I asked Linda how she began sewing and came to sew doll clothes. Here are her replies.
"My first sewing experience was Home Ec class in 8th grade - 1965. No one had a choice then to take the class or not - girls took Home Ec/Boys took Shop. I, at least was interested in learning to sew - there was no one to teach me at home. We selected an "A Line" skirt, with a zipper. I couldn't possibly SEE how we were to get the zipper in the skirt, and my Teacher just kept saying, "Linda, follow the directions - just do what it says!" . I was So frustrated because I wanted to understand and remember this, but it didn't make much sense to me, and I SO wanted to learn to sew! Well, because I had no choice, I followed the directions, and when the last seam was taken out ( if you have ever put a zipper in a skirt or dress following the manufacturer's directions, you will know WHICH seam I mean ) and WHAH-LAH - It Worked!! - I was completely astonished, and felt like this was JUST MAGIC! I was completely hooked on sewing and clothing construction from that moment on!"
"My Mother bought my first sewing machine used, from a friend, and I babysat and mowed lawns to have the money to buy fabric and a few patterns that summer, and learned to follow directions in the patterns, and to experiment...it never occurred to me that there were whole books on nothing but sewing, so I learned from pattern directions and trial and error!"
"I am completely self-taught and have been sewing now for 46 years! While I have learned to make many things over the years, sewing is my First Love."
"Through High School, I made a lot of my own clothes, wanting the latest "Carnaby Street of London" look; after I had 4 children, I made most of their clothes when they were in grade school, and all my own clothing for Maternity wear, as what was available to purchase was simply AWFUL for a young woman! I did a lot of unique sewing for close friends, and had a shop in downtown Springfield in the early 1970's, featuring vintage clothes & jewelry, and as well as custom designing and up-cycling a lot of bellbottom jeans, vests and custom hand embroidery. I had more guts than brains in those days, agreeing to do whatever a customer asked, including making 5 cowboy Shirts from velvet for my friend in the Ozark Mountain Daredevils! (Flat-felled seams? What are those??). After the birth of my first child, I and two close friends were asked to sew for a local shop that sold clothing made from the Folk Wear line of patterns almost exclusively!"
"While I still make clothes for my granddaughters, I enjoy making doll clothes tremendously - no fit issues; no one complains about standing for fittings; no one screams when getting stuck with pins, and no one asks if this "makes my butt look big?". "
"My favorite doll clothes to make are the really complicated, Historically accurate pieces, the more trims and intricate little details, the better I like it! I also like making things no one else has made yet- such as replicating a period piece from a Museum photo. One of my best sellers has been the corded Civil War era Petticoat, which I saw in a museum online and figured out how to make for America Girls! I have also sold many Regency era dresses for the last 5 years, with patterns I designed long before AG produced Caroline. A little over a year ago, I emailed a seller on etsy who had a marvelous Historically accurate doll dress in her shop. I asked her if she had ever thought about selling the pattern, and we began to chat. Turns out, Shari Fuller, of Thimbles and Acorns on etsy, had always dreamed of designing and producing patterns for American Girls and other dolls. With a little encouragement from me and a few other people, Shari has been in business doing just that for the last year! She, in turn, encouraged me to make a pattern to sell from the Regency designs I'd been producing for some time, and I am working with her on my second Regency pattern, to be released in the next two weeks or so! (It is a Stovepipe Bonnet, 1814 Regency Pelisse, and Spencer jacket. The inspiration for the Pelisse is in a Museum.)"
"I especially like doing custom orders - working up the designs or desires that other doll lovers have dreamed of owning. It's detailed and specific work, but I am well suited to that. I can work from a photograph, or a drawing. I love bringing to life what someone has visualized for along time!
Finally, I love being a part of the many doll seamstresses that sell on etsy! We chat frequently, and there's such a sense of "comeradie" rather than territorialism and competition! We work to enhance what each is doing, as there are plenty of buyers/collectors to go around"
I hope you enjoyed today's post. I just love this Etsy shop!
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