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I have a beautiful granddaughter who was born with Down syndrome. She has enough challenges to face in her life and I want to make sure that finding appropriately fitting clothes will not be one of them.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My First Designer

It’s now the middle of November, my office is finished and I’m ready to get down to business.  I need to contact the designer that the school told me about; her name was Carrie.  After a little phone tag, we finally set up a meeting.  We agreed to meet at my office one evening after she finished work and she would go over what I would need to begin the design process.
Carrie was a beautiful girl.  She worked for a company in Cleveland that made work clothes.  She said she was very busy and worked a lot of hours.  But when she heard what I was doing, she said she would like to help me.  I told her of my plans to start with just jeans for now.  She thought that it was a good idea to start with just one thing.  She explained that creating a special size would be very difficult and there was a lot work involved.
She explained that first I would need to find “fit” models as she called them. The fit model is used as the template so a designer can create an article of clothing.  The designer takes many, many measurements from the fit model and then creates a pattern from that person’s measurements.  From that pattern, the designer creates an article of clothing like my jeans, for example.  It would take many visits with the fit model (called “fittings”) to get a proper fit.  Once the designer is satisfied with the fit, the pattern is “graded” up and down into various sizes.  I would need more than one fit model because not all body shapes are alike and various styles would need to be created. I would also need men and woman, boys and girls and also small children. 
I did not realize then how much time this would actually take.  I just thought she would take some measurements and then make the jeans…sounded easy to me!  Boy, what did I know!  So the next thing I had to do was find a few people to stand still long enough to get a few measurements. Where would I find people with Down syndrome to be a “fit” model?  I only knew my granddaughter and I knew that she would never stand still!  This is when I decided to start with adults first.  Mmmmm, where do I go from here?   Karen

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