Alison Hoenes in home office

Hi, I’m Alison Hoenes (pronounced ‘Hay-nes’).

As a fashion designer and business owner, you have a clear vision for the unique clothes you want to make and the niche customer you want to make them for. However, getting those designs from sketch to production can be a challenge – especially when you care about doing things the right way. You get nervous about the lack of transparency, feel powerless when it comes to the technical details that ensure product quality, and are afraid the things you don’t know will lead to mistakes that will cost you your company’s cash or reputation. This doesn’t have to be your experience forever. I believe you can be in control of creating fashion that fits.

I’m a freelance patternmaker who helps women’s slow fashion brands confidently get their designs to production without compromising fit, vision, or values. The end result: you get to enjoy the smiling faces of your customers wearing your designs and feel good about the path it took to get there!

I truly enjoy all the technical details that go into making flat yards of fabric fit a three-dimensional body. I have so much fun working with brands like you to make clothes that fit – developing clothing that makes your customers feel confident and developing confidence in you along the way.

My childhood love of sewing doll clothes is what sparked my interest in fashion. That interest became a personal necessity as I started altering or making my own clothing from a young age because off-the-rack clothes never seemed to fit me. After getting my B.F.A. in Fashion Design, I worked as a patternmaker and product developer in womenswear before starting my own business in 2017 to help you get your designs to production with confidence.

I also host the How Fitting® podcast –  the bi-weekly podcast where you’ll hear how relatable fashion design entrepreneurs fit their customer, lifestyle, and values, meet factories, and learn practical tips from experts so you can create a perfect fit in your fashion business.

I’m an active member of Fashion Group International and have served multiple roles on the FGI Saint Louis regional board.

I’m based in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA and work with brands across the US and abroad.

Here’s what you can expect from working together:

"You asked alot of questions and taught me things so I could make better decisions. You make it easy!" -- KaLeena

Questions (and answers)

If you work with me, you can expect me to ask a lot of questions and it is something my clients appreciate. Why? Because I want to be sure I understand your vision for the style, who your customer is and how she will use the garment, and what things would make this style successful for your business.

There are lots of moving pieces, decisions to make, and challenges to overcome with developing apparel products and the path that leads to the perfect fit for your brand and customer will only become clear if both you and I know what the goal is. Thoughtful consideration of all the details and options always shows in the final product!

During the initial design meeting, fittings, and throughout the development process, I ask questions rather than make assumptions so I can make the most fitting recommendations. The questions go both ways, too! My clients and people on my newsletter list are always asking me questions as well which I love to answer. (You can join my email list here.)


How to get your designs made in the fashion industry can seem like a mystery or feel overwhelmingly complicated. My goal is to help you get your designs to production with confidence and part of that means I am transparent about what the process looks like and what it takes to get you there.

When you run a business – and especially when you are starting a business – knowing what to expect and what the cost will be is SO helpful in planning your next step. As a small busines owner, I’m right there with you. It is hard to weigh options and consider what investments will grow my business when I don’t know what something will really cost in the end and what the results will be.

That is why I give you all the details – timeline, process, what you’ll need, what the cost is, and what any potential risks I see are – right from the very beginning. You’ll be able to plan out your next steps and run the numbers so you can plan for profitability BEFORE you’ve put any time or money into development.

"I loved the transparency (process, cost, timeline). The whole timeline (from idea to final files) has been much quicker, transparent, smoother, and more professional." -- Magda
"With your experience, technical knowledge and the development package services, I knew that I would have the necessary things that will be ready to hand off to a production partner." -- Nics

Technical Knowledge

Over the years, I’ve worked for and with dozens of brands and factories. I’ve seen the common challenges brands face, how factories like to see patterns formatted, and what fit issues to watch for. I get to see how dozens of my clients’ brands run their businesses, develop their designs, and produce their products and I’ve had conversations with dozens more brands on the How Fitting podcast about those same topics. Every brand is slightly different, but they have so much in common as well.

Having had all these experiences and conversations, I’m able to help my clients avoid common mistakes and challenges and provide them with all the industry-standard pattern files and technical details they need for smooth onboarding with a factory. This technical knowledge and attention to detail is a reason why many of my clients work with me. (And I’m extra proud when the factory seamstresses tell me that they love my patterns!)

What would it mean for you and your business if the technical details that are holding you up were no longer a concern?

Genuine Care

My friends tell me I’m the person they go to when they need the rational advice, but want it from someone they know has got their back. I think many of my clients feel the same way.

I want to see you succeed and I care about how each garment fits your customer and your business. What that looks like is that I’m there to answer your questions so you can get your designs to production with confidence.

It is why I provide so many free resources (blog posts, podcast, mini courses, etc.) for you to grow your fashion business knowledge. It also means that I’ll be honest with you about any concerns or risks I see so we can work through the options together to find the best fit for your business and project.

