Happy Spring! Spring feels so good this year. Our work seems to be in sync with the seasons. A few weeks ago I sent the first 5 Boss Blouse pattern files to Sew Co., our new manufacturing partner in Asheville, North Carolina. As you might imagine – a fare amount of work goes into adapting our blouse work that was going to be entirely under one roof here in West Virginia, to share the manufacturing work with our partner in North Carolina. However all these updates feel like improvements and leveling up with our work – making our patterns easier to read and keep organized for outside groups. It also made me painfully aware of the places where we chose not to invest in technologies like the software to efficiently place all the pattern pieces on the fabric. I found myself moving the pattern pieces around the computer screen by hand so the team at Sew Co. can efficiently roll out the paper with the pattern pieces and layer it directly over the fabric to cut it out in one go (and no – I’m not naturally good at tetris).
I will also admit that it was hard for me to let go of the patterns. I had worked on them for so long and it was an important moment for me to hit “send” and pass the work on to an outside group – even though I know Sew Co. well and trust them with our work.
Next up was getting the yokes ready to finish the embroidery on the remaining blouses from the first round of five that will be made in North Carolina. It is admittedly awkward to have the production split across two states and yet that’s where we are at. Our local embroidery partner does lovely work – Warehouse Clothing – and so we are continuing to partner with them for this first round of blouses. Our goal is to have all the materials, embroidered yokes included to Sew Co. during the first half of May so that they can start making some final blouses. And then I will be turning my attention back to the remaining six blouses to finish out the process of fitting muslin blouses in preparation for a second round of blouses to be made in North Carolina.
At the end of these two rounds of blouses our goal is to identify the cost of producing made to measure blouses with what we like to think of as our minimum viable production process so we can make decisions about where to go next with this work.
Thank you so much for all your support and patience with this effort. I hope this finds you enjoying a lovely start to the Spring.
Go, fight, win.