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!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/ItsSewSusan

Dreams to Reality

2013-01-12 04.24.52Don’t you love January? I do. It is the time for setting goals and planning. I don’t do resolutions. I never keep them. I need something more tangible, with steps to carry out my goals. From these beginning steps, I find great motivation. I love all the ideas swirling madly in my mind, putting them on paper and making sensible plans to meet them.

Last week, Robert, Skylar and I sat down for our annual planning meeting. We pulled out the notes from last year’s meeting to see what we had achieved, what we wanted to move over to this year’s goal list and what new goals we wanted to accomplish. It was very exciting! In 2012, we introduced the American Girl/18” Doll Birthday Party. We offered the Tee Shirt Decorating Party, Tutu Making Party, Fairy Wing Decorating Party and the Headband Decorating Party. We added Party Hats to our shop and, after a request from a customer for Little Girl Fairy Wings and Tutus, we decided to added these to our shop, as well. These have all been a great success!

This year’s doll donation was bigger than 2011’s. We gave more dolls and many more outfits with each doll. We also included a tote for each doll. My earlier posting tells all about this highlight of our year.

After moving several items from our 2012 goal list to 2013’s we were ready to get all the whirling ideas from our heads to paper. I am sleeping better now because it is on paper. We don’t want to divulge too much here, but let me say this: If you have a little girl’s birthday party in your future, you will want to start following us! We have some great things planned. If the little dolls in your family ever get hungry, well let’s just say, you will want to keep an eye out for this new line. We will also introduce clothes for Bitty Baby! We love her and we feel she needs her own It’s Sew Susan wardrobe. And, last, but not least, ummm, hmmm, do I tell you? Let’s just say, if you enjoyed this posting: https://itssewsusan.wordpress.com/2011/11/ you will definitely want to stick around!

The brainstorming is so exhilarating. Planning it is motivating.  At age 13, Skylar had a lot of wonderful ideas, which we are implementing, too. It has been fun giving you a sneak peek at just a few of our 2013 goals. I am so inspired! My mojo level is very high. Off I go to turn these goals-on-paper into a reality!

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

Susan

Merry Christmas to 12 Little Girls from YOU!

2012-12-19 07.28.38

Thanks to our wonderful customers, we were thrilled to have been able to donate over $1000 in dolls and doll clothes this year! As you may know, we take the first 10% of our gross sales and buy dolls to donate. Throughout the year, I sewed clothes to send along with the dolls. The dolls had 5 outfits, a leotard/swimsuit and Skylar made a tutu for each, as well. Robert is very involved with this project, too. He shopped all year to find the right 18” dolls. In addition, he researched and selected the charity for our donation. This year Toys for Tots was our recipient. Last week, we all worked to package the dolls and outfits into carrying totes for the girls.  On Thursday morning, Robert and Skylar delivered the gifts to the Toys for Tots Distribution Center.

It gave us great joy to wake up this morning, knowing 12 little girls were opening up dolls and doll clothes donated by you and us. Little girls that may not have received anything without this donation.

None of this would be possible without the support of our customers! It is a highlight of the year for us. This is our second year in business and the second year we have been fortunate enough to gift dolls to deserving little girls. Last year, through the Rocklin Moms Group, we donated dolls with outfits to Love, Olivia. We look forward, with your help, to donating even more dolls next year!

Jammin’ ‘Jamas

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAWe are so excited to add more PJs and sleeping bags to our shop! We now have ELEVEN different sets, many with matching sleeping bags. Do you remember receiving PJs on Christmas Eve? I sure do!!! My kids ALWAYS got new pajamas on Christmas Eve! Wanted those Christmas morning pictures to sparkle, you know. Some years I bought them, some years I made them. My youngest son, now 22, still hangs his head at the mention of Christmas PJs. You see, in 2009,  I made everyone flannel penguin print PJ bottoms and red tops. However, in the moment of  “let’s take this over the top” I appliqued 10″ penguins to the shirts! What a good sport he was! He even let me capture a few pictures! Do notice the position of his arms! Ha Ha!

2012-12-18 07.40.38

You must grab some PJs for your doll’s Christmas morning! If your dolls have been longing for a slumber party or movie night, these are too 2012-12-18 07.32.22perfect!
If ordered today, the USPS says you will received them for Christmas with Priority Shipping!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/113570443/pajamas-for-american-girl-dolls-and

Joyous Holidays!

Susan

Surprise, Surprise!

