The Dress Process

6 May


Have you ever wondered what Diane’s process is when designing through to producing dresses for Cherry Velvet?

From concept to production, a lot of thought and hard work goes into manufacturing a Cherry Velvet dress. We’re lucky that we are located in the same area as our factories, so we can easily manage every aspect of producing every collection we release to the public. Just like our city, Vancouver, Cherry Velvet is so proud of our commitment to being as Green as possible, as well as maintaining our social responsibility by ensuring fair wages and work conditions by employing Canadian workers.

In today’s blog, we’re going to share our step-by-step process so you can learn more about how we make dresses…just for you!

Step 1


Diane collects inspiration from authentic vintage details such as sewing patterns, magazines, and garments. The new dress design is sketched and fabric prints are considered.

Step 2

Slide 5

The patternmaker creates the pattern in the sample size using a program called Optitex CAD and then prints it on a 67″ large scale printer called an Ioline plotter.

Step 3 

Slide 2

The dress is cut and sewn from sample fabric to create a prototype design. The resulting prototype is tried on a mannequin to check for fit, and design details which is then approved by the designer.

Step 4

Slide 4 collage

The design is then assessed for inclusion into the greater collection for the season and final fabrics are chosen (usually 3-5 different prints per dress).

Step 5


A “Salesman’s Set” of samples are produced at a factory to then be sold through an agent to retail stores.

Step 6

Slide 3

The pattern is checked for accuracy and made into the other sizes (which is called “grading”) using Optitex CAD.

Step 7

Slide 4

Once the sales cycle is complete, the data is transferred into a marker order. According to the order, a production marker is made using  Optitex CAD; all the pattern pieces in the required sizes are positioned into a cut layout (marker). The marker is printed on the Ioline Plotter in the width of the fabric.

Step 8

Slide 10 Collage

In the factory, a cutter lays the fabric on a long table and the printed marker is rolled out on top of the fabric layers; the stacks of fabric (with the paper pattern pieces on top) are cut out using an electric vertical knife. At a bundling table, the cut pieces are bundled according to size and colour and distributed to the sewers in the factory.

Step 9

Slide 8

The sewing process begins with main panels being serged together using a 5 thread serger machine. Small parts like the collar are sewn and then attached to body panels using a single needle machine and the zipper set. The facings are serged and sewn together with the body, the garment is topstitched, and the hem is sewn. Buttons are then marked for placement and sewn on using a button setting machine. Finally, labels are sewn in.

Step 10

Step 16 collage

The pressing department steams and presses the garment. Hangtags are added to the left side using a tool called a “swift attach”.

Step 11

Step 14 collage

Quality Control (QC) trims the threads from the sewing process and checks for flaws.

Step 12


Then the dresses are folded and packed into individual bags…


… and now the dresses are ready to impress!


Slide 13



We hope you enjoyed this insider’s look at what it takes to make something as lovely as our dresses! :)

XOX Cherry Velvet

Getting to Know Cherry Velvet

25 Apr

Awhile back, we were asked to provide a company profile that aptly & succinctly describes what Cherry Velvet is about. Sure, we’ve talked about #stunningatanysize, our process and the history of our company but we’ve never actually gone out of our way to put together a short and sweet profile. We were so pleased with the result, we wanted to share it with you.

It’s a great little primer for new Cherry Velvet fans…and maybe our dedicated fans might learn something new!

Read on!

Our Dresses

We design and manufacture Vintage-inspired cotton dresses in the heart of Vancouver’s creative core, uniquely cut for women sizes XS-4X. With an emphasis on emphasizing curves, our dresses are generally designed with a fitted bodice that tapers slightly above the natural waist, includes deep pockets and features fuller skirts. Our dresses are easy to care for, no dry cleaning needed. Our cotton fabrics are not only incredibly comfortable and durable, we ensure that every collection is carefully curated to represent our retro flare.

