After we introduced you to Susan, one of our talented seamstresses, I got to thinking that we should show you how our Kitenge shorts were created. Before I was a technical designer in the apparel industry and before I went to school for fashion design I thought that clothes just happened. I had no idea the amount of time and detail that went in to creating even the most simple t-shirt.
With Fashion Revolution Day on April 24th I thought that it would be fun to show you inside the process of creating our clothing, to get you asking "who made my clothes?"
One of the biggest lies that we hear is that massed produced apparel is not hand made. This couldn't be farther from the truth. So much more could be said here, but I will leave that for another day. . .
Before anything else, you have to start with an idea. Here is a sketch of our short with fabric swatch.
Next we create the sketch into a technical drawing. A technical drawing is going to feature all the little intricacies of the short, like what type of hem, closure, pockets, darts etc. The purpose for the technical drawing is so that seamstresses like Susan can look at it and understand what the short should look like.
Once the technical drawing is done we move to creating a tech pack. The tech pack has all the details about seam and stitch type along with trims like buttons, zippers etc. This is what Susan will look at to know how to sew the short. It could be compared to home sewing pattern instructions.
After the technical drawing, and tech pack, comes the pattern. We draft all patterns in-house.
Once we find the right fit we move to grading the pattern. This is taking our base size and grading it out to all the sizes that we are going to carry. Grading is an important process because we want to make sure that the fit stays proportionate as you move up and down in sizes. Here is a photo of our pocket pattern piece for the short. You can see that all the sizes are nested together, and shows just how the pattern grades from size 2 to size 12.
When everything looks good in our pre-production sample we move into production. This is where Susan shines! With her skills as a seamstress and understanding of patterns she crafts a perfect pair of shorts each time.
Here is the final short, ready to be worn and loved by you.
This Fashion Revolution Day, ask "who made my clothes?" Do you know?