Salem Significant Faculty senior creates adaptive apparel line for close friend with unique requires

Emmalene Meyers wears the adaptive apparel Brie Ericksen designed for her. (Steve Gray)

Approximated study time: 4-5 minutes

SALEM, Utah County — Having an outfit tailor-in shape would be on the top rated of any 16-year-previous girl’s record of need to-haves, and that was no different for special needs pupil Emmalene Meyers of Salem Hills Higher University who acquired just that from a fellow classmate.

Obtaining been born with many disabilities which includes cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, and scoliosis, Emmalene has been confined to a wheelchair all her existence. Even with her disorders, which also contain the incapacity to connect verbally, she has built several close friends at her university who care for her.

1 of individuals pals is 17-yr-outdated Brie Ericksen. She fulfilled Emmalene as a peer tutor in junior higher and ongoing that friendship in an American Signal Language class in high university. Brie, who has aspirations of turning into a trend designer, took it on herself to generate what she calls an “adaptive clothing line,” for a selection of adaptive requires and assumed of her close friend.

“I entered a competitors by means of FCCLA (Family, Vocation and Neighborhood Leaders of The usa), and I knew I wished to style a clothes line that would aid other folks,” Brie stated. “I believed about Emmalene and decided an adaptive apparel line would be excellent.”

In accordance to Emmalene’s mother, it can be a challenge to find garments for her daughter to dress in.

‘It can be seriously difficult to dress her for the reason that she has grown so much, and it is more durable to lift and go her,” Meyers mentioned. “She also has a feeding tube and just one of her arms stays bent at the elbow, equally of which can be a challenge as significantly as outfits is worried. She is also rather small for her age and desires the kinds other teens put on.”

Brie took that all into thing to consider when designing a onesie, trousers and a wheelchair blanket for her mate. The structure course of action, she explained, was challenging and satisfying.

“Due to the fact Emmalene has this kind of a one of a kind physique kind, I experienced to go to her dwelling for fittings anytime I wanted to make progress on her garments,” Brie said. “This designed it hard, but I was capable to get the job done it out. I’ve made tailor made clothing for myself, but it can be a whole distinct activity when you are developing for other folks. I adore how significantly I learned.”

A tailor made fit

A single of the vital aspects to currently being ready to not only structure one thing that would match Emmalee, but to make certain it would fit her design and style, was as a result of making use of just one of the things that brought the two friends together in the first position: American Signal Language.

“Brie came to our household to communicate about what she preferred to do, to borrow a pair of trousers and a shirt to help determine out the sizing and to evaluate Emmalene,” Meyers reported. “She also arrived to enable Emmalene select which fabric she preferred for just about every product and to do fittings … and she constantly communicated with Emmalene in ASL and seriously confirmed her how much she cared.”

“She also asked me what the difficulties are for dressing Emmalene and tailored the clothing to help,” Meyers ongoing. “I explained to her that since Emmalene is really slim and sits in her wheelchair, it can be challenging to retain her warm so she designed a unique write-up of clothing, that is form of like a minor sleeping bag out of thick material that slips around both of her legs and goes all the way up to her midsection.”

All that time and hard work paid out off.

“Emmalene enjoys the clothing,” Meyers mentioned. “She thinks they are awesome and ideal for the teen she is.”

Brie designed three other adaptive clothes traces as component of her submission to the competitiveness, which includes a line adapting to lupus, Down Syndrome and a person going through chemotherapy. The line earned her first place in the point out. Bbut more than that, Brie said it was a satisfying task.

“It is absolutely fun to sew clothing for myself, but it is so considerably additional satisfying when you see other folks donning your apparel, in particular when that clothing is serving to their lives grow to be much easier,” Brie stated.

Meyers mentioned that whilst it was fantastic having her daughter be the topic of Brie’s venture, it was so considerably more than that.

“I so recognize Brie noticing Emmalene and pondering about what she could do to help her,” Meyers stated. “I especially value Brie seeing earlier Emmalene’s disabilities and acknowledging and caring for her as a man or woman.”

Arianne Brown is a breaking information reporter for She also enjoys locating and sharing stories of each day Utahns, a expertise she made around quite a few many years of freelance crafting for many Utah information shops.

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