My Name is Sarah

MY NAME IS SARAH. I am a quilt designer and the sewcial director of Sarah's Sewcial Lounge. I also have a business called Down Right Charming. I sell my quilts mostly on etsy and I make pillowcases to donate to patients in the hospital in memory of my friend Kristen Kirton. I am a young adult living with Down syndrome. I hope you enjoy reading about my life journey.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Let the Stitching Begin...

...if you have been following us since last October, you may remember this retro photo. It was Matthew's first Halloween. He was just three days old. I was not sure exactly how much he would weigh or how long he would be, so I had the overalls basted together and neatly spread on the sewing counter waiting for the finishing touches to be completed once we arrived home after birth.


For several years, I had a little sewing business going on the side. I created custom wedding attire, baptismal and first communion dresses and gowns for black tie events. Those outfits help pay the bills. My favorite project though, was the line of clothing I designed for medically fragile children.

It started with Sarah of course. Our initial hospital stay for her open heart surgery was projected to last seven to ten days. It turned into two months. During that time, I created a few outfits for her to wear that would accommodate all the various lines and tubes that she was attached too. She looked adorable and the nurses loved them. Then a few months later she was sporting a permanent trach. And that's when Jely Splats was formed. While the kids slept, I stitched. When I got pregnant with Matt I was concerned about not being able to complete dresses so I turned new brides away and slowly eased off the gowns and the fun clothes.

Then last year Sarah and I started blogging. We were meeting new families at rapid pace and we started to receive questions from families who had children with trachs. The day I read the email from a mom expressing her husband's disappointment that their four year old son looked like a baby because he was always wearing a bib, I cried. Most people would not understand the big deal that was. I not only understood, I felt the pain deep within my heart. I knew at that moment Jely Splats was about to get a second life.

But today things are different. Sarah is not a little girl anymore. Neither are her friends. I have been in enough meetings over the past few months to know that jobs are tough to come by, especially for young adults who need some extra encouragement, some extra guidance. I started to wonder if they could sew? Would Sarah want to create garments for kids? Would her classmates?

Then a month or so ago I went to Sarah's job training site to pick her up early to get to a football game. Somehow I got to talking with her teacher about sewing. I just could not belive it when she told me she used to work at Bobbie Brooks. As a seamstress. She knows the industry. She also understands young adults with various disabilities. And she loves to go into New York City and shop for fabric in the garment district. The more we talked the more excited we both got. As I walked to the car that day I definitely felt this was another one of those By Chance or By Design encounters.

So for the last few weeks I have been frantically cleaning and organizing the studio. The machines have all had a tune up and we are ready to let the stitching begin...

Stay tuned for more exciting details...

15 comments:

Lisa said...

Wow! This gives me chills of excitement! I can't wait to hear more!

Lacey said...

Can't wait to hear more about this thing for trachs. Luckily Jax hasn't been gooey and doesn't get his clothes wet. We've been lucky that way.

Karen said...

I am SO EXCITED about this! I love that you're restarting something so needful, and I'll bet Sarah could be a huge help this time.

Stephanie @ Ralphcrew said...

How exciting! I can't wait to hear more.

AZ Chapman said...

soo cool I can not wait to see more. If I am in ohio I will have to see the shop

Beth said...

Oh this IS so exciting! I know of some young women with Ds who are in business making baby blankets. I can't wait to see more of what's coming down your line!

All smiles here--wishing the new business all the best! I think I'd even want to learn to sew if I could do it a room like that! (My requirement for Halloween costumes is that they can only be made with a glue gun or staples. Pitiful I know.)

RK said...

I'm mentally pacing while I wait for more info... do tell us soon!!

Heather said...

Joyce have I told you lately how amazing you are?I mean really and truly.I am so excited to watch this grow!!!

Scarehaircare said...

This is so COOL!!! I have a big grin on my face right now. UPdate us as soon as you can with lots of pics!

You and your family are in my prayers.

Tsquared417 said...

That is so exciting and I can't wait to hear more!!

Rochelle said...

What an awesome adventure. So glad you are following where you feel called, looking forward to hearing about your huge success and how it impacts others.

datri said...

That is so amazing! I hope this is a successful venture!

Brandie said...

This is so cool! I can't wait to hear more. I started sewing when I was six and have been trying to pass it on to my girls.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! SOunds like an awesome idea is brewing.

These kids do something like that:
http://www.simplyadorableblankets.org

Jan

Michelle said...

How exciting! That is wonderful and I cannot wait to hear more about it! Not chance encounters, but all by design!!!