A Fit Session & Why It's Important in Fashion Industry
The fitting garment is one of the most exciting parts of the pre-production stage, as you can finally see your product come to life. The fitting session also allows you to tangibly evaluate your garment. If you’re not a professional seamstress or aren’t used to making patterns, you might not be familiar with conducting a fitting session or even what you should be looking for. Lucky for you, we’ll guide you through the entire process in this blog.
What is a fit session?
The fit session is where the designer and technical team meet and assess the fit of a sample garment or collection.
During the fit session, the design team used their target size and shape model to try the garment. Based on how the product fits and looks, the design team will take notes and request any necessary changes. The technical designer then communicates all the changes to the manufacturer using the Fit Sheet part of the tech pack.
A fit session is also an excellent way to do quality control of a product. Technical designers take measurements of the sample they receive and compare it to the measurements in the tech pack to check if the difference is within the tolerances.
If the sample’s measurements greatly differ from the tech pack, it is marked red and sent back to the factory to make adjustments.
Most brands usually work through 2-4 sampling rounds before finalising the product’s look and fit.
Fit sessions are the first preview of how the garments will look and fit on your target customer. They’re necessary to help find design mistakes early on and greatly help cut production expenses.
The primary purpose of a fit session is to test the garment on a model of the size target before moving onto the production stage. During the fit session, designers may change the design, choose a different fabric or tweak the sizing.
Conducting a fit session
Fit sessions are usually held in person. The design team works with a model with the shape and size of their target customer. They check the garment’s fit and comfort and review the feedback given by the model if there is any.
Here are a few points for effective feedback:
- Ask questions and offer opinions
- Bring any reference garments so they can compare samples
- Take pictures of the garment
- Note down the changes and share them with the pattern maker
When the team agrees with all the changes, all pictures and notes will be taken and the information shared with the technical designer so they can make changes to the tech pack accordingly.
The tech pack will require a new date with all the information about the changes. The style numbers also need to change according to the prototype number.
Once the tech pack is updated, the design team will send it to the manufacturer and make a new fit sample. This whole process will repeat until the final sample gets approved.
How often should you do a fit session?
We would love to write ‘as often as needed’, but it’s not always that simple. When planning, we may allow for 4 samples and fit sessions but aim to only need 3 sessions. During the first fit session, pre-production (sent for approval before making the stock) and shipping sample (sent after the stock is ready but before it’s shipped so we can check for any issues). You may need some extra fit samples.
You may have as many as 6 samples on some really complex styles, but this is rare and usually happens because the factory didn’t follow instructions.
This might be a lot of information, but fit sessions are the key to your product’s success. They help spot issues before you start putting your product for your customers and help you become a better designer.
You will discover the most effective ways to communicate your changes to your patternmaker and learn the lingo in the process. We hope this blog has answered your question of fit sessions and how to conduct them. Have fun and Goodluck in developing a beautiful product that fits well!