Whether you post, drop off or an Area Representative picks up your dress, they all go through the same process. When your dress is received it is carefully unpacked, tagged and catalogued. We have people whose sole job is to ensure that your dress is able to be tracked throughout the transformation process and that accurate files are stored safely.
Your dress is then photographed in its original state and assessed for cleanliness. Some gowns are dry cleaned when we receive them, others have had a ‘wedding workout’ and need a little cleaning magic to get them ready for the angels. Photographs are sent to our ‘Photograph Manager’ who ensures all photos are kept as a record of receipt of the dress and to show off its beauty on our Facebook page!
Your dress is then stored in chronological order and will be sent to seamstresses in the order they are received. Sometimes an anonymous donation will be pushed back in the line as we understand that these donations do not require us to report back to the donator when they have been transformed. When you read through the whole journey that your dress takes, you’ll understand why the process sometimes takes a very long time!
Once your dress is received by the seamstress, they carefully analyse the best way to use the fabric and most beautiful parts of the dress, to highlight their beauty.
Next is the most terrifying part for all seamstresses. They deconstruct your dress and set out the patterns to ensure they get the most possible use from the precious fabric. Very little is left from any dress once the fabric is utilised for bonnets, nappies, keepsakes, booties and gowns. Seamstresses boast to one another about only having tiny postage stamp sized scraps left once a dress is fully transformed!
Seamstresses set to work sewing the tiny gowns. They pride themselves on finishing edges and decorating them so they are as perfect as possible. So much work goes into each little gown! They are given direction by Area Representatives who are made aware of which sizes and designs are most required by hospitals.
Now that your dress has been transformed, the documentation process continues. Seamstresses photograph the gowns, individually and as a group before tagging them and packaging them. Photographs are sent to the Photograph Manager for display and uploaded to Facebook. Gowns are then sent on to Area Representatives for packaging into a ‘set’, often combining them with items made by the Crochet and Keepsake teams.
Once the ‘set’ is created (gown, booties, blanket, bonnet, nappy and keepsake), Area Representatives distribute them to hospitals and again, make records of which items go where.
The entire process from beginning to end can take months. Rest assured, dresses are treasured and carefully watched over in each part of the process.
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