Developing soft goods design skills

Hey core77 community!

As a recent college graduate I have found myself in the incredibly lucky position of finding quick employment with a company I have great personal interest in (outdoor equipment, tents, backpacks, etc.). I can’t even begin to describe how incredibly happy I am to come to work everyday and work on such incredible projects! Time is flying as I can’t believe I have already worked here for a month.

My issue however is that my schooling hardly covered soft goods at all so as my co-worker has said I’m very much drinking from the fire hose. I’m looking for ways to supplement my lack of knowledge of this genre of design and be the best employee/designer I can be. Any advice on books, websites, tutorials, techniques, schools of thought, soft goods paradigms or ideas about the subject are appreciated! Even simple sewing tips are welcome!

Full Disclosure: I’m a very light user of this site but as far as I can tell most soft good post I have found here mainly focus on shoe design which is wonderful but not really what I need.

After 20+ years designing medical and scientific equipment, I found myself in same scenario, designing sewn structures with minimal knowledge of materials and techniques.

I visited several sewing vendors and just asked a lot of questions and watched the people at the equipment while my hosts were answering.I had someone teach me to sew, a few simple garments, but I learned fabrics, pattern adjustments, sewing process and problems and make-it-work techniques. And I read a lot of technical articles on fabric structures, tensioning, joining techniques, technical fabrics, etc. So, some self education and some professional help.

Definitely tinker, try to link up with a local resource. A lot of sites have bag makers or leather workers you can talk to. There is an art to a softwoods thing. I learned a lot just by going to factories and asking lots of dumb questions.

Hi Dixie_Designs! I ended up in a similar situation. I LOVE softgoods and want to steer my career in that direction, but in ID school, we really didn’t get any formal training on softgoods. So most of my experience is self education and my sewing classes from 4-H (when I was :sunglasses:.

I found this website called about 3 months ago. She has a ton of youtube tutorials on illustrator for tech packs, brush shortcuts, and line drawings. She also covers physical sewing techniques - I’m pretty sure she’s a fashion designer, but it all kinda merges together. It’s a good start for self education.

If you find any more resources or things that end up working for you, you should post them. I’d love to get some more ideas on softgood education! Good Luck!