. Alternatively you can reach out on instagram @fashionhalfcut.

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Episode 31:

Starting Your Own Fashion Brand, with Hanna Fiedler

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Hanna Fiedler trained as a traditional bespoke tailor at the Berlin Opera Foundation before moving to London to study design and pattern cutting. She launched her own luxury womenswear fashion brand in 2018 and has since gone from strength to strength, including a recent pop up space at Harrods. In this episode Hanna shares her personal journey and insights with us, we hope her tips and advice help some of you out there who are thinking of starting your own fashion brands.


Image from Hanna Fiedler, photographer: Madara Freimane

Website
Instagram
Youtube

Hanna F. Fiedler, Founder and Creative Director of HANNA FIEDLER launched the brand in 2018 with the aim to create timeless designs that reflect her passion for tailoring, pattern cutting and craftsmanship. Originally from Germany, Hanna grew up in the Bavarian countryside. She trains as a traditional bespoke tailor at the Berlin Opera Foundation before moving to London to study design and pattern cutting at London College of Fashion. The appreciation for craftsmanship and quality nurtured during her tailoring years has a great impact on her approach to design. Before starting her namesake label, Hanna worked with Maria Grachvogel, Gabriela Hearst and McQ Alexander McQueen.
A huge thank you from both of us to Hanna for joining us on the podcast and sharing her wisdom with our listeners.

Hanna recently had a pop up at Harrods

Hanna’s gorgeous “Chapter II” collection

The images in this collection were taken in May 2020 during a global pandemic. With most of the world forced to halt in lockdown, a conventional look book photoshoot felt irrelevant and at odds with their values as a brand.
All photographs are self-portraits taken by Julia Shashkin, who captured herself wearing the collection in the beautiful landscapes of Estonia.

We couldn’t resist showing you how Hanna has used her ingenuity and creativity to shares her brand and new collections with buyers and customers. You can see her preview boxes in the below images.
(images from Hanna Fiedler, photographer Madara Freimane.


Is there a topic you’d like us to cover? We’d love to hear from you! Contact Kathryn and Caroline directly with any comments / feedback on fashionhalfcut@gmail.com. Alternatively you can reach out on instagram @fashionhalfcut.

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Episode 30:

Getting into Your Garment

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Working out how a garment is taken on and off the body is an essential part of garment construction. In this episode we explore our favourite types of fastenings and how they effect our pattern and sewing. So next time you’re designing or interpreting a sketch…..think.….how do I get into this?


This week we had loads to announce in our catch up!

Our favourite Fastenings:

  • Zips! Invisible, flat, open ended…you name it, we love it!
  • Buttons! Both with button holes or loops
  • Press studs/poppers/snaps
  • Rouleau loops and ties
  • Hooks & Eyes
  • Velcro
  • Drawstrings, toggles and elasticated draw cords
  • Magnets

Zips were invented by a Swedish man called Gideon Soundback in 1913.

Our fun fact….Yes we’re total geeks for fashion!

Is there a topic you’d like us to cover? We’d love to hear from you! Contact Kathryn and Caroline directly with any comments / feedback on fashionhalfcut@gmail.com. Alternatively you can reach out on instagram @fashionhalfcut.

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Episode 29:

The Future of Fitting with Alvanon Senior Consultant, Jackie Lewis

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Alvanon are industry leaders who specialise in creating physical dress forms and 3D avatars to help brands achieve a better fit. Jackie Lewis, senior consultant at Alvanon, gives us the inside scoop on how physical dress stands are made and how this translates into the world of 3D avatars and 3D fitting. Jackie is also the course development director for MOTIF, an online learning platform aimed at filling the technical gaps that we often see in the industry. You all know how passionate we are about learning so we couldn’t wait to pick her brains about the courses they offer and how it links to the world of fitting with Alvanon. 


 Jackie Lewis is a senior consultant Alvanon and the course development director for MOTIF. With a career spanning almost 30 years in garment technology and product development, it’s safe to say that Jackie really knows her stuff! In 2018 she joined Alvanon as a consultant focusing on 3D, process efficiencies and sustainability.

Jackie hasn’t stopped there, not only is she helping to better brands but she is also helping to better individuals through her work at MOTIF, an online educational platform which encourages and enables industry-wide education in technical skills to help fill that all important technical knowledge gap that we often face.

A big thank you to Jackie for joining us!

Alvanon

Alvanon was born out of an unlikely collision of two worlds. Dr. Kenneth Wang, the founder, is as you may have gathered from his title…a medical doctor. Quite an unlikely professional to make a segue into fashion!
However, when a real understanding of everyday human bodies meets with a drive to improve how clothes fit the result is Alvanon. And realistic dress forms that represent real actual bodies of everyday normal people.

“For those who don’t know who Alvanon are,  they’re an apparel-technology company that helps brands improve their fit through 3D body scanning and actual realistic body stands. “

From the early days Alvanon embraced tech and married modern digital technology with traditional techniques to design and produce stands. Today, you can buy off the rack, ready to use stands (or Alvaforms as they call them) as well as going for the full custom, made to measure route that many brands opt for.

As well as providing dress stands for industry leaders they have fit studios in capitals around the world that smaller brands and students can access.

Their early embrace of tech, at a time when many competitors were slow on the up take, has resulted in Alvanon growing to become a global leader in the world of fitting and dress stands. And now they’re leading the way on 3D modelling and digital avatars, the future of fitting.

By regularly hosting 3D body scanning events around the world Alvanon have collected up to date body scans from all over the world and by using this data they produce Alvaforms, both physical and digital, that are representative of different global markets and are quick to update and adapt these forms to reflect any changes they find.

