If you’ve ever wondered what happens in our studio or how our garments end up in store, here’s a look at what our wonderful team – Esther, Fiela, Grethe, Loretta, Mikhailia, Lolly, Margot and Qudssiyah – gets up to behind the scenes.
Step 1: The concept
Each item that ends up on a store rail, whether ours or one belonging to one of our local or international suppliers, starts out as an idea in our studio; a drawing based on what we believe our customers want and need in their wardrobes. Margot and Grethe work together to design each item of clothing, ensuring that it is always beautiful and practical and that the silhouette complements the chosen fabric.
Step 2: The pattern
Once the drawing has been finalised, it’s time to draft the pattern. For this, we turn to one of our existing patterns to ensure that the sizing remains as close as possible to previous styles.
Step 3: The sample
With the pattern ready, it’s time to cut the first garment and make up a sample. Once this is fitted, we pin it and we take notes so that we can adjust the pattern and make any necessary changes. Sometimes this process happens once, other times it takes three or four attempts before we’re satisfied that we have the result we want. With the adjustments done, the pattern is graded into different sizes and the garment goes into production.
Step 4: The fabric
Our fabrics are sourced from local suppliers and delivered to our studio. While some fabrics arrive ready for cutting, some need to be shrunk, some undergo a wash process to soften them, and others are sent to the dye house where their amazing team dyes it one of our custom seasonal colours. Once the fabric has been washed, shrunk or returned from the dye house, Esther checks it for any imperfections and presses it to get it ready for cutting.
Step 5: The cutting
Qudssiyah oversees our cutting table. Here, she lays the patterns out on layers of cloth and cuts the pieces needed for the garment.
When all the pieces are ready, she tags them with a style name and sizing details, gathers the trims and labels and bundles them together. These bundles then move into our production box, ready for our sewing team (Fiela, Loretta and Lolly) to put together.
Step 6: The sewing
Loretta takes the bundles of fabric and begins to make up the set of garments. Typically, a set contains anywhere between six and 12 garments, which take her several hours to most of the day to complete. Once finished, she hangs them on the rail ready for checking.
Step 7: The final touches
Fiela checks the garments to make sure that everything is correct with the construction and that there are no loose stitches. If the garment requires buttons, Lolly marks and makes the buttonholes before Esther attaches the buttons.
The garment is now complete and ready for Esther to press and attach a swing tag to the sewn-in label. Grethe then steps in to add a price sticker to each swing tag and assign a destination to each garment. Wholesale orders are boxed and sent to the relevant South African or international supplier. Stock for our Roeland Street store is hung in a garment bag ready for delivery. And online orders are folded and packaged in our brand new plastic-free boxes for delivery to your door!