Challenges Pattern Cutters Face and What to Do

Both Cheryl and I have been freelancing in our individual fields for over 20 years so we know what it's like facing the challenges that working on your own presents, as well as the benefits. Here are our top six challenges freelancers face. These will apply to you whether you are a pattern cutter, grader, designer or visual merchandiser. In fact, any freelance role in the fashion sector is likely to lead to these type of challenges.

Difficult Clients

Every now and again freelancers get a difficult client to manage and do business with. This difficulty comes in lots of guises too. These could be:

  • Lacking clarity around what they want you to do leading to confusion and endless changes.
  • Poor communication about projects you are commissioned to do. You need their help so that you can help them but they never respond on time or they are difficult to get hold of so doing business with them becomes difficult.
  • Not paying your invoices on time or at all so it impacts your business,...
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Why You Can Copy Anybody's Design and Get Away With It

creativity innovation Sep 15, 2017

Did you know that you can copy any item of clothing by any designer and it's perfectly legal? Designers have trademark protection, but no copyright protection and no patent protection to speak of. All they have, really, is trademark protection, and so it means that anybody could copy any garment on any person and sell it as their own design.

The only thing you can not do is copy brand logos and trademarks.

Johanna Blakley who studies the impact of mass media and entertainment on our world shares some really interesting perspectives in her Ted talk. She says the copyright laws that grip film, music and software industries hardly touches the fashion industry ... and fashion benefits in both innovation and sales. In her talk, she talks about what all creative industries can learn from fashion's free culture.

Reflection Questions

Here are a few questions to reflect on to make the most of the clip and what Johanna has to say. 

  1. Why does the fashion industry have no copyright...
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Getting Started in a Career in Fashion

careers Aug 30, 2017

Several years ago when my daughter was 12 years of age, she was invited to the then Company Magazine blogger awards. She was nominated for her blog in the under 18 years category. That in itself is a story for another time.

The reason for mentioning it is that whilst there I spoke with another parent who said that her daughter wanted to enter into fashion but she didn't know how to support her in this ambition. She didn't know where to start.

And where to start is important because there is so much a young person can do to prepare themselves before they even get to Uni or fashion school.

It Starts With Your Vision

I encourage anyone with this dream or ambition to ask themselves what's their vision for their future. What do they want to be, do, feel, think, own, associate with, and impact?  I ask them to consider how they see their lives unfolding and how fashion plays a part in the scene they see.

Because without a vision they'll be led by the vision the media and brands...

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Our Trip To Prato, Italy To Support Fashion Revolution

Fashion Revolution Week is the #whomademyclothes campaign in April, which happens at the time of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, where 1,138 people were killed and many more injured on 24th April 2013.

This week is focused especially on encouraging millions of people around the globe to ask brands, "Who made my clothes?" and demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain.

 

Today, 22nd April, myself and fashion blogger, Tolmeia aka Tollydollyposhfashion  spent the day supporting Fashion Revolution in Prato, Italy, and in so doing hoping to play a small part in helping to change the fashion industry once and for all.

We headed for the design workshop of Tessa Moroder in the centre of Prato. Here we found quality Italian fabrics and handmade tailoring all manufactured locally. 

Prato remains one of the largest and oldest textile centres in the world. It began to specialize in wool textiles in the Middle Ages. This area became a modern industrial...

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Why and How Students Should Get Involved With the Fashion Revolution Cause

With fashion revolution day just over a week away, we thought we would round-up why and how you should get involved with the cause, specifically as a young student.

 

What Is Fashion Revolution?

Fashion Revolution is initiative bringing the fashion industry and its consumers together to make it a more positive and transparent space. The date (24th April - 30th April) coincides with April 24, 2013, when 1134 people were killed in the Rana Plaza factory complex collapse in Bangladesh. The factory was home to many well-known high street brands and the disaster could have been prevented.  Although there has been some progress since, nothing drastic has changed. With around 75 million people working in the garment industry, 80% of them being women, it is our duty to support them when so many are subject to exploitation; verbal and physical abuse, working in unsafe conditions and very little wages.

Fashion Revolution Week was set up to bring people around the world together to...

