I think I was in high school when I decided to start sewing and selling American Girl doll clothes. I’m not sure if that was before or after I made my prom dress, but I realized I much prefer working small to big. It took me a long time to come to terms with that. I’ve also taken painting classes since I was in high school, and was always told the specific size that I had to work in, and even the mediums. But now I realize that some artists like to work on tiny canvases, while others fill the wall. And both of those are okay.
However, my goal is really to sell my cute dollies and clothes for American Girl dolls. I made my first Etsy sale in 2012 when I had finally stocked my shop with some pretty nice clothes. In fact, the first one that sold was the least cringe-worthy (in retrospect) dress in my shop. I can’t help but cringe when I compare my old work to my new work, which is why all my old work is in a special “sale” basket at all my craft baskets for $5 a piece. They are probably worth much more than that, but I’ll just about give them away at this point to not have to look at them anymore!
The biggest problem with Etsy during college was that I was just too busy to keep it stocked. They say you need around 50-100 items to really start getting a following. Now that I’m graduated and doing the whole self-employed thing, I guess I have no excuse but to keep it stocked! I’ve got lots of holiday outfits, and lots of other stuff too. I’m also working on some special projects that will be up as custom orders soon, and I’m very excited about them!
I have also started an instagram- follow me @simplymelissy!
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Zion Lutheran Holiday Fair yesterday! If you missed it, or just want to see me again, I’ll be at St. Rita’s on 11/21 from 11AM until 5pm.
If you’re not local, and are interested in buying some handmade items, you can do so on my new shop page! There you can buy Gingermelon dolls and their little suits! Of course, I’m always happy to accept custom orders for any doll, custom figurines, costumes and more.
Halloween was a particularly exciting event for my student, Holly. She went out trick-or-treating dressed in a costume she made herself at 8 years old! I can no longer show off about making my own prom dress at 17. Nope, this kid got to WORK.
We had a pattern, of course. She couldn’t decide between Snow White or Cinderella. Tough decision, classics are solid choices, but the cape and fancy collar won out.
Overall, it took us about 19 and a half hours to finish up this costume. I’m not sure who was more proud, her or me.
But then, a week before Halloween, Holly’s older sister decided that she needed to be the Evil Queen, because she’s got good taste in Disney villains & knows that it’s never not cool to go with theme costumes. So, I got to whip her up a costume because apparently they don’t exist in stores anyway.
The cape was my favorite part to do. I love how shiny that material is. I used a “costume satin” (whatever that means, Joanns) for the black and broadcloth for the lining. I used a very stiff interfacing for the collar and attached it with velcro. Holly’s had a lighter interfacing so her collar falls back all sweet like, but I knew the Evil Queen needed it to be as evil as possible.
The dress was a toughie. I ended up using a basic floor-length dress pattern and adding sleeves. It was made for stretch knits but I ignored that and it came out pretty nice. I made the sleeve out of a pattern I had for something else, and just added extra fabric to make it as dramatic as possible.
And here we are! They look beyond awesome, in my not so humble opinion.
After my delightful failure making a pajama set, my students fared much better in making flannel pajamas.
We had four weeks 90-minute sessions to put together these pajamas. They all got to pick their color combinations from the cool flannels I found at Jo-Ann. We technically finished up last week, but tonight was the final make-up session for kids who didn’t finish in time.
I love the look of pride they all have after they finish! For most of them, this was their first project, and for them to be able to wear it more or less comfortably is pretty cool.