We interveiwed Fran the Owner and Head Pattern Cutter at The Pattern Room to share her background and what she loves most about her work.
I have worked as a garment tech for about ten years. During this time I worked in many positions learning the garment production business inside out. I had the opportunity to set up the garment tech department at JW Anderson. With the growth of the brand, the department was required and It took 3 seasons to get the processes in place to have the pre-production done in house. Now I am doing the same thing with The Pattern Room, it's a pre-production studio for small brands. I created the studio because I saw there was an underserved start-up market, I wanted to create something that would help materialise designer's visions, no matter what their professional background.
There are a lot of designers new to the world of pre-production. The Pattern Room not only offers services but we act as a portal to the world of fashion, talking our clients through every step of the process. I love seeing designers' visions and bringing them to life, it's an amazing part of the job! I love when we complete a toile to exactly what our client envisioned.
What are your plans for The Pattern Room?
"Growth, branching out into grading, digitising and expanding our Pattern Room team."
What do you think about before cutting a pattern?
" Construction of how the pieces will fit together to create a 3D garment. If I don't know how to do something I will lay in bed at night putting it together in my head before putting it down on paper. I love a challenge. If issues ever come up for super complex patterns, I will do a mock-up toile for myself before putting it on paper."
What's the weirdest thing you've ever had to pattern cut?
" I can't tell you I signed an NDA. But I once was asked to make a pattern for a sex suit featuring a very long zip"
If you had to cut a pattern for an animal what would it be?
" Probably a little otter wet suit"
What are your top three favourite tools?
" My pattern master, a Japanese tracing wheel and my diary!"