I Love Custom Orders

Nutcracker ClownI know many seamstresses who hate custom orders. Some refuse to do them, others dread the entire process. Not me! I love the challenge of a custom order. I love breaking down the costume into it’s smaller parts, drawing up each piece,  finding the right fabrics and then locating the trims to add the right details. And, finally the joy of having conquered the task.

Today’s project is to create three Nutcracker clown costumes for three little girls performing in the Nutcracker Ballet. Their mothers sent me pictures. I went shopping yesterday 20171214_152134and today I am at the drawing board creating a pattern. Hopefully, it will go quickly so I can get the mock-up done this evening. It is always so hard to work on the sample. I want to cut into the real fabric and see the outfits come to life. This is where I have to exercise a lot of self-control.  Doing so will allow me to make more adjustments and make the best design.

Stand by…I will post the finished costumes as soon as I have finished them.


Several hours later………….

The mock-up is finished. I have some changes to make before I go to the “real” fabric. Do you love the gold??? I wanted to use something from my stash that I was unlikely to use for something else, so gold it is.  I will shorten the legs about an inch and make the lower edge about an inch narrower. The sleeves are too long and a bit too full so I’ll make similar adjustments on the bodice


I got up early this morning and started cutting the clown costume out. As I’m working on other orders, which Robert cuts out for me, I’m hoping to catch some time to sew thee today. If not, tomorrow.




And several days later……….

These have been finished for a couple of days, but my posting time has been limited. Here is the final outfit. I am very happy with the way they came out. Hope the three little girls who receive them will love them, too. 20171219_200355


“Making little girls smile. This is why I sew.”     Susan



I’m Back!

I can’t believe how long it has been since I posted here. My health has given me lots of trouble this year, but it seems to be getting under control finally. I’ve had to take some time off work and I have used the time to make some exciting Christmas items for our shop. This is one set of three, so be sure to check back often so you don’t miss out. And now, on to the fun stuff.

The last two years we have had Christmas Elves in our Etsy shop. They have been a lot of fun to sew and we have sold more than we ever thought we could each year, having to cut orders off. I was dreaming elves! As we started planning our Christmas creations last summer, we had the idea to do a red and green striped elf this year. After hours and hours of searching through tons of watermelon, dolphin and sand castle print fabrics, I finally a Christmas stripe in the right scale! I ordered all they had and it arrived mid-July when it was 110* outside. It was a little hard to get my mind around Christmas in that heat, believe me.

But now, it’s really put me in the Christmas mood to sew these up for you. I’ve listened to a ton of Christmas music, drank hot chocolate and soon will be putting up our tree. To help you out, I found a video with 25 really cute ideas to get you started using you American Girl turned Christmas Elf. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zeh7iqqFpRE I also came across these great ideas to use our Christmas Elf in the classroom. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qM75oVTBTng And, they are not just for kids, either. Husbands, boyfriends, co-workers, neighbors, and friends really appreciate all the attention spent on putting this together for them and you can use most of the same ideas. Do 25 days sound overwhelming? How about using the 12 days of Christmas? Or use this to bridge between Christmas and New Years? No matter what you decide to do, start this family tradition this year. Order your’s today at ItsSewSusan.Etsy.com







“Hippity hoppin’, Easter’s on its way….”

“Hold on, Becky. I need a quick picture of you before heading out to Grandma’s house for Easter. She is going to LOVE your new outfit!” Becky and her family are so excited to DSCN2052spend Easter week with their grandparents. Becky is especially pleased with her new outfit. She picked it up from ItsSewSusan.Etsy.com.

I am excited, too. Excited because I just purchased a wonderful embroidery machine. I’ve already made six more three-piece sets like this one, with various themes……cupcakes, Tinkerbell, peace, and more. I’ve also made a cute chihuahua three-piece outfit, too. The fun thing is, I can customized to most any dog you’d like, in the colors of your pup. We will do custom embroidery on our soccer outfits, and soon to be added baseball, football and t-ball and Little League uniforms.

Watch my Etsy Shop as I list these, and more this next week.  Follow me here and on Facebook      ItsSewSusan.Etsy.com.

Money-Saving Tips

target_lady1-753x364I love all the American Girl accessories. They are beautiful, cute and fun, all at the same time. Every time I go to the AG website, I lust after so many items. Oh, to have unlimited funds! I think this year’s Girl of the Year release was the final blow for my pocketbook. Grace is beautiful. I’m sure I will get her, at some time this year, but it is her bakery that I covet. I think it is the best set AG has made. I love all the detailed pieces, but…whoa…the price…..$500.00. There are a few alternatives, one of them is finding cute pieces, other than at AG. A year or two ago, I ran across the Our Generation dolls. Although I am not impressed with the dolls, I love all the extras……travel sets, sick day kit, and cars and campers. But, late last year Our Generation came out with two fabulous pieces….the kitchen and the diner. My local Target couldn’t keep them in stock. I splurged on the kitchen, myself. Do you have a list of wants at Target? I sure do and now that I am moving my granddaughters into AG dolls, my list has many multiples on it, too. Way too long a list. Well, I came across this list of secrets to shopping at Target. The neat this is this is not for just the OG stuff, but the entire store. The more we save in all those other departments, the more we have to spent in the OG isles. http://tiphero.com/8-secrets-you-didnt-know-about-shopping-at-target/ Have fun! And leave a few things for me, ok? http://tiphero.com/8-secrets-you-didnt-know-about-shopping-at-target/

