I want to update you on the progress of the new slash pocket design. We've had some problems with the pattern grading and as a result the new style is going to be a month late. Below you can see why.
About Pattern Grading
To make clothing, a base pattern is made on a sample size - for example 32 in pants - and then given to a marking and grading company who translates the original pattern to the other sizes. The graders are the ones who know that to go from size 32 to 33, you add 1 inch in the waist, but only 1/4 inch to the knee.
To do this, they use software that recreates the pattern in the other sizes, and then makes printouts for the cutting room to use as templates when they cut.
To help you visualize it, here is a picture of all back panel sizes nested within each other. (You don't print this for cutting, only for analysis to look for problems.)
They're Just Pants, Right?
I always figured my approach to pants shouldn't be any great surprise to the pattern makers, grading people, and factory involved involved in my production. But what I've found is that small variations that are unique to my product can cause big problems. Below is a sample issue we had with the cell phone pocket:
This happened because as the waist sizes increased, the computer graded one side of the phone pocket, increasing its length. In reality, the pocket shouldn't grade at all.
Unfortunately, we've had a number of problems like this. Things like the upper leg grading with the inseam, confusion over how the pocket patterns fit together, and some others. Overall, we've had enough problems with the grading to set us back several weeks.
Why is This Happening?
One problem is that the cutting room and graders never speak to each other directly. So issues are found only once the patterns are printed and they reach the cutting room. When they find problems, the cycle starts over again. And this approach causes long delays.
The second is that graders are doing high throughput work, and you can feel they just want to get it done and out the door. It now seems the grader I was using wasn't taking enough time to analyze the details.
To fix this, I have hired a production quality control expert who will personally monitor each step of the process - not just look for issues at the end, but be involved each step of the way. And, I am switching to a new grading company that works more closely with the cutting room.
As a result, we're several weeks behind. The good news is the cut work has reached the factory, and sewing has begun.
In the above video, we are installing the facing on the pocketing. The women in the factory don't really like to be filmed, and you can hear other workers teasing the one I'm filming about what I might show.
11/18 - All pre-order pairs are scheduled to leave the factory.
11/22 - Arrive at the distribution center.
11/25 - Will be ready to ship to you.
This is a month behind the original pre-order delivery date.
If you need to change your order, or just want to vent, send me a note at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll sort it out.
Thanks for your support. My hope is that when you get your pants, you'll never want to take them off.