Friday, March 16, 2007

" The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men....

often go awry." I'll say.

Back in December I volunteered to be the parent organizer for the annual Spring jazz festival at my daughter's high school. In addition, I was responsible for the fundraising raffle. The other parent committee leaders and volunteers were positively incredible and inspiring. So, the general organization work was not a huge time drain. But the raffle, and all of the prize solicitation and ticket sales that it entailed, certainly was.

The few weeks preceding the jazz fest were particularly hectic and activity filled. I looked forward to the weekend of the performances and then being able to focus much, much more of my time and effort on this clothing business and the blog. My intention - and mantra - was to transition "from jazz fest to blog fest!"

As Susie wrote, our mom's hospitalization turned that plan on its head. My plan went awry! I've been with her pretty steadily, sleeping in her room overnight (in the green Naugahyde recliner that I've claimed as my domain and office; I'm there now!), talking with the doctors and nurses (who are all wonderful), manning the phone, generally keeping an eye on her. She's stable now and my mind has calmed enough for me to turn more focus back to this.

I haven't been away from this initiative completely, though. It always occupies a part of my conscious, and subconscious, mind. And, there's been a good bit of forward movement as I continue to receive feedback from you and work to produce the first collection.

Before I end this post, I want to tempt fate by telling you my expectation for this blog. Kathleen Fasanella, the author of the invaluable book The Entrepreneur's Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing and the equally invaluable blog (F-I) mentioned this humble and budding down syndrome clothes blog on F-I. (Thanks Kathleen!) She pointed out, so accurately and perceptively, that Susie and I are still finding our voice in this blog. That is so. Here's our hope (yep, I really mean "plan".)

Susie will continue to write from a personal perspective. She will write about her life and motherhood, including issues she's faced with Helen, her daughter who has Down syndrome and who is the inspiration for this business. She's already mentioned hypothyroidism; there's so much more that leaps to mind - the challenges associated with her recently-diagnosed Celiac's disease, the joy and thrill of her learning to read this school year, of course clothing fit issues.

I will write most often about the clothes and the business. That's pretty fertile ground. I want to share what I've learned to date and ask for more thoughts and feedback. I want to talk about the first pieces of clothes that we'll produce for you, what their design features will be, when and how they'll be available, how the offering will expand over time - always based on your needs and your responses. I'll tell you about my dreams for this company and the good I hope to do as it grows. Just a couple of my plans are to contribute a percentage of profits to local and national support groups, and to employ (once we get big enough to have employees!) parents of children with Down syndrome as in-home customer service representatives. In many, many postings I expect to ask for feedback and opinions from you. The bottom line is that this company has been formed to produce and provide clothes that fit people with Down syndrome. Your voice - you people with Down syndrome and parents and family - is most important to me. You will guide me. I may be distracted occasionally by a jazz fest or the beeps and hums of medical equipment, but your voice will always be music to my ears. Know that I will recognize and respond to it through the din from the other aspects of my life.


Anonymous said...

Hope life is returning to what ever normal is.

I have been looking for YEARS for adult clothing for my son.

He is 4 feet 8 inches tall and has an inseam of 21 inches. His arms are about 22 inches. For pants I have been using CHIC's 16W capri jeans (women). The elastic waist is good but he likes his pants BELOW his waist so he tears out the crotch. Years ago, I was able to buy from LAnd's End a partial elastic waist which also had elastic hems for the blouson look in pants. But now my son is 24. HE needs men's jeans. HAving part elastic waist with a velcro fly would be wonderful - could I but find such again. And dress clothes - he hasn't had a suit or sports jacket since he outgrew a tailored for him 20 Husky. We really need to find a solution for one suit or sport jacket. Young men need to dress sometimes.

We don't do long sleeves because he hates them so at least most of the time that isn't an issue.

Find me at

cathy bauer said...

I just stumbled on your site, having typed in "down syndrome clothing needs". I applaud your endeavor. My poor brother {46 y.o.} leaves here looking homeless, with his cuffed pants, {which WILL fall down} and his sleeves dragging on the floor. Well, YOU know!!! I hope you succeed,looking forward to becoming a customer. Thanks! Cathy Bauer

Anonymous said...

I am a grandma of a 18 yr. old granddaughter who has downs. I have been trying to find proper fitting clothing for her for years-especially in jeans and tops. I think your idea is great and I would be your first customer.

Jenny said...

I have a child with down syndrome who is 19. he is not quite 5ft and weighs 200 pounds. finding pants has been difficult. I found some at J.C.Penny but this years style not fitting to well.My son also wears a diaper which takes up a bit of room. He looks like a slob most of the time because the pant leg is always huge and even when the pants are hemmed it,s not much better.would love to find clothes just for him!

Kirby Heyborne said...

I would love to find some clothes to fit my 12 year old daughter with down's. She looks like an orphan when she leaves for school. I haven't found a pair of pants or jeans that will fit her and shirts are an issue too. If the pants fit, they are too long and fall off. If the shirt fits, the sleeves are too long. She is about 4.5 feet tall and weighs approx. 100 lbs. I can sew, but I'm not familiar with making a item to fit. And I'm not sure what I need to do to make her pants fit, be the right length and stay up where they need to be.

I'd love to help you come up with something that would be cute and fit well for my sweet little girl.

Sue said...


Thanks for your comment, you are not alone! So many of us have the same issues, that's why It'll Fit'll was born. We have a fitting on the 7th with the pattern makers, hopefully the jeans will fit well and we will proceed from there. Keep checking with us!


Danielle A said...

I am in the same predicament as everyone here. Emily is 10 and is about 4 1/2 ft tall -built like a swimmer yet 100lbs. I can' wait to see the outcome

Sue said...

Hi Danielle,

Thanks for your comment. We are very excited about our fitting coming up on Saturday. We hope we won't need to adjust anything so we can get out there and start trying the jeans on other kids besides Helen. Keep checking with us, we'll keep you posted.