Dolls with a Cause Auction


Elsa Dress Give Away

A friend of mine has breast cancer. Pam and I met three years ago due to our mutual love for American Girl Dolls. She also homeschooled her kids, as I did. She loves to sew, cans and of course, her first granddaughter is very dear to her. We have so much in common. Most of all, she is a wonderful, loving and giving person. Her family is so caring and supportive. However, their financial needs are really being put to the test, as time off work to take care of her, drive her to chemo and other expenses have drained them.

Some of our doll friends started Dolls with a Cause some time ago. They have had auctions for Leukemia, Make a Wish, Komen, Autism Speaks, Wounded Warrior Project. When they heard about Pam, as we are all friends they wanted to hold an auction to help her. It is scheduled to start August 31 and will run for one week.

We have donated our last Elsa dress to the auction. There are so many beautiful outfits and even a doll has been up for auction.

Don’t forget, Christmas is right around the corner. This is a great time to start your holiday shopping! Please take a look.

Tell Me Do…..

Old & New Samantha Dolls - Not Labeled

Well, we’re almost there! Or,  should I say, they’re almost here? The Beforever dolls will be released in just nine more days! How excited are you?

The historical dolls have always been my favorite. I was really sad when Mattel announce some of the historicals would be archived. As a former homeschool teacher, it really broke my heart. I felt, before long, they would all be gone. I truly think that WAS Mattel’s plan. But, as we have seen with other companies, recently, they are responding to their customer’s requests to bring discontinued items back. Think McDonald’s, Starbucks and Wendy’s. Consumers are getting more of a voice because companies have decided to listen. I am very excited to see Samantha return.

This lead me to wondering how much they would change Samantha. I did some research and pulled a picture of the old Samantha next to the new Samantha. Other than the meet outfit, I don’t see much difference……I am relieved!


NEW Products!!!!

2013-12-01 07.49.10Last night, we released our first piece of furniture. This has been a line we have wanted to add to the shop for some time. We just needed someone with the time and abilities to produce the quality furniture we wanted in our shop. Robert and I have no woodworking abilities, so we knew we were not the answer. So we waited on a solution. Last spring, my daughter, her husband and granddaughter number four (BTW, granddaughters number 6 and 7 will be here early in 2014—–7 granddaughters!!!!) had moved back to California. In September, my daughter joined the business by making beautiful tutus for little girls. We talked often about our dreams for our thriving Etsy shop, over Sunday dinners. We talked about our goals and plans for the future. One Sunday, over a plate of BBQ’d ribs and potato salad, my son-in-law offered to make the furniture. When he arrived at the house with his sample, we were delighted it with it. It was well constructed, very strong and as cute as could be! I couldn’t wait to sew some bedding for it. 

As I worked along with my normal sewing for the shop, I found it hard to commit any time to making bedding. The days passed, then weeks. I felt bad, as I really wanted to get these darling beds into our shop. I spoke with my daughter and asked her what she thought about making the bedding. She was on-board! Hooray!

So, as of today, you will find the beginnings, and only the beginnings, of our furniture line. We have lots of plans to expand the furniture line and bedding choices. If there is something in particular you think we should add, or you would like, add a comment. YOU are the reason we are in business. We value your comments!


Small Business Saturday Sale

2013-02-08 11.08.33Our Etsy Shop is in full swing this weekend offering 20% off everything in the shop. We have decided to participate in all the sales this weekend, thru Monday! This is the only sale we have during the year, so this is the time to get those items you’ve been mulling over.

In addition to your discount, don’t forget, another 10% of each sale goes toward the purchase dolls for our “Dolls for Dolls” Program. Each year, we take 10% of the total purchase price of each sale and buy dolls to donate to a charity. Then, we put together a wardrobe for each doll. We donated over $1000 in 2011 and, again, in 2012!!! We can top that this year, with your help!

Check out our sale, buy some cute clothes, and help us fulfill a lot of little girl’s dreams!


It’s Sew Susan
“Making little girls smile. This is why I sew.”

FREE with Purchase

Saddle Shoes 2As many of us know, Molly and her best friend, Emily, are being retired this year. Both of their father’s were in the military during World War II. My own father was a medic during WWII. In honor of our wonderful veterans, we have decided to have a giveaway at It’s Sew Susan.

I have just recently made two new Molly outfits. I originally made these as a custom order. My customer was very happy with the way they turned out, saying, “”Absolutely wonderful, Susan! <The dress> looks exactly like the dress in the book! And thanks so much!” I thought you might like them, too.

Jump on over and take a look!