Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Its Sew Susan. A spotlight on a great Etsy shop,designer and fellow blogger.
Q:When did you start sewing?
A:I started sewing when I was nine years old. I can still see myself sitting in my grandmother's dining room, sewing up a nightgown out of shiny, green taffeta lining she happily gave me. I loved that nightie. I remember ironing it every night before jumping into it for a good night's sleep.
"I was in 4-H for 7 years, always in sewing, although a few years I took cooking projects, too. I loved to sew and by high school, was making most of my own clothes, including my prom dresses."
I loved sewing for my four kids. All are grown now, but I made, many clothes for them. I also made quite a stack of Cabbage patch clothes in the 80s.
Q:What dolls you have?
A: "I have 25 dolls .... all of my American Girl Dolls are second hand, except one. I love the hunt! I love welcoming these pre-loved dolls into our family. My favorite are Kit, Jesse and Josephina. I'm eagerly waiting to find a Molly at the right price. Oh, the AG that I bought new is my daughter's, but she is "lending" it to me. She is expecting her first baby in June. I guess if it's a girl, I will only have 24 dolls. I don't limit myself to American Girl, either. I have several Tonner Betsy McCalls and one 19" Anne Estelle. My collection of 25 also includes dolls from Tuesday Morning, Target and Walmart. There are many very pretty dolls out there!"
"This December, I had 10 more dolls temporarily in my possession. We, at It's Sew Susan decided to donate 10% of our sales to buy dolls for little girls who might not be able to get a doll this Christmas. The 10% goes strictly for purchasing the dolls. We found a fantastic deal on some dolls, so were able to donate 10. This year, as I have been sewing, I have made extra clothes to donate with the dolls. We are very excited about this!"
Q: What motivates you to make doll clothes?
A:"The pure love of sewing and creating. I love to sew! I love the 18" dolls. It became a perfect pairing. Even though I work approximately 55 hours a week at my "day job," I sew a little most every day. It is very relaxing to me."
Q:What do you items do you like to make best?
A:"As far as what I like to make the best, I haven't figured that out yet. That is why you see such an eclectic offering in our shop. There are times when I love the intricacies of the Victorian dresses we offer. The details are so much fun. I loved searching out the right fabric and ribbon for our Scarlett O'Hara dress. I have some plans to do some other dresses from Gone with the Wind"
"I love sewing Punk, Steam Punk and Harajuku. I think it is because I like the creativity involved designing the outfits, plus, at 62, it gives me the opportunity to play with the look, but not look ridiculous wearing it. In addition, I love separates. I love that you can get 6-7 pieces and have 10 looks. Oh, and don't forget the fairy outfits. I love the magical, enchantment of these. Did I say, I love it all."
How did It's Sew Susan come about?
A:"It's Sew Susan came about because I was having such a ball making doll clothes for my dolls. I thought I could "just sell a few things." I posted one outfit on Etsy. It didn't sell, but I continued to sew. By July, I had 25 items in my shop and another 100 consigned with a lady in VA. In July, things started to sell and I couldn't keep up. I had already talked Robert into photographing and editing pictures for Etsy, but it was clear I needed more help. Before long, we was designing business cards, banners and totes. Then he was silk screening the totes, airbrushing fairy wings and ironing on our graphics. He also packages and mails all of our orders. And he runs to the fabric store to grab elastic or "the right color thread" when I am tied to the machine. All of this, in addition to brainstorming with me."
"Now anyone who is running an online doll clothes business will tell you, there are a lot of clothes to inventory, hang and sort. This is where my granddaughter, Skylar, has joined us. She started out as wardrobe manager, hanging clothes, dressing dolls for photo shoots and fixing their hair. This is a big job, as all those clothes have to be re-hung after the shoot. Then she started helping make tutus. She loves to design clothes. We will be making some of her designs this year. This month she sewed a Christmas gift for Robert and has been bitten by the sewing bug!"
You can find It's Sew Susan on Etsy, Facebook and she even has her own blog!
I am so thrilled to have come in contact with such a talented lady! I am also thrilled to be able to share with you the journey's and behind the scenes look at the life and work of doll world designers, be sure to take a look at their shops, facebook pages and blogs to find out about special deals, promotions and more. Like me you may find you too are fascinated by their talents and work as much as I am.
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org