About the writer

My photo
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.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Returning from the Conference

We returned home from the conference filled with excitement.  The experience was amazing and we learned so much more about our clients and what they wanted and needed.  I think this conference was a major turning point for us in what we were doing.  It was important to see so many different shapes and sizes.  It was really important to speak with so many parents and hear their struggles.  It gave us ideas for change and improvement and motivated us to work even harder because the need for appropriate fitting clothes was even greater than we had realized. 
Returning home we knew we had more work to do.  We took our jeans back to the drawing board.  We needed to make improvements to them.  Our shirts needed some small changes too.  It was our most important task to complete these two items, because it would be impossible to move forward with any other clothing items without a basic pair of pants and a T shirt that fit. 
Changing the waistband was our top priority.  We needed to get rid of ribbing and make the waistband out of denim.  I knew we needed to have elastic in some way, but I didn’t want them to look like sweatpants waistbands.  I wanted them to look like a regular pair of jeans.   Well, as usual when I need an answer to something, it just appears!  I was shopping one day at the mall and saw the perfect type band.  It was about 2 inches wide and the crinkles were pressed into the band which gave it a completely different look.  It didn’t look so gathered and looked so much better than the heavily gathered elastic bands.  We would also include a working zipper and an easy hook fastener, but with the elastic, most could actually get them on and off without using the zipper. We’d only make the elastic three quarters of the way around as well.  Most of the front would not be gathered which would make them look so much better.  
Now about the “Dip Downs”?  We really needed to come up with something for the many who didn’t like to wear anything around their waists.  It would have to be a full elastic band though in order for it to stay up.  We worked on this one for quite some time.  When we finished the pattern, we sent it off to the factory for a test sample. Actually, there would be many attempts to get this waistband to work.  We would have to wait to see how our theory would play out.
The shirts needed a little “tweaking”, too, but they basically fit pretty well.  We needed to shorten the length and make more room in the upper arm.  We didn’t like the stretchy fabric either, so we decided to use a cotton fabric and, of course, we would pick some cool colors.
Before we left for the conference I had decided that a trip to China was vital. I had booked a flight August 23, for both of us.   I felt very strongly about seeing the factories where our clothes were being made.  Even though I had a great relationship with my contact in China, I wanted to see for myself where our clothes were actually produced.  It was also important to choose the fabric ourselves for the jeans and shirts.  I wanted to touch and feel the fabric.  I wanted our jeans and shirts to be soft and comfortable.  But I couldn’t do it myself; I would need Jillian to be with me and she didn’t have a passport, so before we left for the conference, she had applied for one and we hoped when we got home, it would be there by then.
Well, it was not.  We were leaving for China soon and still needed to get our visas after she got her passport.  But as everything else seems to work out for us, a few days later her passport arrived.  We immediately sent them off to New York City for our visas.  Time was getting close and we needed our passports and visas in order to get on the plane. But, the visas arrived just before we left…the timing couldn’t have been planned more perfectly…another divine intervention for sure!

No comments:

Post a Comment