I have been fascinated by the book Simple Modern Sewing by Shufu To Seikatsu Sha. She takes 8 patterns and gives instructions on how to make 25 different styles from them.
Here is an example from the book. She made one wrap dress (on the left), and modified the pattern to make two different styles by changing a few details and the fabrics. Most fashion companies do the same thing, for a variety of reasons:
- Cost Every time a brand new design is created, it has to be draped or drafted, fitted, altered, and fitted again. This requires the use of a patternmaker, a fit technician, and a fit model. This is expensive. If you just modify an existing pattern, you can eliminate a lot of these steps.
- Time When developing a brand new style, there i always the chance that it will just never come out the way you want it to. If you are working with a new pattern that has to be fitted and fitted again, you could run the risk of not having it in time for market. That would be a lot of time and effort wasted.
- Bestsellers If you had a style that sold out for one season,, it would be silly to just put it on the sample rack and forget about it. By changing a few details and the fabric of a bestselling style for a new season (for example, making a bestselling coverup in a warm fabric and selling it as a winter wrap), you can extend your selling season.