The Melbourne Review Issue 2 in which I explore the Meet your Maker campaign and fair employment in the fashion industry. Kindest thanks Ethical Clothing Australia for providing information and to Cue for providing the image of their patternmaker Melinda Sammut. My original submission included an interview with her that was cut from the print issue due to space restrictions. I need more fashion pages – if anyone knows anyone interested in taking out advertising get in touch.
Interview with Melinda Sammut, Pattern Maker at Cue
1. How did you become interested in being a pattern maker?
Fashion wasn’t ever a choice. From when I was a girl making dresses for my dolls that they ‘sold’ in their boutiques, I knew fashion was what I had to do. For as long as I can remember I enjoy looking at a garment and trying to work out in my mind what shape is needed to make it. Fashion and Patternmaking was a natural progression.
2. What does your average day involve?
As the Design Room manager I manage the workflow of the designs to the patternmakers, patterns to sample cutters and cut work to machinists to make sample garments for weekly ranges. I spend my day ensuring all deadlines are met and quality and fit standards are maintained. I attend fit meetings to communicate design and fit changes to the team. I also work as a pattern maker creating patterns and following my styles through to production and quality checking each style and communicating with manufacturers.
3. What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
Fashion is always changing, every week there is something new, exciting and inspiring. It is very rewarding to work on a quality product that you know someone will love! Working with & training young patternmakers and designers to keep the skills in Australia is unique to Cue and very rewarding as you can pass on your skills and knowledge.
4. Tell me about the most exciting garment you worked on?
It’s hard to pick just one exciting garment, but, a few years ago I worked on a dress which we wanted to get into store within a few weeks. We named it the ‘sweetheart’ dress. What was so exciting about it was how fast it was able to happen and that it was such a winner, we made lots of versions in many different fabrics – I still see people wearing it.
5. How does it make you feel when you see the finished garments?
It often surprises me that I still get excited every week to see a rack full of beautiful finished garments that were just sketches and fabric swatches weeks before. Especially when I see the weekly range working so well together.
6. Do you see people on the street wearing clothes you have worked on?
It’s always a thrill to spot someone in the street wearing Cue, especially if it is something I have worked on and they are looking fabulous. Even more special is when people find out you work at Cue, they have to tell you about an outfit that they loved and whether they wore it. So many people have a Cue story.