Friday, 27 December 2013

West Africa Production - Phase Two: Samples

After doing preliminary design with Martha in Ghana, the next step was starting production in Senegal with our tailor, Diogomaye. On a Saturday afternoon I was invited over to Diogo’s family’s house in Parcelles – the Northern suburbs of Dakar, right next to the beach – super beautiful!

Diogo and I going over measurements

The first step was going over the first designs with Diogo, and seeing how these could be translated to the fabric we had purchased at Sandaga earlier in the week with Diogo’s cousin and Aunty. After reworking a few of the measurements, Diogo got to work in his atelier to produce the first lot of samples we would use to finalise the pieces we’d make for Madame Tay’s first production lot.

Diogo hard at work on our first pieces
Cutting table
Diogo at work at his atelier

After Diogo had completed 15 samples, I gathered a few of my friends to have a casual clothes fitting to see how the pieces worked and if we needed to do any adjustments. The clothes fitting turned into an impromptu photoshoot, here are a few shots:

It was really useful to see what the pieces looked like on a range of different sized women, and made me realise just how difficult correct sizing and fit could be. My friends were really helpful, and made plenty of suggestions to Diogo and me as to what should be changed. After taking lots of notes, and working out what pieces needed some work, Diogo and I set to making a few more samples, just to make sure we were on the right track.

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