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Kathleen Fasanella’s book – EG to SPM

BellaGabriella | Posted in General Discussion on

Sorry – Not enough room to fit the title, “The Enterpreneurs Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing.”

Does anyone have access to the table of contents for this? I checked her website and she mentions lean manufacturing and Deming. I have worked in mfg for 28 years and am familiar with these terms. I’m wondering what the rest of the book contains.

Can anyone volunteer any information on this?




  1. jjgg | | #1

    The book will really help you understand how to organize yourself, to run a business. It's not a book oh how to manufacture, but how to be a DE (Design Entrepreneur) Anyone wanting to start a design business should read it. Now, if you are only planning to do one offs- meaning you get an order and you make it - custom work, then it's not the book for you, but if you plan on designig a 'line' and having people buy what you have made then read it twice.

    The book was a required text book in my 'collections' class. I am not a DE, I do custom work, but I found it to be a very valuable edition to my library.

    The table of contents;
    1- a newcomer's guide to the trade
    2- How to plan a line
    3- Market
    4- Production
    5 - improving Quality control
    6- management and trends

    that sounds so cold and clinical, but the book is a wonderful resource of info you wont' find in other books on the subject.

    1. scrubble4 | | #2

      BellaGabriella and jjgg:  I just received my copy.  I am not a professional sewer, designer or manufacturer.  I read the reviews of other home sewers on Kathleen's blog and thought it worth a look. 

      In addition to jjgg notes which I agree with, there is fabulous information for the home sewer. 

      The overlap for me between the home sewing audience and the design entrepreneur is in Kathleen's explanations of fit, ease, how the body moves and needs to be fit, how the body looks at different ages, etc.  I was stunned at the information I learned that I had not seen anywhere else. 

      There is a whole section on what is quality that is completely applicable to any sewer.  For manufacturers, she is very crisp and clear about mistakes, some that will instantly cause you problems and some that will produce a slow death.  She explains why some large manufacturers can absorb mistakes that a smaller manufacturer cannot afford to make.  I enjoy her writing voice and style as well as the information. 

      Since I have just received it I am sure there is a lot more that I haven't read and will benefit from when I get to read it. 


  2. sewanista | | #3

    Kathleen's book is pretty much a step by step guide to producing sewn products, aimed at helping newbies jump the gap between hobbyist and professional. She's very no-nonsense, practical and emphasises efficiency. If you want to know what she has to say about lean and Deeming, visit her enormous and comprehensive blog at http://www.fashion-incubator.com and search her archives. It's a huge interest of hers, and one of the members of her forum has guest blogged about the process of implementing lean principles in his small company. Her forum is for people who have bought her book, to ensure that everyone is on the same page, which reduces redundant or irrelevant enquiries, (very efficient) and reducing daytrippers, which ensures the quality of commentary is as high as possible.

    I have her book, and visit her blog daily (or I can't keep up) and it has changed my life. Literally. I have now produced and am selling my own range of plus-size clothing, thanks in a large part to the advice, assistance and encouragement I have received from her and her network. Her book has more useful content than the two years I spent at fashion school.

    1. BellaGabriella | | #4

      Jigg, Scrubble, and Sewanista,

      You certainly have peaked my interest. Her website is massive - to say the least - and she seems to add to it regularly.

      I will be in MI next week on business (my day job) but will have to order it when I get back.

      Thanks for all your comments.

      1. jjgg | | #5

        You're welcome, and good luck with your business. It can be done.

  3. ctirish | | #6

    Go to Amazon.com and put the title in the search box.  About 15 copies came up that are for sale at a cost of $60.00 each. 


    1. ctirish | | #7

      I can't believe this, I just went back to check on the books on Amazon and when I typed in the name - this time I didn't find anything... I don't know where they went too.

      Third time, I went back and used her name to look up the books. The author is selling the books and it comes with an invitation to join her forum. 



      Edited 3/9/2008 1:53 am ET by ctirish

  4. KathleenFasanella | | #8

    Hi Nancy

    You asked about the Table of Contents; available here:

    Back off the url, select "my book" and you can read several chapters free.

    You ask about Deming and Lean...this is a long standing interest of mine. The process described in my book is "pull" rather than what's become popular lately ("push"). I am emphatically opposed to the latter. If you have a background in manufacturing, you more than most, will find strong resonance with your experience. Caveat: you may be dismayed to learn apparel manufacturers in general, are known to fail to develop best practices -much to my endless dismay. Apparel isn't known as "dumb bunny" manufacturing for no reason. Hopefully, I'm changing that (one company at a time!). And yes, I'm quite pleased to see companies growing and adopting these strategies very successfully. To whit, one client is cutting, sewing and shipping to order (even ONE ITEM) within 24 hours of order -to consumers directly. Actually, it's for that reason that even custom clothiers find the book useful.

    The book also includes a lot of information correcting "common knowledge"; most of that is closer to urban myth than reality. It doesn't take as much money to start a company as people are led to believe either. Similarly, one doesn't need a design school background to make a go of it. Most of the *successful* designers I know (about 70%) never went to design school. At least half don't even sew. Of course, if you do, this can be both a help and a hindrance -depending on how much mythinformation about "industrial sewing" one has ingested :). Lastly, just as skills among home sewers run the gamut; it's likewise true for manufacturing. Manufacturing need not force the trade off of quality over quantity, only if one chooses to make it so.

    Hope that answers your questions.

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