MOTIF

MOTIF was created in response to the gap of practical technical skills that we often see in the industry today. In a world that is constantly changing it only seems logical that we need regular training to keep up to date with this advancing world.
MOTIF have range of courses with some our favourites including:
Basics in CLO-3D
Fundamentals of plus size
Solving fit problems: women’s tops
How to run a fit session
Denim 101 (coming soon)
Their courses are taught by industry professionals who are experts in their field and are passionate about imparting their knowledge.

At a time when most of the world has been forced to move online, MOTIF seems the ideal way to further your training and gain new knowledge. Not only do they offer courses that will improve both individuals and brands but they’re also creating a community of likeminded individuals and creating a space to share resources and inspiring work in fashion.

3D Tech Festival

Together these companies facilitated the 3D tech festival and brought together leaders from the 3D and virtual world. From Cameron-James Wilson, CEO / Creative Director at The Diigitals, the worlds first digital modelling agency to Dominic Sluiter, Head of STITCH, a tech focussed company driving the embrace of 3D design technologies for fashion brands.
This tech festival generated invaluable conversation about 3D designing, 3D pattern cutting and 3D fitting, and how we can follow through from a 3D development process to a 3D marketing campaign by making full use of 3D rendering, 3D catwalks and digital models and influencers. By embracing this amazing technology we can create entire collections with minimal wastage and maximum impact.


Is there a topic you’d like us to cover? We’d love to hear from you! Contact Kathryn and Caroline directly with any comments / feedback on fashionhalfcut@gmail.com. Alternatively you can reach out on instagram @fashionhalfcut.

Subscribe to our blog for the latest episodes and bonus blog posts!

Episode 28:

Our 2020 reflections and 2021 goals…Bring on 2021!

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2020…What a year you’ve been! Covid-19 definitely put a spanner in the works but we’ve still got plenty to be thankful for. The launching of this podcast for one! In this episode we look back at our favourite moments of the past year and discuss what lies ahead for us in 2021.

Happy 2021 from both of us!


Is there a topic you’d like us to cover? We’d love to hear from you! Contact Kathryn and Caroline directly with any comments / feedback on fashionhalfcut@gmail.com. Alternatively you can reach out on instagram @fashionhalfcut.

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Episode 27:

Starting a Global Fashion Brand, with Zak Timol Creative Director of Velsvoir

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Zak Timol, the creative brain behind the well known menswear brand, Velsvoir, joins us to talk us through how he and his 2 brothers started up the brand (by accident) and how their famous bow ties have led to them winning awards and building a globally recognised brand. Zak is full of creative wisdom and stories about how this family run business has gone from strength to strength and is now even part of a Guinness world record! 
A big thank you to Zak for joining us!

Zak Timol

Zak Timol is an entrepreneur and Creative Director of international luxury brand Velsvoir, a menswear luxury fashion brand. A lifestyle tastemaker, he has launched three start-ups and has plied his trade across Europe, Asia and Middle East working with many premium establishments including Sketch, Cafe Royal Hotel, GQ Dubai, Catalunya Singapore and Supperclub.

Since 2013, Zak has been awarded ‘Best Regional Brand’ by Esquire Middle East, nominated ‘Best Menswear Designer’ by Grazia Middle East and awarded ‘Best Accessory Designer’ by FF London. He was also recognised in the Esquire Middle East Top 100 influencers of the decade.

A few notes from Caroline’s and Zaks chat:

Grazia Middle East

Esquire Middle East

Modest Fashion Week

TED talks


Is there a topic you’d like us to cover? We’d love to hear from you! Contact Kathryn and Caroline directly with any comments / feedback on fashionhalfcut@gmail.com. Alternatively you can reach out on instagram @fashionhalfcut.

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Episode 26:

Sewing Lessons That We’ve Learnt From Professional Seamstresses

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As pattern cutters we work side by side with those amazing sewing experts, the professional seamstresses. While we don’t sew everyday we’ve definitely picked up our fair share of tips from these talented individuals and this is the episode where we share them with you!
Expect to learn more about our sewing journeys and how we put these tips into practise. From fusing tape to different types of needles, to having a good attitude…these are or top 9 sewing tips and lessons.

 A few notes from us…

If you want to hear Kathryn’s interview on The New Craft House Podcast you can find it on Spotify here and on iTunes here.

Caroline mentioned that she’s been pressing flowers that were gifted to her when her babies were born and they’re just so beautiful we had to share them with you!

She even used a pattern cutting book to press them…very appropriate!

We’ve both had formal training in professional sewing but we’re not shy to say that our sewing skills are not as perfect as they once were. As part of that training we produced technical folders and Kathryn found hers stashed away from her students days. Take a look!

Lesson 1

It takes as long as it takes…use your time wisely but don’t rush!

Lesson 2:

Use the correct needle and foot for your fabric.

Lesson 3:

Use tape to control bagged out edges and seams!

Lesson 4:

If you can’t tape…stay stitch! And do it through your paper pattern piece to help keep control of the fabric.

Lesson 5:

Do some testers with your fabric before you start stitching your actual garment. Test things like needles, feet, fuse, ironing, pattern details etc.

Lesson 6:

Pressing (Ironing) is your friend…and can fix a multitude of sins!

Lesson 7:

Sewing really is trial and error & a learning experience.

Lesson 8:

Take your time when cutting & marking drill holes & notches.

Lesson 9:

Working with your pattern cutter not against them will result in a  better garment and working experience for everyone.


Is there a topic you’d like us to cover? We’d love to hear from you! Contact Kathryn and Caroline directly with any comments / feedback on fashionhalfcut@gmail.com. Alternatively you can reach out on instagram @fashionhalfcut.

Subscribe to our blog for the latest episodes and bonus blog posts!