Our Brand 

Retro Class with Modern Sass

Our core values revolve around challenging the mainstream beauty ideal by catering our designs towards underrepresented sizes and providing empowering, engaging content to our target audience (like our Facebook, Instagram & Youtube Channel). We acknowledge the detriment of old fashioned mentalities of female beauty (“skinny is beautiful”) and juxtapose our nostalgic designs with modern feminist values. We believe that beauty is not measured by any physical number and so our dresses are universally flattering on all shapes and sizes. We started a couple hashtags, in the hopes of perpetuating our values and giving our fans a tag they can use to showcase their beauty.

…And speaking of hashtags!


We love to see Cherry Velvet on social media! Any time you post a picture wearing a Cherry Velvet dress,
feel free to tag them with #cherryvelvet & #stunningatanysize!

And now you’re all caught up!

XOX Cherry Velvet


April Studio Shop! This Friday & Saturday (22nd & 23rd)

20 Apr

StudioShop_April16 blogsize


We’re kicking off the summer weather with monthly studio shops (no appointment necessary!) . Stay tuned for future dates!

This Friday + Saturday (April 22nd & 23rd), we’re opening up our doors and letting the sun (and you!) into our studio from 2pm-7pm (Friday) & 11am-5pm (Saturday).

Can’t wait to see you!

XOX Cherry Velvet

Look What Blue Into Town

6 Apr

Spring is here! And with the blue birds singing and the honey bees buzzing, life is blooming everywhere! Our friend, Laura, came into the studio recently and brought with her a new little bundle of joy; special delivery from the stork! With her & Sailor Mae’s beautiful blue eyes, we couldn’t resist putting her in some of our newest & bluest hues!


Our Chrissy is a fantastic choice for the busy missy (or mum!) because of its versatile look. With all the fixins’ of a classic Cherry Velvet dress (our famous pockets & full skirt, for example), The Chrissy’s mock wrap bodice is universally flattering and the V-neckline (with just a little peek of décolletage) is a happy medium between business sass & casual class.

For this Spring, we released Chrissy in 2 lovely blue-based prints, Navy Waves and Blue Roses.


Express your artistic side with our gorgeous Navy Waves Print, featuring a delicate pattern of light blue waves against a sea of Navy. It’s very reminiscent of Traditional Japanese Wave art.


Or freshen up your closet with a bouquet of delicate roses, against a picturesque blue sky. Such a lovely dress for a garden party!


With the approaching heat, we wanted to crank it up even more with our Robin in Blue Net. The straps are light but wide enough to cover those pesky bra straps. Coupled with the plunging neckline (and gathered front band), your decollete becomes the center of a darling bow. <3

Sun rays won’t be the only thing you’ll be catching, in this darling fishnet print! It’s the perfect sundress!


And as always, our dresses have accompanying crinolines! We suggest our Knee-length crinoline or our new deluxe Vintage Chiffon Crinoline (featuring 100 yards of ruched ruffle!) in Blueberry Ice Cream.

Blueberry Ice Cream Crins

It’s certainly hard to feel blue, when we’re surrounded by such lovely dresses!
We hope the puns didn’t make you blue in the face, either! 😉

XOX Cherry Velvet

Introducing…Velvet Man

1 Apr

Every woman knows that no ensemble is complete without an accessory.
With dresses as unique as you, what better way to finish off your look than with a complementary suit for your companion?

Introducing our cherry on top…

…Velvet Man.

A brand new line of luxury printed blazers for the sartorially striking man. Follow this link and acquaint yourself with our newest men’s collection!

Stay tuned ;)

30 Mar

We’ve got something fresh and new for you,
stay tuned for a special announcement this week…


– XOX Cherry Velvet


Spring 2016 Lookbook

23 Mar

So there’s a little background story to tell you about our new Spring Lookbook. And this is the scoop….We’ve got one lone fella working for us here at CV headquarters and what an awesome all round  guy he is. Media director, Graphic designer, Photographer, Super athlete (yep he does those Tough Mudder races) and Rock Star (yep he’s the lead singer in a band.) All this build-up is to tell you that our new Spring Lookbook is pretty much all thanks to Logan.