"Your engery, patience, and kindness made the process go a lot smoother. I also liked your feedback/recommendations. These things makes someone feel like you genuinely care about the success of the garment." -- Sydney
"You really helped me simplify it [the design] and subtly gave me a bit more confidence in putting them to market for the first time." -- Olivia


When it comes down to it, developing clothing is really about developing confidence. As a designer, you get to develop confidence for your customer by equipping her with clothes that fit her body, lifestyle, and personality. As a patternmaker, I work with you towards that end for your customers.

But, as we are developing garments for your customer, I also want to develop confidence in you. Confidence to put your designs out there even when it feels vulnerable, confidence to grow a business that fits your lifestyle and values, and confidence that you have everything you need prepared to go into production like an industry pro.

Are you ready to get your designs to production with confidence?

See what more clients have said:

“I loved the transparency (process, cost, timeline) and your expertise, as well as your amazing reputation in the field (I spoke to MANY people while searching for a new partner).

It has freed out my time as a business owner and allowed me to have peace of mind (priceless!). I can’t wait to bring our new (and updated) designs to my customers.

The whole timeline (from idea to final files) has been much quicker, transparent, smoother and more professional. The delivery and the format of the files — 100% satisfaction and no follow up questions from the factory.”

— Magda, Founder + Designer
MLM Brand

“”Working with Alison allowed us to move forward with production confidently and helped us refine our size and grading charts. Alison was very professional which made it easy to work together. She listened to our requirements and provided creative solutions.”

— Nazia, Designer + Founder

“Working with Alison has allowed us to release more new silhouettes because of the timely turn around of her patterns and her ability to be precise in the first round of edits. A well executed pattern is the backbone of well-made clothing and Alison has ensured ours are executed to the highest standard.

Alison has worked with us to expand our sizes range, from 00-24, while maintaining our fit standards throughout. Long term, working with her has allowed us to have more new releases, growing our product offerings, and in turn, growing our sales.”

— Chrissy, Designer + CEO

“With your experience, technical knowledge and the development package services, I knew that I would have the necessary things that will be ready to hand off to a production partner by the end of this process. I have been able to use your graded patterns and tech packs to make more samples for my photoshoot and use them to start the first run of a small batch production for my launch collection. The production partner mentioned that your tech packs are very well made and detailed. I definitely agree!”

— Nics, Owner + Designer

“I feel a lot more comfortable with growing my brand because I feel working with you I can consistently create and produce quality garments which will allow my business to have a good reputation to customers and manufacturers. A lot of people told me these designs are too complicated and you really helped me simplify it and subtly gave me a bit more confidence in putting them to market for the first time.”

— Olivia, Owner + Designer
Olivia Rae Designs

“While the quality of a garment is measured by its finishing touches, the fitting is measured by the pattern making and you know it. We have found in you a trustworthy and patient partnership who helped us in a very critical moment of the production with half our collection developed across the country. You made the process smooth and enjoyable. We can’t thank you enough!”

— Sophie, Co-Founder CEO

“You asked a lot of questions and taught me things so I could make better decisions. The final deliverables are impressive! I am so happy with what I received and appreciate the detail that went into it. You made it easy! Designing pieces in 3 – 6 months rather than 12+ months.”

— KaLeena, Founder + Designer
J. Margaret Weaver

“The greatest challenge I had before reaching out to you, was to find someone in the St. Louis area that could not only draft patterns, but who was also capable of developing a style according to industry standards with technical abilities. I’m realizing this seems to be a difficult task no matter where a designer is located, so I’m thankful to have found you!

Aside from budgeting reasons, I had no hesitation to work with you. I found out quickly that your service has been worth every penny in the end and probably helped save me more money and frustration in the long run.”

— Victoria, Designer
Potion 23 by Victoria Cates

“I really liked working with you the most. Your energy, patience and kindness made the process go a lot smoother. I also liked your feedback/ recommendations. These things makes someone feel like you genuinely care about the success of the garment.”

— Sydney, Designer
Sydney Smotherson

“My only hesitation was financial. Starting your first manufactured line has a lot of costs upfront that feel risky. But it was either invest in someone who knew what they were doing or risk working with someone who didn’t which would cost me more down the line when I got to the actual manufacturing part. So going forward with you became a really easy decision.

I learned SO much from you. You went above and beyond talking to the factory and making sure things translated over to their system so that everything was accurate. I will be back again :)”

— Kaite, Owner
Katie Pritchard Designs

“It is my pleasure to recommend Alison Hoenes. Alison’s technological prowess and skillset was key in initiating many facets of our company in her 3 years of work with us at Whimsy Rose/Before+Again. Her expertise allowed us to do many things we were simply unable to do before her arrival at our company. Alison is also incredibly reliable, hardworking, and organized.”

— Jon, Creative Director
Whimsy Rose

“I enjoyed working with Alison, because I explained my worries about working with another grader & she did her best to improve upon that & really helped with her professional feedback!”

— Maria, Owner + Designer
Seven Flock