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Why We Need More People With Big Voices For Ethical Fashion To Succeed

ethical fashion Feb 14, 2017

At The Fashion Student Hub, we love hearing from young talented people who are striving for change and are conscious of the impact they will make in the world that lies ahead of them.

We asked one such talent Tolmeia Gregory of tollydolyposhfashion.com, an ethical blogger approaching her late teens, to answer a question for us.

Here's what she had to say.

Tolly, do you think the new generation of students and creatives are taking note of ethical issues? Or do you think there are too many other influences like social media to distract them? 

Social media is difficult to deal with in that respect because there are so many different people talking at the same time, you get pulled in every other direction. It means we're able to cover different grounds; although there are many positives to this, like freedom of speech and being able to empathise with and really understand causes from all angles and perspectives, in the ethical industry, this can be difficult to push through...

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Fashion Designers Go Back To The Drawing Board!

illustration Dec 29, 2016

Before the Internet and cameras, fashion design illustration was an absolutely essential part of presenting any design work. Today, there are far fewer fashion illustrators who make their living through drawing fashion, as so many rely on the computer.

But now it seems the art of fashion drawing is making a comeback in design studios throughout the world once more. Illustrating is and always will be an important ingredient in the fashion design you are trying to create.

Can you imagine how hard it would be to just use words to describe a design and expect co - workers to be able to make it? Drawing transcends language and is the perfect visual representation of any fashion design.

Having excellent drawing skills mean you can easily sketch your ideas onto paper to start any fashion production process.

Over the years in teaching I have seen many designers (who shall remain nameless!) create terrible sketches but end up with great designs, and great sketchers that are...

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Why Are Students Increasingly Being Drawn To Online Learning?

courses interviews Dec 25, 2016

The Fashion Student Hub interviewed a 1st year fashion design student to get an insight into her views about online learning and its benefits. Here’s what she said:

 

What Is It That Makes Online Learning So Attractive To You?

I can use the time I would commuting to and from university to sleep in. This may sound like a rather trivial answer, but the reality is: we do tend to need more sleep! I work better late at night and really do not work at all well early in the morning. I am not intending to do a fashion job that fits the traditional 9-to-5 mould. I’m aiming to work odd hours from home and the design office to suit my own lifestyle. That’s my ambition so having flexibility in my study time is what I prefer.

 

Why Do You Think The Traditional University System Is Losing It’s Appeal To Online Learning?

I find that working in a classroom environment just does not give me the time or the place to focus or pursue my dreams and passions. There are...

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Fashion Student Images Required

free courses Dec 04, 2016

One of the aspects of creating great content that's relevant for fashion students is ensuring that the visuals we use are relevant, current, topical and of a high quality. This means making sure we source our visuals from the root source, fashion students themselves.

To ensure we meet these goals we need your help to provide us with royalty free images that we can use within our courses and on our websites both at thefashionstudenthub.com and weteachfashion.com (our sister site for fashion subject experts). 

What We Need

We need images of daily life in your university setting or studio. Anything that illustrates life as a fashion student we will consider. Well almost so pictures of you drunk at an end of year party isn't what we have in mind. But if you can capture elements of your work, scenes from your studio, close up shots of you at work pattern cutting, sewing, drawing, working at your computer, etc are a few examples.

As Your Reward

As a reward for sending us a selection...

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Top 10 Tips For Cutting Fabrics Accurately And Efficiently

fabrics skills tips Nov 11, 2016

Here's a simple guide on how to cut fabric. For seasoned students, you'll hopefully have remembered these from college. But for those of you new to the technique these tips will guide you so you cut accurately and efficiently every time avoiding costly mistakes such as wasted time and fabrics.

Here you go then:

  1. Always lay your fabric on a table or cutting mat on the floor. A table is best as it's better for your back and comfort. Make sure you can access all sides of the table to reach the fabric.
  2. Use and iron if necessary to iron out any wrinkles and creases so your fabric is flat. Make sure you then align the straight and cross grains exactly so they are perpendicular. If your pattern pieces are wrinkled you can use an iron to flatten them too.
  3. If your fabric has a directional print or nap (like velvet or corduroy), pay extra attention to how you’re laying out your pattern pieces so every piece is facing the right direction. It all need to match up. The same principle goes...
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