Recently we bought him some skookum lighting equipment so he could indulge his photography passion even more than he already does. Some days we push all the clothing out of the way in the showroom, set up the lighting and backdrop and Logan starts flashing. He took all the photos for our new Spring collection right here at CV headquarters.

When we asked Logan to put together a lookbook for us and told him what we wanted…he said… “I’ve got an idea…what do you think if I do it my way… :)” Kinda cheeky? yep…but we have so much faith in Logan’s talent we said… ok… let’s do it!  The best stuff comes just this way, when you let someone passionate about their work… just create. We’re super excited about how cute this turned out. Hope y’all like it too.

Thanks Logan, great job!


All these Spring dresses are available now at unless otherwise noted. A few of our most popular styles are being re-cut and available very soon. Just to tease you even more….later this Spring we’ll be coming out with another new line of dresses for Summer! Stay tuned!

XOX Cherry Velvet

P.S. For a full list of contributors please see the last page of the lookbook. A big thank-you to all the team at Cherry Velvet too, as all of our staff contributes in a big way, everyday!

#stunningatanysize in 2016

12 Mar

Stunning At Any Size Title

Fresh off the heels of last Tuesday’s International Women’s Day, we wanted to reiterate Cherry Velvet’s not-so-secret MO, #stunningatanysize.

Retro Class with Modern Sass has always been a cheeky way to describe what our dresses are all about. But we’re also about giving women confidence. As a fashion line inspired by vintage designs, it’s important for us to acknowledge how nostalgia inspires us while taking down old-fashioned mentalities and espousing modern feminist values.


Last year, we decided to take that approach and make it clearer with a declaration of Body Positivity. Looking back in history, we all know that somewhere along the line, a perception was created that women needed to conform to a certain size and that their self-worth was quantified by it. This unrealistic goal has caused generations of undue stress and frustration as women throughout the years have attempted to comply with this “perfect woman” image.

So, we wanted to challenge the mainstream perceptions of beauty. We decided to create the #stunningatanysize campaign to proliferate a message that has always been the heart of Cherry Velvet:

Beauty cannot and should not be measured by anything but who you are. Everyone should have the opportunity to slip into something that makes them feel feminine, sexy and most importantly, confident. Women have the right to feel as beautiful as they truly are. 


What started as a core value to Cherry Velvet has now become our mission statement and driving force for the content we create for our social media outlets.

While we’ve always made an effort to represent an assortment of sizes in our promotional images, we wanted to highlight the range of sizing in our most recent catalogue shoots by using models ranging from XS to 0X. We love showing off how our dresses look on shapes and sizes!



It is our honest wish that every woman who puts on one of our dresses feels as gorgeous as our designs. After all, we design them after you.




And you are….


 XOX Cherry Velvet

Edgy Angelina

7 Mar

The Angelina Dress Blog

 Inspired by the sultry, Legs-For-Days actress, Angelina Jolie, The Angelina is designed with the average to taller frame in mind. Check out these  new edgy prints!

Angelina SkullsNRoses Group 2

Angelina Dear Butterfly

Featuring a twisted racer back and more natural waistline, this dress is ideal for those looking to flatter their average length or longer torso and / or taller stature. Many of our taller models have given us great feedback on the fit of this style. (Our model, Jennifer in Navy Ladybugs is 6 feet tall)

Angelina Dress Back

For the Spring, we’re bringing The Angelina back and we wanted to highlight 4 of our freshest new prints:

Angelina Dresses LineUp

Just like her namesake, this season’s Angelina can be a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n roll! Looking for something that evokes the rustic beauty of Spring? See it flourish on our new “Dear Butterfly” print. The sophisticated Stag sketches are offset by a lovely fluttering of pastel butterflies in blue, orange, pink and yellow.

