Monday, January 30, 2012

Meet Terri of Terristouch Etsy shop

I am so happy to share an interview with you today with Terri of Terristouch Etsy shop.
Terri has one of the busiest Etsy shops and I am thrilled she could take time and answer for us some of the questions you have sent me.
Here are Terri's answers to my interview questions along with photos from her shop. I hope you enjoy it!

Q:How long have you been sewing?
"I’ve been sewing for over 50 years. I started out making clothes for my Barbie doll and by the time I was in high school I was making all my clothes, including swimsuits and prom dresses. I still have that Barbie doll and yes, she is one of the originals with a ponytail and curly bangs."
Q:How did you start sewing for American Girl dolls?
A" While my daughter was growing up I made lots of clothes for her dolls but that was back in the days before American Girl dolls existed. My first exposure to American Girl dolls came about 8 years ago when a friend bought one for her granddaughter. A couple of years later I bought AG dolls for my granddaughters. Since I was still working full time I had very little time to sew and just dabbled at making clothes for them.. After I retired in 2007 I finally had time to sew as much as I wanted to and on whatever I wanted. You guessed it, American Girl dolls won the contest for my attention."

Q:How many and which dolls do you have?
"Bitty Baby
Bitty Twins
2 Gotz dolls
2 “Just Like You” dolls
All the historical dolls except for Emily, Nellie and Kaya
I know that when you look at that list you probably conclude that I’m a collector. That’s really not the case. My dolls are all “working dolls,” standing around in their undies waiting for their turn to be in a photo shoot. "

Q:Do you create most of your own patterns?
"Yes, I do. Although I do draft some from scratch, I also sometimes start with a commercially manufactured pattern then make a bazillion modifications to it."

Q:What is your favorite material to work with?
"I don’t have a favorite. I love all colors and all textures. I get excited every time I start a new project and can pull out a fresh piece of fabric to work with. Because I have such a love for fabric I can’t go into a fabric store without blowing my budget. To stay within my budget I’ve learned to let my daughter do my shopping for me since she works part time in a fabric store."

Q:Do you take custom orders?
"I only take custom orders for colors of things like soccer uniforms, gymnastic leotards and poodle skirts. I love being able to walk in the sewing room in the morning and say to myself, “What do I feel like working on today?” I do take suggestions for designs and styles though. I keep those suggestions on a running TO DO list along with the name of the person who made the suggestion. When I get motivated to tackle the new design I’ll make a batch of several and then contact the requester to give her the first opportunity to purchase one. I seldom make one-of-a-kinds."

Q:What is you top selling item?
"I don’t really have one. During the cold months I do sell a lot of “winter outfits” which include fleece jackets and mittens. Over the past few years I’ve also sold a lot of soccer uniforms and dresses for Felicity and Elizabeth."

Q:Do you do all the sewing yourself?
"Yes, I do. For a while I had fleece arm pillows in my shop and those were made by my daughter-in-law. She no longer has the time to make them though so everything you see in my shop was made by me. I’m often asked how I can produce so much. I don’t like to just sit in front of the TV without something else to do so I often cut out doll clothes or do handwork when my husband and I are watching a movie. Yes, I have a TV in the sewing room and yes, I’ve seen every episode of NCIS and CSI so many times that I can just listen to them while I sew because I’ve got the action scenes memorized. It’s not uncommon for me to be in the sewing room early in the morning with my cup of coffee and while I’m still in my pajamas."

Q:Do you sell mostly on line or do you have a store front as well?
"I only have my Etsy shop. For a couple of years I also sold at local craft shows but that wasn’t as successful as my Etsy shop has been so I phased out the craft shows."

Q:Do you have a website, Facebook page or blog?
"No to all of the above. I much prefer to spend my time sewing and try to spend as little time on the computer as possible."

Q:What can we expect to see from you in 2012?
"I’ll continue to offer several styles of gymnastics leotards for McKenna. First Communion season is approaching and I plan to add a couple of new style options for those dresses. I’ll definitely continue to provide a selection for each of the historical dolls, even those who have been retired. Those of you who have followed my Etsy shop have probably noticed that I introduce new historical fashions in spurts. I tend to sew for one era for a couple of weeks and then move on to a different era. I have a hard time shifting quickly from Julie’s daisies and peace symbols to Felicity’s elegance."

Thank you so much to Terri for agreeing to share this behind the scenes look into her design world!
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at


  1. Chris from MichiganJanuary 30, 2012 at 7:12 AM

    It was wonderful learning about Terri! I love her shop - everything is so professional and beautifully made, plus she is so nice! This is a great interview. (I really need to visit your blog a little more often).

    Thanks for profiling Terri and her terrific creations. I would have love a little sneak peek at her sewing room!

  2. thanks Chris, now that sounds like a great feature, perhaps I will ask some of the designers I know for a sneak peak!