Monday, June 13, 2011

Poppies: Work in Progress

I'm working on this dress right now. Loving how it's turning out so far! I'm going to do a series of botanical inspired dresses. This will be the first one.

This one was inspired by a gorgeous photograph by the amazingly talented HoneyTree on Etsy ( )

I made the appliques to look 3 dimensional and very organic. I hand cut and texturized all the leaves.

The stems are sewn just up the center so the fabric rolls in on itself.

The poppies started as circles cut with my die cutter. I hand cut some wavey texture across the tops and layered different sized petals.

I pinned them on (not using any adhesive) and straight stitched them on. Then I went back and added in lines on the flowers and leaves to give them more detail and dimension. Can't wait to finish this dress!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sneak peak!

Here are more pictures from Sunday's photoshoot. Right now I only have the navy dresses listed in the shop as they are the only dresses actually finished! The red ones will be listed in a day or so once I get back to sewing. The ones with the striped fabric should hopefully be up by the weekend. I'm having to treat the fabric to keep the red from bleeding into the white stripes.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Blossoms, Blisters, and a sneak peak

One of the last orders I did before moving on to the new designs for the shop was my cherry blossom dress. I designed this dress a long time ago, probably in the first few months of having my shop open. It was one of my favorite dresses, very intricate and detailed. I was only selling a few dresses a month for the first year so I had time to make such detailed dresses. Well, no one ever bought it until this March. March, when I was selling nearly a dress a day! ACK! I didn't re-list the dress after it sold and probably won't bring it back to the shop. Since this willl probably be the last time I make this dress I decided to take a few pictures along the way. I worked on the cherry blossom dress and another dress at the same time (both for the same customer).

Here are both dresses and the hats all cut out and ready to sew!

The applique. All 26 hand cut flowers and the tree trunk.

Very carefully placed each flower to exactly match the original dress. I laid them side by side so I could arrange the flowers in the same places. Whew!

This is where the blisters come in! I painstakingly stitched around each flower (with matching thread). They are so small, I had to  raise the presser foot after almost every stitch to reposition the dress. This took over 2.5 hours. Seriously. Blisters.

Ta da!!! All done! The bunny took all of 5 minutes to stitch on. I did both dresses in a day and a half. Woot!

Ahhhhhh. While I'm not in any hurry to make this again, I *might* just have to make one next winter for my own girls. I do love this dress.
 And now for the sneak peak!!! Here is about 6 yards of the fabric I'll be using on two designs. I already have 6 dresses cut out of this (plus another 11 cut out in two other fabrics!!) I'm doing a photoshoot on Sunday with the first 4 new dresses. Can't wait!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I use my two gorgeous girls to model my dresses. The photoshoots usually are done pretty spur of the moment when I've finished a new design and I'm eager to get some pictures and a new listing up ASAP. I have a few studio lights I set up in the girls' room. I'll push their cribs out into the hall or out of the way and try to have them stand in front of the armoire in their room. I have the camera on a tripod, so I try to stay casual and chat with them while I secretly snap 500 shots. I've been able to get some really amazing shots this way.

This is not a post about those.

These are the shots that don't make it to the listings. The gag reel, if you will. Here are some of my favorite outtakes from past photoshoots. (I am in no way a professional photographer!)

The Shoving Match

Frightfully Offended


Oh the Humanity!

What's that smell?



A Chorus Line


Modern Dance?



Flying saucer spotting? (big brother crashed the shoot)

Abducted by aliens?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Sometimes, while I'm sewing, my kids play wonderfully together. Sometimes.

Other times they play wonderfully while working together to destroy re-arrange the house.

This is their misguided attempt at musical chairs. They apparently understood the game had something to do with chairs being back to back and decided to pair up every chair in the vicinity. Even their doll strollers were included. I counted seven sets of "musical chairs" here.

Their other favorite rearrange-the-chairs game is to make a train outside of my door.

Let's just pretend this is the extent of their shenanigans while I work. I generally am not quick to grab the camera to document the let's-dump-out-everything-we-own-and-make-the-house-look-like-a-toys-r-us-tornado-blew-though game.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A hint for the new designs coming soon....

  • Fish bowl
  • 1950's Nautical
  • Fourth of July/Americana
  • Lotus blossom

Squeee!! I can't wait to get started on these!!

Better get back to working on my current orders first.....

New Direction

After what has been a very busy start to this year, I'm having to reevaluate how I run my shop. I am certainly grateful for the recent success and flood of sales. However, I am just one person. One person, with three needy small children at home. I do want my shop to grow. For me, this is not just a hobby or something I do for fun. I want my business to succeed. I just need a more sustainable way to go about that. I can't sew fast enough to keep on top of the orders and having that backlog of 30+ dresses to make weighs on me greatly. The other issue with this backlog is that there is no time to create anything new. I thrive on design. The part of this that I enjoy, the part that gets me excited and truly fulfilled, is the design part.

After a couple of illnesses swept through my house, the backlog of orders really became an issue. Thankfully, most of my customers have been incredibly patient and understanding, but I hate to make them  wait even longer than they were expecting.

I put the shop on hiatus for what was supposed to be two weeks to get caught up. During that hiatus, the family got sick again. So, I extended it another week. This made me do a lot of thinking, trying  to come up with a way to stay on top of new orders and be able to design new things.

I have decided that I am going to transition the shop to primarily ready-to-ship items. I will have a small section of made to order dresses for my best sellers that are very time consuming to make, like this one:

I plan to start making the ready to ship as soon as I finish my last few orders. I sketched out several new designs that I'm really excited about! The plan is to make 4 of each design in sizes 2T, 3T, 4T, and 5T as those four sizes made up about 95% of my sales this year. Smaller or larger sizes can be made by special request if the fabric is still available. Each week I will debut a new dress in the shop, with 4 ready to ship! Woohoo! I'll be blogging throughout the week with sneak peaks of what's to come, so you can get a jump on the new designs. I can't wait to get started!! (But first I need to finish up the 14 other dresses on my "to-make" list)

Such a weight off my shoulders! Now I'll be able to create new things, spend more quality time with my precious children, and even take some time off without feeling guilty!