We recommend our Blueberry Ice Cream Chiffon Crinoline or Knee-Length Marshmallow Crinoline to match the Dear Butterfly print. We don’t suggest a brighter coloured crinoline, as they may show under the white fabric.

Angelina Dear Butterfly Swatch

Or shake things up with our most edgy pattern yet. Tune into your inner Axl with this heavy metal print, aptly named “Skulls ‘n Roses“. The blue & violet roses add a touch of elegance against this overall bold look.

We recommend our Vintage Chiffon Blue Rasberry Crinoline for the Skulls ‘n Roses print.

Angelina Swatch SkullsNRoses

Need some luck? Find it in the optical illusion of our Mint Eden Angelina. Depending on your view, amidst this luxuriously intricate pattern you’ll find an exotic bird. Or by the fortune of Ganesh, you’ll find the head of this Indian Deity hidden like a charm. So unique!

We recommend our Knee-Length Mint Crinoline for The Mint Eden print.

Angelina Swatch Mint Eden

Last but certainly not least, step out like a lady in this cute as a bug print.  Featuring adorably retro ladybugs in a lovely mid-blue hue on a classic navy background. Finish it with the Blueberry Ice Cream Crinoline!

Angelina Swatch LadyBugs

Whether you pair them with a crinoline or wear them on their own, they are definitely a sight to behold.
We hope you’re as excited about them as we are!

XOX Cherry Velvet

Welcoming Dawn in Cherry Velvet fashion

27 Feb

We recently made an addition to the Cherry Velvet Tree and we wanted her to get pumped about our dresses. What better way to do that, than to try them on! We spent the day giving her a little makeover and we think she looks STUNNING! Don’t you think so?

Thank you so much to Katie of Pout Beauty for doing such an amazing job on Hair & Make-Up.


Dawn is wearing Doris Dress in Black Cherries

Dawn is wearing Doris in Black Cherry Dot

While we were shooting, we tossed a few questions her way and she handled them like a pro. Without further ado, let’s get to know Dawn!

Tell us a little about yourself. Outside of the office, what definitively makes you Dawn?

Up until fairly recently, I’ve been a student for most of my life, while juggling a full time position as an aspiring author. I like words! I like books! I also spend a lot of time on the computer, gaming and learning stuff off the internet.

What are you looking for in a dress? What’s your favourite dress so far?

I don’t wear dresses very often, but when I do, I’m always looking for something that will make a statement and keep me comfortable at the same time. My favourite dresses so far are Brigitte & Brooke. At 5’1, I love that the hemline on the Brigitte is just a touch shorter, so it hits me perfectly at the knee. As for the Brooke, I absolutely love the full skirt. Nothing makes you feel more pretty than twirling around in such a lovely dress.


Brooke Dress in Scotty Toss


Dawn is wearing Brooke in Scotty Toss

What’s your favourite part of working for Cherry Velvet? If you weren’t working here, what would you be doing?

Having worked in the Automotive Industry for 6.5 years, it is SO refreshing to work in a creative environment in the women’s fashion industry. The best days at work are when I get to be a fly on the wall during photoshoots in our studio. It was neat to show off my Cherry Velvet in front of the camera for once! If I wasn’t loving it here, I think would be writing fiction or learning how to draw! Something creative, for sure.


Robin Dress in Silly String


Dawn is wearing Robin in Silly String 

Tell us a fun fact about yourself!

I’m a gamer geek! I love spending time gaming online. I could easily spend my vacation days exploring the World of Warcraft, casting healing spells and vanquishing ogres with my guild.

We had so much dressing Dawn up. Thanks to Logan, our Media director, for taking such amazing shots!


Elly Dress in Ivory Pearlized Jacquard

Dawn is wearing Elly in Ivory Pearlized Jacquard. Logan is wearing whatever was clean at the time. 

Welcome to the team, Dawn!

XOX Cherry Velvet