The Hand-making Process of a Fairy Tong Dress

A beautiful end product can often mean the journey of its making is forgotten. Our dressmakers are integral to the shaping of Fairy Tong. Therefore, we want to celebrate the artistry and hard work that goes on behind the scenes, ensuring these wonderful practices receive the appreciation and recognition they deserve.
Every single stitch is our love letter to you.

The Studio and the Factory

All our garments are designed in London and were handmade in our small studio between 2020-2022 in Guangzhou, China. Guangzhou has Asias largest textile market and is renowned for its quality fabrics and is also a place that Tong (founder of Fairy Tong) is proud to call home. Starting from 2022, due to increased demand for our dresses, we now have a reputable factory partner(family business) and dedicated seamsters who have more than 20 years of experience in making high end wedding gowns.
(Our factory partner in Guangzhou)

 Handmade is Magical

Every single item in Fairy Tong is handmade by a highly-skilled single seamster, the sewing itself can take around 16 hours per dress. Not to mention the whole dress-making process which includes making and cutting the patterns, cutting the fabrics, sewing, steaming, sewing the accessories and quality control, etc.
Today, we are so excited to show you the hand-making process of our Flower Diamond Sequin dress. Tong travelled from London to Guangzhou in March 2023 and stayed at the factory for a week, all photos in this blog were taken by Tong.
(The digital design of the Flower Diamond Sequin dress)

 Hand-making Process

Step 1: Pattern-making (8 to 16 hours)
The pattern is the template from which the parts of a garment are traced onto fabric before being cut and assembled. Typically our dress patterns take 1-2 full days to be made, our pattern maker Mr Zhou said.
(The digital pattern of the Flower Diamond Sequin dress)
Once the digital pattern is made, we then print it on pattern papers. For example, the pattern of the Flower Diamond Sequin dress in a size S needs 15 meters of pattern papers. We have 15 standard sizes plus custom size and each size needs another pattern to be printed as they have different measurements.
 (The paper pattern of the Flower Diamond Sequin dress)
Step 2: Fabric Quality Check (15 mins)
Mrs Liao has very good eyes when it comes to spotting any flaws on the fabrics, even though she is now almost 60 years old. She would put stickers on the spot if anything looks imperfect, so our pattern cutters can exclude it during the cutting.
Step 3: Cutting the Patterns and the Fabrics (2-4 hours)
The pattern paper is then cut by 2 pattern cutters at the same time. It takes each of them around 2 hours to finish all the cutting which includes: the floral embroidered tulle, the pink tulle and the lining.
 This step is especially important in bespoke/custom tailoring as the garments are made based on specific measurements.
Step 4: Sewing the dress (11-14 hours)
Our dress maker Mr Yang is one of the most experienced dressmakers in this factory as well as in the industry, who has over 27 years of dress-making experience and is specialised in wedding gowns. Even he would need 11-14 hours to finish the making of the Flower Diamond Sequin dress.
Due to our intricate dress designs, only the seamsters with the highest level of skills can finish the making by oneself. We are so proud and grateful to work with some of the best craftsmen in the industry!
Step 5: Steaming (0.5-1 hour)
Did you know that steam isnt just used for removing creases, its indispensable throughout the garment production process. Steam removes the risk of over-shrinking during production, kills bugs and bacteria that linger on clothes and preserves clothing and helps them last longer. 
Mr Yang steams the Flower Diamond Sequin dress at least twice, once during the making and once when the dress has been made. 
Step 6: Sewing the accessories (1 hour)
Now the dress is almost finished and waiting for its final steps. It looked quite stunning already!
Mrs Zhang hand-sews all the handmade pearl jewelleries one by one onto the bodice, adds extra sparkles to this gorgeous dress. In addition, she sews the hook and eye for each dress to add extra security. She definitely has magical hands!
Step 7: Final Quality Check (0.5 hour)
This is the very last and crucial step. Mrs Zhang makes sure everything is perfect before it’s sent to our UK and China stock room. We will also double check the dress one last time before it’s sent to our valuable customers. 
Now this stunning dress is finally finished! It takes around 21 hours (excludes the pattern making process) from start to finish. We have not mentioned the process of designing and developing the perfect sample, which happens prior to the dress-making process. It normally takes several months.
No matter how big a brand is, how perfectly polished the images we see are, or as wonderful as the products might be, its often helpful (and endearing) to know that behind the scenes everything isnt always as perfectas we might think. Workspaces certainly are never quite as tidy and organised as a magazine photo shoot might suggest. 
However, these photos we show you above are our authentic work environment. Not sure if you have noticed a detail: all of the workers here wear slippers inside the factory in order to keep the factory as clean as possible, also it creates a home feeling for everybody :)
We would love to do our best to be as transparent as we can, so you can not only wear what you love, but also be proud of what you choose and be proud of wearing Fairy Tong! 
Why? Because you know you are supporting a healthy work environment, well-paid workers and a lovely family who share the same fairytale dreams with all of us!
(We are scheduling another blog post next, which we will sit down with our production team and get to know their life and work experiences and answer some of the most interesting questions you have asked, stay tuned!)

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