Making our own T-Shirt, Part 4 – Materials selected, let’s go!

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Ok, here we are at part four of my story chronicling You and Who‘s journey to make “The Goodest Shirt Ever.”  Here are Parts 12, and 3. Part 3 took place from June to August – yes, it took about 3 months to research what it would take to make our own shirts. But, the real work was still ahead. We had selected our cotton supplier and the specific type of cotton we wanted to use, we found a great cut & sew factory, and they referred us to a nearby dye factory that also came highly recommended by Ned.

Now, there are two ways to handle the color of shirts: you either dye whole rolls of cotton and cut & sew from that, or you do what’s called garment dyeing.

With garment dyeing, you make all the shirts in white and then you dye them after the fact. It’s more versatile in that you can dye as many or as few as you want. I found that 400 shirts is the magic number when you choose garment dyeing. At 400, the per-shirt cost drops by about 2/3. I’ll explain our Indiegogo campaign in more detail in the next post, but this is why we really wanted to raise $64,000. That would have been about 1600 shirts (at $40/shirt) and with our 4 colors, would have hopefully broken down into 400 of each color.

Once we had our cotton supplier and our cut & sew and garment dyeing factories on board, the only thing left was to finally design custom Unisex and Ladies patterns for our shirts. In hindsight, I think we should have finalized patterns before we launched the Indiegogo campaign. But timing-wise, we knew we didn’t want the campaign to be going on in December. We actually wanted to make it so that the shirts could be done and delivered before Christmas.  So, we worked backwards from that. We figured that ending the campaign mid-November would give us plenty of time, so we decided to launch in early October. 

Needless to say, we missed that Christmastime goal by, oh… 3.5 months so far.

This step is definitely when we made our biggest mistake. We totally underestimated the time involved in the pattern making process. We had no idea it would take anywhere near this amount of time to finish 2 patterns. And worse yet, they’re still not finished.

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