Scraps of fabrics strewn about the floor. Two large (handmade and untreated) workbenches line the concrete walls. Nothing fancy here, no Pinterest worthy interior designing that’s for sure. It’s just us, with a roll of tracing paper, a few pencils, a sharp set of scissors and a small sewing machine. The coffee’s been poured and we’ve got Gary Vaynerchuck’s podcast blaring from the iPhone speakers. It’s pattern making day.
In reality, we shouldn’t call it pattern making “day,” because any designer will tell you the perfect pattern takes more than one day. We’ll probably be here for weeks, perfecting one armpit angel of one swimsuit top. But as the saying goes, "nothing good comes easy."
Every pattern will be made once, tested, tweaked, and then made again.
…and again, and again.
Welcome to the not-so-glamorous (yet we-still-love-it) behind the scenes of eco-swimwear designing.
Before being sent into production, every MAGDAKINEDESIGNS sample must be tested and perfected. Because it's a messy, time-consuming, and straight-up frustrating process, pattern making and sampling is a technique most designers immediately outsource. But not us!
Since starting MAGDAKINEDESIGNS, Magdalena has steadily developed her own technique for creating the perfect pattern and sample. And for now, she still enjoys every little bit of the process.
Here are five tidbits learned from a day in the studio with Magdalena:
1. Don't rush it. "This basic rule applies to most things in life, and especially to pattern making and sewing. If you rush it, you will make a mistake. If you try to sew too fast, your machine will jam. These are just the facts of life."
2. Sharp scissors and a good marker make all the difference! "I used to get all the fancy tools like rotary cutters and fabric pencils, but I've learned that nothing beats a classic pair of sharp scissors and a marker. Do you realize that rotary cutter blades rust in three hours in tropical weather!?"
3. Keep notes while you go. "My marker isn't just good for tracing visible lines on fabric, it also comes in handy to scribble down quick notes on the white board while I sew. Things like 'remove 2 inches on strap' or 'sew bottom seam before shoulder.' No matter how great I think my memory is, I'm always happy I took notes when I'm on day 3 and pattern number 13."
4. Every BODY is different. "We always try our samples on with different body types. A size medium will fit every size medium body just slightly different, and that's why humans are so beautiful."
5. Find yourself a good podcast. "Because unless you're a fashion designing unicorn, the perfect pattern will take some time...and you might as well take this time to learn something new. I personally have been stuck on Gary Vaynerchuck lately."