FSCN0016Do you wonder what we’ve been up to? Creating, of course. I’m telling you, with our three creative brains, there is NEVER a lack for ideas. We also get e-mails from our customers asking if we can make something special for them. This is always fun because we love taking their ideas and making them a reality. That’s what happened right after Thanksgiving. We received an e-mail from Meredith with a special request for something we’ve never made before. Her idea sounded like it would be so much fun. Our artistic mind started going, we searched for the basics with our suppliers. We could do it! We were so happy to make these for Meredith. The picture to the left is a hint. If you are thinking doll tutus, we’ve been making them for 1 1/2 years. Want another hint?  “Fly ” on over to our shop, for the rest of the story. Click here: www.ItsSewSusan.Etsy.com

Baby, It’s Cold Outside……..

Here in northern California, we are still going back and forth between hot days, in the 80s, and cold days, in the 50s. It’s hard to know how to dress for a day outdoors. The evenings are definitely cool, so, even if you start out in something light, you need some warmth in the evening. A couple of weeks ago, we headed out to Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm, in Wheatland, CA. It was a great day, which started out warm but, when the sun went down and we found ourselves eating fresh-baked apple dumplings with ice cream, we definitely needed something warmer around our necks! I had a light scarf around my neck, but was wishing for something warmer! All this made me think of a warm, cute and easy fashion accessory for your 18” doll. You know, they get cold in the Autumn, too. So I’ve put together this little no-sew tutorial for you.

This would be so much fun to do with your granddaughters the next time they visit. As you know, we are very busy developing 18” doll birthday party ideas. Thinking this would be a very easy craft for the younger girls to do at a doll-themed party.

So….let’s get going….. First thing you’ll need is some fleece. I purchased a 4” strip of 60” fleece. At first, I was looking for small scaled prints, but in the end, I decided I like the large prints better. You can’t really see the pattern, but I like the indistinguishable all-over pattern best for a scarf. At this point, you have a choice of widths. All the scarves shown here are 4” wide, however, Robert feels the dolls look like they are being choked by the finished scarf. To me, it looks warm and cozy. So, you decide…either 3” or 4” wide will work just fine. At my local fabric store, they are very careful to straighten the edge before cutting your piece, so the most difficult part is already done for you..

                                                   Cut the selvage off both ends.

Cut 60” length in half, making two 30” pieces. If your length happens to be a little longer or shorter, no problem. This will give you two scarves. Set one aside or make it along with your granddaughter, for YOUR doll.

You do have a doll of your own, don’t you? The little girl inside each of us still loves dolls. Your granddaughter will have more fun playing dolls with you, when you have your OWN doll! And, you will have so much fun dressing her up!

            Clip into the short end every ½” apart and 2” deep. No need to measure. Just eyeball it.

                                                  Repeat on other end.

Wrap around your dolls and admire. Don’t they look warm and snugly?

We’d love to see pictures of your dolls with their new scarves! Send them to ItsSewSusan@comcast.net and we will post them here.

So there you have it, our first craft for your 18” dolls. We hope you enjoyed it, but most of all, were inspired to make these up. What about helping you daughter/granddaughter to make these for all her girlfriends for Christmas? Maybe even matching sets…one for the little girl and one for the doll? For a little girl version, I would start with a 12” width and use the entire 60” length. I would still cut the ends at ½” intervals, but make those cuts 4” deep. Enjoy!

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

~Susan

200 Strong and Counting! Let’s Have a Party!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Yes, that’s the count. As of today, I have made 200 tees for your 18″ dolls! That is very exciting to me. And, for those who like milestones, that is 600 hand-sewn snaps! Just the time spent sewing those snaps adds up to 30 hours! Some kind of statistics, huh?

Most of  these tees have gone out for parties. We are now doing a large business in birthday parties! This is so much fun! We love being a part of a little girl’s birthday dreams! Our parties are totally custom….mix and match….have it your way. Whether the party is for 5 or 20, we are here to help you! Some of the tee party ideas this year?  For the party in the slide show, the girls decorated tees and fairy wings. At another party, the girls decorated tees and denim skirts with fabric paint.

Girls and dolls in matching outfits. . .no decorating required. Aren’t they the cutest? Matching shirts, matching jeans and matching flip-flops. Darn, these are cute.

There are lots of options.In addition to tees and wings, we have tutus, leotards, jean skirts, leggings, jeans. . .any combo of these would be a great party.And for the weak at heart, we even offer a simple headband party. Whether you want headbands for the dolls or matching headbands for the dolls and little girls. These are sure to be a hit when the girls get to decorate them!

These are also great ideas for Girls Scouts, clubs, Christmas Parties and New Year’s Eve get-togethers.

Keep your eye on ItsSewSusan.Etsy.com.  This week we will be adding party hats for your dolls. In the weeks to come, we will be adding more themed parties. I can’t get to them fast enough. If you have a party idea for us, enter it in the comments below. Instead of visions of sugar plums dancing through my head, I have visions of doll parties twirling over my bed.