I wanted to give you all a quick update on where I'm at in the pants prototyping phase.
Now that I've got a pretty darn good prototype, I've sent the pattern off to the grader to get the patterns for each size, and now the patterns are at the cutting factory along with the fabric, where all the pieces for the various sizes will be cut! Once they're ready, I'll be picking the pieces up and handing them over to the sample sewer, who will be sewing each size together!
With such a small lot size (6 pants, one each for sizes 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, and 24), the turnaround time is both faster and more expensive than a typical production run of hundreds of pants. It's faster, because I'll be getting from prototype to samples in the span of about 6 weeks, but also more expensive, because the per-unit cost is so high. A larger run enables us to cut through multiple layers of fabric at once, as well as have multiple sewing teams working on batches of pants at the same time. Both of these improve efficiency considerably, bringing the cost per pant down quite a bit.
Once the pants are all sewn up, I'll be meeting with a variety of fit testers!
The Fit Testers
I have been so delighted with the outpouring of support of fit testers from around the globe 😮 For this first round of testing, I've decided to focus on folks closer to home (I live in the San Francisco Bay Area), and it has been SO FUN to meet folks through video chat!
Once the pants are ready, I'll be hand-delivering the prototypes to each fit tester, and guiding them through the fitting process (all from 6 feet away, of course). Getting creative in the time of COVID is no small feat, but the show absolutely must go on, especially as folks get antsy to get outside as the weather in the Northern Hemisphere warms up 😊
For the other fit testers, fret not - I'll be reaching out to many of you soon! Based on the responses, it looks like I'll need to make trips to Portland, Oregon and Wellington, NZ (!!) when it's safe to travel again; until then, I welcome any creative suggestions for how to get pants to folks.
I want to remind folks that Alpine Parrot is still in the prototyping stage. I do not expect that this first run to be the run that eventually goes out into production! These pants will be meeting with some fit testing friends as soon as they're ready, and then there will be a round of pattern adjustments followed by some more cutting, sewing, and fit testing. Being so nimble and thanks to the quick turnaround of prototyping, I'm confident that I can get to some great pants that will go to production before the end of the year. I'll definitely keep y'all up to date with how progress goes, and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out! I look forward to hearing from you!!