Thursday, June 21, 2012

Beachwear for Barbie, Fashion Royalty, and Momoko

I've spent the past year trying to find my nitch on etsy. Etsy is a wonderful site with such beautiful, creative handmade items. There are so many talented craftspeople. I'm also an avid fashion doll collector and I had wanted to sell my handmade doll clothes for awhile. At the start of summer when the weather was getting hot, I looked in my closet and found my smocked maxi dresses. I had forgotten how comfortable they were. They were the perfect summer dress. Then, an idea hit me. What if I made mini smocked maxi dresses for my fashion dolls? Would it work? Can my sewing machine even do smocking?

I made my first prototype, tried the dress on one of my lovely dolls, and it worked! The smocking looked 1/6" scale. The doll looked like she was wearing beachwear fit for summer strolling. I made more out of different fabric designs. The elastic top was stretchy enough to fit both small chested dolls like Model Muse and Silkstone Barbies and larger chested dolls like Fashion Royalty. I also made smaller dresses for Momoko to fit her proportions better. The response from the fashion doll community has been very positive and encouraging. I plan to work on more of these dresses and do different styles.

Here's the photoshoot of my summer doll fashions.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My First Sewing Project of the New Year

I hadn't sewn anything for over a year. I had sewer's block (like writer's block). I even bought a dress kit from another etsy seller to get myself to sew again last August. I felt that perhaps if the fabric was already cut out for me, I could just start sewing. Well, the dress kit arrived and I let it sit on my sewing table for months until I got inspired to sew again.

I was spurred on to sew something for my daughter to wear on Valentine's Day. It was already February 13 at 10 PM. I only had a few hours before going to bed to make it ready for her to wear to school the next day. Sometimes inspiration comes at night.

I went to my sewing room and dusted off my envelope containing the dress kit. I looked at the instructions again and felt I could finish in within a couple of hours. The dress turned out super cute. Since Valentine's Day was a cold, windy day, I had my daughter wear it over jeans. It works great as a standalone dress or as a long blouse over pants. As she grows taller, she can still wear it as a blouse. :-)

Happy New Year! I'm back

2010 was a dry year for me for inspiration. I tried to get myself to do some sewing, but couldn't get inspired to do so. About a month ago, I got the itch to relearn crocheting, which was my first childhood craft. I did not learn how to sew until junior high in home economics class. I learned some basic crochet when I was 9 years old during summer school. I remember enjoying it very much and made a granny square afghan with my mother. The colors we used were yellow-orange and brown, very 70's color palette. I don't know where that afghan is. I haven't seen it at my parents' house for years. I hope my mom didn't throw it away.

Although I knew how to create a chain, single and double crochet, I had never learned how to read a crochet pattern. My friend Pauline runs a knitting circle at our church so I went to a meeting and she taught me how to read crochet patterns. It was a bit difficult for me at first. It was like learning a new foreign language. I bought a crochet book about dish cloths since I felt that was an easy project to start. Later, I discovered numerous how-to-crochet videos on youtube. I found wonderful videos showing step-by-step how to create a project and I followed along with the video and its written pattern. That was my first hat project. I made a hat for my little girl. I was so excited to show her after school. Since then, I've made numerous hats, scarves, amigurumi, and ponchos!

I've been crocheting everyday since then. Sometimes my fingers get tired and sore from all that repetitive motion. I also like crocheting because it's a very portable craft. You cannot easily bring a sewing project or even a rubberstamping project in waiting rooms. I have found that crocheting is a great way to pass the time while waiting for my kids at their activities. You can get a lot of crocheting done within a 1 hour class. I've had more than one parent come up to me with curiosity to ask what I was making. It's a great conversation starter. I even inspired another mom in my kids' martial arts class to take up knitting again. The kids' martial arts master jokingly asked if I would make him a karate outfit. I told him that I could only make him a black belt! LOL!

Here are some projects that I've made. My crocheting has also inspired me to create again, even sewing. So expect to see some new things for sale on my etsy store soon.

Martha Stewart-inspired Coming Home Poncho

Matching Hat

Slouchie Beanie

Amigurumi Teddy Bear

Friday, September 3, 2010

No Sewing But Did Some Baking

I haven't sewn anything for awhile. The kids' school schedule and summer activities made me too tired. I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things. But I was recently inspired to do some baking. I had taken a Wilton cake decorating class back in 1993. It was lots of fun, but I stopped doing cake decorating many years ago.
Suddenly, planning for my kid's birthday parties somehow sparked that desire to make and decorate cakes again. I saw many people post pictures of the giant cupcakes they made using the Wilton pan. I went to Michaels and bought one today (using my 40% coupon of course). I looked up directions and tips for baking. To test out the pan, I used Betty Crocker Super Moist Milk Chocolate Cake Mix and Betty Crocker Whipped Vanilla Frosting. I used Wilton's Cake Release product and liberally spread it onto the cake pan first. I baked the cake at 325 degrees. I first filled 3/4 of the cupcake base and baked that for 10 minutes according to people's tips to bake the base first. Then I took the cake out of the oven and filled the top and baked it for another 45 minutes. So around a total of 55 minutes for baking.
I used a large star tip cake decorator and filled it with Betty Crocker Vanilla Frosting. The frosting is extremely sweet. Next time I'll try a whipped cream frosting. I then sprinkled some colorful sprinkles. When my kids came home, they were excited to see their giant cupcake.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Fabrics

My friend Debbie brought back some beautiful fabrics from Hawaii. Lately, I've been very busy with other things to focus on. I have finished making a few commission pieces. I'm hoping to find some time to make new items to post on etsy.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy New Year!

I've been neglecting this blog and I apologize. My open house in December was a big hit. Most of the items I had displayed sold out and I received many more custom orders. The coffee cozies were a surprise hit, with many requesting them in time for Christmas gifts. Other popular items were the potholders and towels. I was exhausted sewing so many items within a few days.
My friend Debbie returned from Hawaii with great new fabric for me. I can't wait to make things with them. I started making iphone/cell phone/camera cases. The first one I made was for my husband who needed one right away. I made one that he can wear around his belt. I also made one for myself with the last pieces of my remaining black paper crane fabric. I showed several people the phone cases and they thought they were cool. Now, I just need to find time to make some more and post them for sale.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Getting Ready for My Open House

I'm sewing more products to get ready for my first open house to launch my business! The best selling items are my hand towels and potholders. I've received wonderful feedback on my handmade items. I think being able to see the items in person will help sales.