At By Grace, we are committed to creating beautiful, unique products that incorporate a taste of the exotic with the dependability of the known. We hope to produce a line of standard American styles with bold, vibrant Ghanaian patterns. And so far, we're pretty excited about the dresses that we have to offer. However, getting there took months and months of designing, redesigning, sewing, throwing away, sketching, starting over, fitting, redoing, reworking, and creating. Here's a little insight into our creative process:
1. Inspiration. We shop, browse, sketch, and brainstorm. We've gone through hundreds of styles and designs before we decide on the one that will actually become part of the line.
2. Design. We CAD (which just stands for Computer-Aided Design) the dress, so that we give finite lines and shapes to our style.
3. Patterns. To achieve consistency and to be able to appropriately size our garments, we have patterns created from the CADs.
4. Samples. We create a Pre-Production sample to make sure we like the direction we are headed. We pin and cut and rework this sample so that our pattern-maker knows where the adjustments need to be made, both aesthetically and in fit.
5. Fabric. Since all our fabrics are purchased in the local Ghanaian markets, our buyers and seamstresses often send us pictures of available prints to aid in our design decisions. If we happen to be in Ghana at the development phase of a style, we love going to the markets with our buyers. It is important to us that the fabrics selected have a Western African vibe while complementing our American styles.
6. Communication. We then send a perfected sample and the completed patterns to our talented seamstresses in Ghana, along with our sketches, CADs, and other images so that the women know exactly what they are expected to produce.
7. Production. Lamisi, Lydia, and the many other skilled By Grace seamstresses carefully craft each garment.
8. Quality Control. Each garment is inspected for flaws and sizing issues. We love that our garments aren't made in a factory, so each one is somewhat unique and special, but we do look for an overall consistency.
9. Wear Test. We wear the dresses ourselves to confirm fit, wearability, and overall aesthetic. (Also, we love them and are always anxious to see the fruits of our seamstresses efforts).
10. Dress-up. We sell the dresses to you and celebrate each unique woman who wears one of our By Grace originals.
Every dress is designed and sewn with you in mind, and we are thrilled to continue honing our process and creating more (and more) dresses for you!
Until next time,