Our first samples are ready for fitting so I thought: "what better way to test the design than to invite a group of three-year-old kids to our house to try them on?" It's funny, I spend everyday with just one three-year-old and at the end of each day I feel like I've just finished a triathlon, yet this seemed like a good plan to me. I saw the photos in front of me - the kids eager to test the new designs, the parents raving over how much their kids love them - all in a lovely garden setting with a neatly set up table with perfectly assembled healthy smoothies set on top. Easy, right?
(Disclaimer - this photo was not taken at the party. It was taken a week prior when the idea of a Pinterest worthy party popped into my head)
Anyone who's a parent could have seen this coming.
The chaos. The battle over the one balancing bike we have in the backyard. The Vitamix blender collapsing and smelling of burnt smoke while a three-year-old is screaming "IS IT READY?" "WHERE'S THE SMOOTHIE?" "WHY IS IT NOT READY?" "WHY?" "WHYYY?" The dress-up chest in Milou's room containing Batman costumes, witch costumes, Frozen characters (ehum, Elsa - need I say more?), wands and balloons.
Needless to say, the beige leggings and harem pants (we haven't printed the awesome colorful designs on them yet) weren't as popular.
While the kids had an awesome time playing and wrecking the place, I got some positive feedback on the designs.
"The Brooklyn leggings are so cool"
"You HAVE TO make that Dolphin Dress"
"Can you please make these in adult sizes too?!"
Eventually, a few of the kids did try on the prototypes and were outside climbing and bicycling (while the other kids looked on with jealousy. Note to self, hide the balancing bike next time!). It's really important to me to test each garment on a wide range of kids in the same age group to know it's a standard size that will fit all. It's also imperative that they are comfortable and encourages play. Although it wasn't the easiest way of testing them, I got some incredibly important feedback.
Back to the drawing board and the sewing machine today to make the changes. Add to the length, take off fabric at the waist, add an inch here, cut off an inch there. Without the support of this amazing group of mamas and kids I wouldn't have known to make these important changes.
Thank you to my wonderful, amazing friends for joining me yesterday and giving me feedback and encouragement. I'm making these clothes for your children so your input is truly invaluable.
Next step is printing the designs onto the fabric and trying them on again for the final fit. Any ideas for the next model fitting party? A bouncy castle perhaps? :)
All photos are taken by the talented Stacie Malkus.
Prototypes created by the amazing Libby O'Bryan of Sew Co. http://www.westerncarolinasewingcompany.com/