Tuesday, May 6, 2014
A Behind The Scenes Look At Daniel Bingham Patterns and Etsy Shop!
DBDoll Patterns Etsy shop
KMOT: How did you come to represent and distribute Daniel Bingham Designs?
Janice: "I didn't actually come to represent Daniel Bingham. It was more a case of inventing him. While I have always loved dolls, sometime around 2005, I discovered and became obsessed with the Tonner's Tyler Wentworth and her beautiful clothes. I have always worked in the crafting industry, from being a knitting pattern designer for a yarn company to a marketing manager for a sewing machine company, so I knew lots of people with similar interests and creative skills. So just for fun, we invented a fictitious fashioned designer, Daniel Bingham. For some reason, we decided he should be a cross between Bill Blass and Richard Branson (if you don't know them, have a look at some old interviews on youTube and you will get the idea). Anyway, that is how he was born. From there, we just put our heads together and created the company."
KMOT: What do you like best about your patterns?
Janice: "There are 2 things. The first and very most important is that we have tried to view sewing and knitting for dolls with an open mind. We need to be open to unconventional sewing and knitting techniques to help us maintain the scale of the items. We've heard a lot from customers who tell things like "I've never sewn in sleeves like that, but somehow it worked!"
"The second thing is that we are very proud of our instructions. They take ages to produce because we go over and over them trying to alleviate any questions that might come up. The sewing patterns have illustrations for almost every step, with added tips along the way. For knitting patterns, consistency is king, and we strive to explain steps in a consistent way to avoid ambiguity. Plus, because we have customers from around the world, our more recent knitting patterns have charts for those for whom English is not a first language or for those who just prefer to knit from charts. Ultimately we want to give the sewer or knitter the sense that we are right there with them, saying things like "slow down around that corner" or "there, that's the stitch you should knit into".
KMOT: Do you have any dolls of your own and which ones?
Janice: How many do I get to name? My first doll was "Baby Chatty Cathy". My first Barbie, and the one who really got me sewing, was Midge! Who chooses Midge? She was one goofy looking gal, that Midge. As for collector dolls, I like everything. One of my prizes is a Lenci doll that I bought in Florence. I tend to go for less glamour (hence the Midge doll). I have an FAO Schwarz Sydney Chase with amazing short hair. She's the one you see in a lot of DB patterns. We still get asked "which doll is that?" And I also have a "Secretary" Silkstone Barbie that I love.
KMOT: What is the top pattern?
Janice: That's easy! " Her Favorite Jeans" is our all time number one, but the "Morning Girl Essentials" bras and panties pattern comes a close second. I guess just like real people, you can never have enough of the basics! But I should mention that since we started creating 18" American Girl type doll patterns in the last 6 months, "Owl Sweater" is a huge hit and considering the short time it has been out, might be considered #1.
What advice do you give those just starting out knitting?
Janice: I would start by saying new knitters and sewers today are very lucky. I have never seen so many talented teachers sharing their skills, and so easily; books, blogs and classes are everywhere. The challenge of learning seems to have gone from accessing the information to that of choosing amongst so many resources. It can be next to impossible to know who has the right information. In light of this, my advice would be to stick with the pros, at least in the beginning. I know first hand that the companies who make the products for you to use have a serious interest in seeing to it that you have success! For knitters, the added bonus of this is knowing that you are working with the right combination products, which can be a real challenge when you begin. Yarns are produced geared to specific projects, techniques and knitting gauges. If you learn from the people who have that information, you will have a more successful experience. After you learn the basics, you can venture out in your learning.
What was your first doll project that you completed sewing, knitting or crochet?
Janice: My first doll projects were sewing, sort of. My mother was an avid sewer, but hated making doll clothes. However, she would give me her scraps. I guess I was about age 6 and crazy for Barbie when I started. I would take a long scrap about 4" wide and cut a slit in the middle. I would pop Barbie's head through the slit and wrap the fabric down over the doll. Add a tie belt to hold it all in place and voila! It the scrap was long, you had an evening gown, middle length you had a dress and a short scrap got you a blouse.
Looking at all the patterns in this Etsy shop makes this Doll lover stare in awe! More then 195 patterns are available in this Etsy Shop! It is just amazing!
DBDollPatterns Etsy Shop please click here
Thank you to Janice for her wonderful answers and for so many wonderful patterns to peruse!
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