How A Dress Is Made

We believe in transparency around everything we do, and that’s why our pieces are made to last—with care, attention to detail, and sustainability at the forefront of production. It takes a dedicated team to make a Christy Dawn dress, and each and every one of us is committed to quality, ethics, and Honoring Mother Earth.

Sustainable. Ethical. Timeless.

We believe in doing things the right way - simple as that. No hidden agenda, no cutting corners. Here’s how we craft each and every Christy Dawn piece.

Designing the Dress

Designing the Dress

Our founder and lead designer, Christy, has always designed for herself, first and foremost. She makes the pieces she wants to wear, and spends time getting all the details just right. A design only makes it into production if Christy wants it in her closet. The results are timeless, beautiful, and wearable pieces that will last you a lifetime.

The Fabric Hunt

We only use deadstock: fabrics that have been manufactured—but never used—by other fashion companies. Traditionally, these pieces would end up in a landfill, but we step in before that happens, rescuing and repurposing these fabrics for our own collection. We’re committed to Honoring Mother Earth every step of the way, and using deadstock fabric is just one way we ensure that we do.

Pattern Making & Sewing

Our in-house patternmaker creates a design based on Christy’s sketches and notes, drawing and hand cutting a pattern until she deems it perfect. Some companies have switched to digital patternmaking software, but we’re happy to do it the old-fashioned way. We think it makes all the difference in getting the best finished product.

Fitting

Once we have a sample we’re happy with, it’s ready to be sent to fitting. We bring in a fit model, and our design and patternmaking team work to perfect the fit. After the first round of fitting, the pattern is adjusted and another sample is made. It’s not unusual to have two or three samples and rounds of fitting until we’re ready to approve a design for production. We want everything to be as perfect as it can be!


Cost Transparency

We design every Christy Dawn piece to last a lifetime, an heirloom treasure to pass down for generations. Each of our dresses are sewn by artisan dressmakers who are paid premium wages, with full healthcare and paid vacation. When you purchase a dress from us, you’re investing in more than just a piece of clothing, but a commitment to transparency, a healthy workplace, and a caliber of workmanship that surpasses most luxury brands.

Cost of a Christy Dawn Dress

We sew our pieces with exquisite care right in our Los Angeles factory. There’s a lot that goes into making a Christy Dawn dress, and we want to be transparent about each and every step.

In order to sustain our business, we have a 3x markup for each piece we produce (the industry standard is anywhere from 4x to 10x while some luxury brands charge 20x, and up and up!). Our goal is to make Christy Dawn and the slow fashion movement accessible to as many people as possible. The more people who wake up to the true cost of fashion, the better for Mother Earth and our future. Here is our full transparent cost breakdown for one of our most popular pieces, The Dawn Dress.

The Dawn Dress

LABOR

$20.52 (labor) x 5 hours =
$51.30

Labor cost starts with cutting, the cut fabric then goes to the factory floor to be sewn and finished. The average hourly cost of our team members dressmakers is $20.52. We pay living wages, not minimum wages. These are skilled seamstresses and artisans, and we believe they ought to be paid for their talent. Our seamstresses take their time to make something beautiful. Our production time is on average double that of fast fashion factories.


FABRIC

$3.50 (fabric per yard) x 2.30 yards =
$8.05

We use only deadstock fabrics sourced locally in the Los Angeles area.

TRIMS

$2.21

We use trims on every item; this can include tags, labels, buttons, zippers, and snaps., etc.


RENT

$9

The average cost of rent and utilities over our monthly dress production. We manufacture in Los Angeles, giving work and opportunity to the vibrant local dressmaking community. It also lets us maintain a high level of quality and craftsmanship by having production in the same building as our HQ.

TOTAL MANUFACTURING COST

$70.56

That’s before we’ve photographed, marketed, packaged, and shipped it off to you!


COST COMPARISON

The industry standard for mark up is 4x to 10x the production. That would put the Dawn dress at $600 to $1500.


THE CHRISTY DAWN MARKUP

3x

This is acknowledged as the minimum markup to sustainably keep a business running. We need designers, marketing, writers, photographers, and many more people in our team to run the business.


Our Fulfillment Team

Our shipping center is right next door, so once a piece is ready to be sent out, our fulfillment team comes and picks it up. We package each order carefully, inspecting every piece as we fold it into its box. Before we seal the box, we lay a sprig of dried lavender on top. This final touch is our way of sending a little bit of Mother Earth’s plant magic to you. Let it be a gift and a reminder: to Honor Mother Earth in everything you do, and to remember her each time you anoint yourself in dress.