Frequently Asked Questions
The answers you’re looking for are always at your reach when you choose to do business with Sew Studio. We’re constantly updating our FAQs in order to reflect important company updates. If you can’t find the answers you’re looking for, please reach out - our team is always ready to help.
How do I get started with Sew Studio
Your first step is to book an appointment. You may select the free initial consult if you are unsure of where to start, or you can select the option you are ready to begin at.
Once we verify Sew Studio can assist you, review our Terms & Conditions and send them back. We will get you into our system and get started on your project.
What types of products can you make?
We currently make a wide variety of products and accessories. We can sew both knits and woven as well as hand sew specific details. Our clients range in price point from moderate to designer. We develop men's, women's, children's, and all types of genres.
Here is a short list of items we typically DO NOT take - leather (or extremely heavy materials), bridal, some formal wear, lingerie, puffer jackets, and other thick quilted type designs. We do not have a flat lock machine that is popular with athletic wear.
We have taken on patentable design projects, technology products, and other unique and heavily detailed items. Our skillset in product development is fit and we strive for the perfect fit and alignment with everything we create. Design is an ever evolving process and we continue to work towards perfection beyond the sampling stage.
How much should I plan to invest in the product development stage?
What’s the minimum order amount?
We do not have a MOQ. You can order as few as one item and up. We do caution that ordering one is not a cost effective method for selling units, but it can work to get you started. We work with every brand to ensure that whatever your request in quantity is, that we make sure it makes sense for both of us. We want you to be successful and we can work together to find an amount that you can become profitable from.
Our Production Line:
Note: Production Line is OPEN for 2023 -
Our goal at Sew Studio is to help small to mid sized brands launch and test new products. Our current clients have grown their businesses and as a result of their loyalty and success, our ability to add new brands to the line has become limited during certain times of the year.
We do not block our line off for any one company and it will always be first come first serve.
Larger orders are broken down into smaller quantities (below 300 units) so we can continue to serve those who need fewer quantities. We do not want to loose site of why we started this business! We want our successful brands to move out to larger manufacturers and come back to launch and test new designs. We appreciate the love and loyalty of each and every one of our clients. We are proud of your successes and look forward to launching new products with you in the future!
As a result of our capacity limits we will now limit the number of units per company and will refine our list to only those products we develop and accept others as capacity allows. We are happy to help bridge out brands to other manufacturers and help make that transition smooth. We want you to outgrow us! We will continue to provide product development and consulting and will bring any products to our line we can fit without compromising quality and timelines in the process.
How do I know where I am in the process?
These are the steps we follow. During the initial consult we will ask you if you have these items. If not, they need to be created or developed. If you have them, we will work through the process until you reach the point of needing Sew Studio's assistance.
This is the process of launching a brand and then the development cycle - these apply to every company.
Brand Set up:
Size Chart - The body inside the garment - not product measurements for apparel. All others can be specified measurements of item. One time cost and you will need a size chart for every demographic you represent.
Slopers - Basic pattern of body that all products for your brand should be developed from. These should be one time costs other than reprints.
Product Design Process - Repeat these steps for each season/release.
Product Design - Sketch, illustration, flat, or inspiration photos or drawings that provide a front, side, and back view
Patterns - Finished patterns that meet the specifications provided by the size chart.
Sample - Initial Sample to test the fit and function of the pattern for your design. There are about 7 different sample types. You should know and understand the function of the sample stage you are in. **A fit test should be done and then upon all changes and approval to move to production (or the next sample stage if applicable)
**Fit Test - This is the stage where you test the viability of the sum of all design/materials/functional/brand needs. Any changes move the process to repattern/resample and then repeat. This is a step within the "Sample" step.
**Approve design to go into Production ***
Note: Various Sample Types - These all have separate functions and varying degrees of "done" (but not limited to these, or the iterations thereof). Your expectations should be aligned to the stage and sample type you are ordering.
Mock up, Initial Sample, Costing Sample, TOP Sample, Colorway(s) Sample, Size Run Samples, etc.
Production Set UP
Digitize / CAD set up - The process of bringing in patterns into the CAD to prepare for production.
Grade - The development of the various sizes in your size chart (if applicable).
Tech Pack - The document that holds all of the final information for the approved sample and specifications for the manufacturer to repeat.
Production Order - Submit your production order form. How many sizes, colorways, etc..
Prepare for Production - CAD set up - create markers, run utilization, prepare order adjustments and cut layouts.
Quality Control & Packaging - Outline of your branding requirements for finishing your production order.
