I have written in this space about how my mother wanted to be a fashion designer, but her father dissuaded her, arguing it was a frivolous pursuit. I never even learned to sew, yet one night a couple of months ago, I dreamt up the perfect pyjama - actually dreamt it, in vivid detail, in my sleep. At least I thought so when I woke up and drew my design. This perfect pyjama answers several needs I feel are not satisfied by my existing sleepwear: to breathe, flow, keep me warm enough but not overheated, to leave the sweaty cleavage region exposed, and to be beautifully flattering and lovely to the touch.
I promptly phoned my friend Anna Redish, who often teaches here at Wise Daughters, to ask her to help me. Being a wildly creative type, she fully embraced the idea that I had created a viable design without knowing the first thing about sewing, pattern-making or fabric. In no time, we were on the phone to a local bamboo supplier, and over the course of a few afternoons, Anna created a first draft of the pattern. She sewed a prototype, which I put on and she pinned in all the places we decided small adjustments were necessary. But even this first garment is phenomenally close to what I imagined in my dream. It feels fantastic.
When I had it on over my tights and tank top yesterday, a customer exclaimed that she would absolutely wear this out to dinner with a snazzy scarf or bold necklace. Being made of beautiful bamboo, there is no reason this outfit couldn't be worn pretty much anywhere, as well as in bed. This revelation opens up a world of marketing possibilities.
Now Anna has made a second draft of the pattern, ready to go to the grader (I have learned this is a person who sizes patterns; Cynthia of Black Daffodil referred me to hers). It's getting real! After we have the patterns finished, we'll sew up more samples in the smallest and biggest sizes (and by we, I mean Anna), and try them on women of different body types to see if they find them as comfy as I do. I'm hoping that if it makes my modest bust and immodest bum look good, it'll do wonders for anyone.
The next step will be to produce a small run. I have determined that it will be more cost effective to have the bamboo supplier manufacture them, here in Toronto, than to contract the cutting and sewing to individuals. This will mark a departure from Wise Daughters' primary mandate, but I feel like I need to give this a try. If it works, it will literally be a dream come true.
Look out for the launch of Wise Daughters Wear this fall!