Have you started watching Making the Cut? While the format is nothing new, we were stoked about the addition of seamstresses. The ability of a designer to translate their ideas to a seamstress is an important skill set. Did you notice this is the only communication they have? The entire garment failed or succeeded based on the information included in the designers tech packs.

Tim Gunn and contestant Ji Won Choi talk over one of her designs on Making The Cut. 
Creator: Jessica Forde, Jessica Forde Credit: Amazon Studios

While speaking with the contestants, the judges highlighted the importance of being able to sell your brand. They also celebrated a quick save when a garment had to be scraped. We’d like to highlight the fact that you could play a drinking game to the number of times the designers say ‘Tech Pack‘. This should key in on the importance of this documentation.

It didn’t take long for one of the hastily constructed tech packs to fail to make the grade. These designers are working under crazy circumstances and deadlines, but some days are like that. What can we learn from these designers tech packs?

Don’t leave this important document until last minute. It should never be an afterthought. The technical package is the blueprint of a garment. Would you start building a house without plans?

Tech Packs

At JLD-Studios we start with a tech pack and consider it a working document until the garment is approved and finalized. Our initial draft always includes sketches with technical call-outs, garment specs, and a cutter’s must. This allows our seamstresses to build out the prototypes.

In a less compressed development time frame, we may run 2-3 protos before finalizing the design. Having this base technical package allows us to track edits and keep construction methods consistent in each subsequent proto. Before we handover this document for production, we’ll also fill out Bill of Materials, logo and label placements, and any other specifics necessary to build the garment.

Despite our thoughts on tech packs, we’re still enjoying watching the design drama unfold and can’t wait for the next episodes to drop Friday. We may just have a cocktail ready.