Last year, Josiane Stratis contacted us about a project. We were immediately enthusiastic! We had already talked with her about offering a wider range of sizes to go beyond our current extra-large, but we didn’t have all the resources we needed. So when she launched Incluses , she contacted us and we happily embarked on what would be a whirlwind of a project (with very tight deadlines). We had just a few weeks to draw up the patterns, sew samples and take photos. Josiane realized making clothes is harder than it seems: it’s long and difficult, with numerous steps and people involved. And above all, it’s expensive! She already works with various local designers but this project together gave her a closer look behind the scenes. Seeing something from the outside and being knee-deep in it are two very different things!
Choice of styles
We got together a small focus group of three people involved (sometimes not by choice) in the fight against fatphobia: Julie Artacho, Gabrielle Lisa Collard from October 10th and Anne-Marie Venne. We presented them with some essentials from our collections. We discussed some of the common problems they come across when trying to buy clothes, whether it’s limited selection or design issues (such as biceps or waists that fit too tightly). After our discussion, we selected four different pieces:
- a close-fitting stretchy turtleneck dress
- a straight-cut jacket dress, made with a more rigid canvas fabric.
- a cropped kimono top, available in various fabrics.
From our digital patterns of each design in extra-large, we graded (which means altering the pattern pieces) to four additional sizes: 1X, 2X, 3X and 4X. We now have nine different available sizes instead of five! It’s a complicated process, because each of our patterns is made up of around 15 different pieces. Each individual piece must be altered to the desired measurements, then measured and corrected so that everything fits perfect.
Samples and custom orders
The garments are made at our Mile End workshop in all sizes so they can be tried on on-site. We’re just about finished sewing the sample pieces, which will be available at the Mile End boutique. We’ll offer the option of choosing a colour and size, then we’ll sew the garment in a maximum of one month. This season, we’ve added our 1954w jersey dress to the styles available. And by popular demand, we’ve also added four more sizes to our thin 8385w and regular 8418w leather belts.
And we plan to keep adding to the collection every season! Our regular and high waist panties and our classic pants with elastic at the back are the next two models to be graded. In the meantime, we’re trying to keep all sizes available for fittings and are eager for your feedback. Let us know what you think!