For a few years I have followed this amazing seamstress on ebay who makes utterly stunning doll clothes. Her work has inspired me to work harder at perfecting my doll clothes. She recently opened up an etsy shop and I asked her if she would be interested in an interview, to which she replied that she would.
Who or what got you interested sewing?
When I was very young I used to watch in awe as my mother sewed for me and my siblings on her Imperial sewing machine. I loved my Mom's button box..it was magical to me!
Where did you learn to sew or who taught you?
I learned to sew by watching my mother and experimenting with a scissors, fabric, needles and thread. My Mom truly didn't have the time to actually teach me or my sisters to sew. She sewed out of necessity and it was just one of many chores she did in raising nine children.
How old were you when you made your first project?
When I was four years old I made my first doll dress.
What was your first project?
I can remember laying my doll on the floor, cutting out fabric around the doll then sewing it one her. My mother was very proud of my accomplishment. I can remember being embarrassed as she showed everyone who came to visit what I had made.
What are the most beneficial resources to you?
Presently I search the internet for historical pictures and photos, vintage pattern jackets, vintage catologues, movies etc. I am always on the look out for ideas to make realistic looking garments for dolls.
What are some of your favorite sewing books?
I have two books from Dover, one titled "Everyday Fashions 1909-1920" As pictured in the Sears Catalogs" and the other titled Children's Fashions 1900-1950 As pictured in Sears Catalogs. Another great book I enjoy is titled The Collector's Book of Dolls' Clothes, Costumes in Miniature 1700-1929...Authors Dorothy S., Elizabeth A., and Evelyn Coleman ( no relation to me, even though we have the same name).
What are some of your favorite patterns?
Although I usually design and make my own patterns,I recently purchased a pattern from a fellow seamstress for an 1850's Day Dress by Thimbles and Acorns, designer Shari Fuller. Its a wonderful pattern. I have a few of Lincoln Mold 18" doll patterns which I use from time to time.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I've always loved historical fashion and love trying to create it in doll size outfits..maybe I was born in the wrong era...:o) I' d say the resources themselves are very inspirational. I do my best to capture the particular style and era of every garment I make. It can be difficult at times given the scale of the doll clothes.
What are some of your other hobbies/interests?
Over the years I have enjoyed designing and creating jointed mohair teddy bears. I love to cycle and work in the garden.
What would be your ultimate/dream sewing project?
Hmmm, I kind of feel like I am doing it now... thinking up designs in my head then seeing them made up in completion on a doll is my dream job. I find it very satisfying. Someday soon, if all goes well, I may have patterns available for sale.