The concept for my company began when I was a child myself! Having learned to sew at the age of seven from my maternal grandmother, Iíve interrupted that passion only to raise two daughters and successfully complete a 30 year teaching career in the public schools. Even during those years, I sewed whenever I could.
My sewing doll clothes started as a project for my
churchís ladiesí missionary group many years ago. As my initial
investment of fabric and notions for the doll clothes was covered by
selling the outfits then I reinvested the increased funds in more
fabric and notions. I could hardly keep up with the demand which was
for Barbie & Ken clothes at that time.
My First Craft Shows
In 1987 while continuing my teaching during the week, I returned to my love of sewing on the weekends and took my doll clothes to intermittent craft shows whenever I could amass an inventory worthy of the particular show fee. As my show schedule increased I was also nearing my goal of retiring from teaching and beginning my current career of sewing doll clothes.
Traveling to several arts and crafts shows in the tri-state area of Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana during a yearís time required a vehicle and trailer to accommodate not only the clothing but also the props necessary for a show. Therefore I had to say good-by to my Honda CRX and obtained a sturdier vehicle and a small closed-in trailer. Today I continue to travel to many shows but I also have a small shop here at our residence as well. My unique location at the corner of three states makes it a great idea for a day trip.
I have been featured in newspaper articles, been a guest crafter at a nearby city show, and was the special guest on a radio talk-show broadcasting out of Ft. Wayne, IN. Doll clubs from Ohio and Michigan have visited the shop and have enjoyed their visit to so much that they have already scheduled another visit.
Today I sew for MANY different types of dolls, puppets, and dummies. My fashions have even been bought for preemies, a cat, a bird, and a poodle! Custom orders are also available for older or one-of-a-kind dolls.
Speaking of one-of-a-kind: that describes my doll clothes. Just as women donít want to "meet themselves" at a social function when they see another woman dressed in an identical item, I believe little girlsí dolls donít want to see a matching dress on another girlís doll! Therefore most of my styles are sewn from individually distinct fabrics.
Vintage fabrics and notions are used for certain custom orders and older doll frocks. Traditional and non-traditional cloth and notions are used for the remainder of my line. All fabrics are NEW unless described otherwise. Consequently youíve guessed where I shop for my materials: any shop or place where I see something that captivates my imagination.
Teaching children to sew has been a favorite activity of mine the past several years also. Utilizing after-school enrichment classes in both public and private schools in Michigan and Indiana Iíve introduced many children to the delights of making a useful item from fabric chosen by each of them individually. The pride that follows completion and use of that project is one that the children will LONG remember.
More important than the business aspects of "The Child Within" is my philosophy of the importance of child play, and that is why I spend endless hours sewing doll clothes. I feel that itís very important for children to play and pretend. What they learn in those fleeting years of childhood as they transport themselves, their playmates, and their dolls into that magical "Realm of Pretend" we will never know. We do know, however, that latent maternal and paternal instincts are practiced while children care for their dolls. I like to think that I share their precious childhood by providing doll clothes for them.
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