*Laundering, pressing, folding, packaging, tagging, etc. are additional services beyond production. Be sure to prepare for the post production services that may be needed.
Every product is slightly different, but I recommend budgeting $1500-$2500 per design. This should be able to take you from concept to production ready. The most important part of the design process is that you are concise in your decision making regarding style lines and materials.
How do you price your services?
Pricing is always an important question, but it’s impossible to give an exact amount or even a fair estimate without the details of your request. Our rates don’t fluctuate based on project type. Product complexity, equipment needs, and labor hours dictate your order cost. We’re constantly working to optimize our processes so we can pass those savings on to you.
In order to help our clients take control of their timelines and budgets, you can prepay for your services and book the service you need on the day in which you want it completed. You can pay for each step one by one, or select an all-inclusive option. We will give credits where there is unused time.
For those with more unique needs, we will give you an estimated general breakdown of time. This will give you an advanced idea of how much your specific product will need to be developed.
For production needs, we will provide a per piece quote based on your order request once we make the costing sample. This is for you to approve our work and allows us to provide you an accurate quote for costing.
Labor is an essential part of your product development for many reasons. Our approach to hiring staff is to keep overhead low by curating a team that is talented, skilled, educated, and passionate. We have no desire to compete with China or other locations with extremely low labor costs. We’re a relatively small staff, but we hold the technical skill, knowledge, and experience that surpasses most design staff and manufacturing facilities. We believe in and engage in fair labor wages and fair labor practices.
We are not likely to be the cheapest option in manufacturing because we pay a fair wage to employees and contractors. However, we’ve proven to reduce costs for our clients, year over year through accuracy, consistency, and technical expertise.
Our clients hire us for our commitment to quality and attention to detail, without compromising our values or your products. We strive to be the premiere boutique clothing manufacturer in the U.S. for small to mid-size companies and individuals, and we look forward to serving you.
We charge a flat hourly rate for all pre-production services of billable time. This means all processes - consulting, patterning, CAD development, sampling, etc. is charged hourly. The easiest way to estimate is calculate one our per service you intend to use and add additional time for any rework you request.
What is billable time? Any time in which we are directly working with you or on your order. As an example, if you request a consult - that is billable per hour. If I am working on your patterns and call you to ask a question, you will be billed for patterning - the conversation is included, we do not charge separately for that time. If we have a 1.5 hour meeting about your production order to prepare all files, you will be billed for that time. Each of these scenarios is dedicated time to your order and you will be billed accordingly. You can read more about this in our Terms & Conditions. You should never be surprised by any invoice if you have read our Terms & Conditions and you have submitted an order form for your request. With these, you can properly estimate our time for your particular ask.
Other Popular Questions?
Can we sign an NDA? - We offer all of our clients blanket confidentiality and all of our employees sign an NDA that covers your business as well as a No Compete. Since we are typically unable to sign third party NDA's, this was our solution to help protect our clients to the most reasonable extent possible. As a specified line item in our Terms, it is also stated that we will not become a part owner/partner with any client. This further draws the line that there will be no ownership to any product by any client of Sew Studio.
What products can we make? - We can make everything from apparel, to accessories, medical devices, and we prototype many R&D type products or other technology based works that there isn't a great category for. We can sew both knits and wovens. We do not do outerwear like puffy jackets and others that are extremely thick.
Do you have labels/fabrics?
We do not make labels, textiles, or embroidery but we can help you source all of these items.
Will Sew Studio become part owner of my business? - While we appreciate the sentiment of those who want to share, it is our goal to help you become successful! To be an objective partner in your venture, we will not invest or engage in any ownership agreements with any client of Sew Studio or its product.
Selling samples - Samples are not meant to be sold. Samples are a record for your business and may be used for marketing purposes, but they should remain owned and on-hand for the company to reference construction, changes, and/or to be used as a "sew by". Samples are rarely perfect and if they are, you still need a record. Typically you should have multiple samples - one for your records, one for your manufacturer (or multiple if in multiple facilities) and all samples should be identical and accurate to tech pack specifications. It is common to have variations, but remember that any deviations is an area for potential mistakes to be made by the user of the sample.
Tech packs - Tech packs come last in product development - not first. The tech pack is the sum of all decisions made upon approval of a final sample. You do not have this information if you have not approved a FINAL sample. Sketches and concepts come first. This is a very common mistake that is costly when you have to pay for the same service twice. Misuse of the term Tech pack is a likely cause of miscommunication in this area. It is helpful to have drawings, sketches, concepts, but this information is NOT a tech pack. It is more likely to be a mood board, sketches and/or illustrations for visual representation of your idea.