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

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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!

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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!

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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

Time to Celebrate!

The old adage “Time flies when you’re having fun” couldn’t be more true. I was at my sewing machine today, whipping up some tees, when I realized we started our little corner on Etsy one year ago this month. A year! Already????

I opened my shop because my dolls had too many clothes. You see, I had been sewing for them non-stop for several months. It was great entertainment and brought me so much pleasure. But really, how many outfits does one doll need? I really didn’t want to stop sewing. I was loving the creative outlet. The dolls were wild about every outfit I made. I was having too much fun!

To alleviate the guilt of buying yet more fabric for clothes to add to their crammed closet, I opened an Etsy Shop. I talked Robert into taking a few pictures, and off I went. Now, if this was really going to be a cover-up…..cough, cough….I mean, business , I’d better start acting the part, after all, Robert is not easily fooled. Better yet, I needed to “fool” myself into thinking this was all legitimate. I attended a few Etsy Labs, listed a few more items and by June I had sold one item.

Then came July! You guys bought 30 items from me! From one to 30 in a flash! I was in business and having a blast! Except, I couldn’t keep up with all the e-mails, shopping, planning, picture taking, listings, mailing, learning AND sewing (I work a real job, too, you know.) I had not planned to make many sales, but here I was on the cusp of being a small business owner. How would I fit all of this into my already busy life? I didn’t want to let this go. I was having too darn much fun!

I talked with Robert and Skylar. I knew they were both excited about my success, but would they be willing to help me? I needed some serious commitments here. I was delighted that they were more than happy to be part of It’s Sew Susan. Robert jumped right in. He immediately took over all the photography and editing, packaging and mailing your orders. Next he started airbrushing beautiful double fairy wings to match our tutus. He also got the idea to silk screen and apply graphics to the tees. In addition, he runs to the fabric store to grab more needles, just the right color thread and has even picked out fabric for us. Skylar started out by making tutus, along side Robert and me. Next, she became the wardrobe manager. She dresses the dolls and does their hair for the photo shoots. In addition, she is taking an online fashion design class. I am excited about her interest in design!

It has been a busy, busy year! We have sent packages to 30 of our 50 states,  a US Territory, and Canada. We were featured on  Karen Mom of Three Craft Blog in February. Our Scarlett O’Hara dress was featured on a blog in June. In addition to Etsy, we have sold 18” doll clothes at Farmer’s Markets and Craft Fairs. Did I say we’ve been busy?

What does our second year of business have in store for us? I have created a few of my own designs, which will soon be listed on Etsy. We will also expand this blog to include fun dolly crafts and projects for you and the kids to make for your dolls. We are also going to be refurbishing some American Girl dolls and selling them. AND….drum roll, please…..We are launching our own website THIS Month, to mark our one year anniversary! This has been Robert’s major project. We are expanding our line beyond the limits of “handmade” on Etsy to included many of the fun accessories and dolly toys you see in our pictures. We’ve been shopping and that means lots of surprises for you!

As the year rolls on, we will have more ideas. Our creative juices never stop flowing over here. We hope you are as excited as we celebrate our first year and kick off year number two!

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A Great Big Thank You to Our Customers!

Robert, Skylar and I want to thank each and every one of our customers for their part in donating 10 18″ dolls to The Moms Club in Rocklin, California. This wonderful group of women then passed the dolls to some very deserving little girls, who are  fighting cancer. Thank you all for helping us make these little girls happy.

Early on this year, the first year of our business, we decided we wanted to do something special at the end of the year. We committed to setting aside 10% of each sale for a charity project. We decided donating dolls was perfect for our business. You can read more about the reason for deciding this in an earlier post. When on a buying trip, in October, we came upon a fantastic bargain on dolls. We grabbed all they had.

When we bought them, we knew we didn’t like their hair, so Robert set about to remedy the situation. He patiently spent hours re-wigging each doll. Now, they had long beautiful hair. The type of hair little girls love to brush!

Next, to dress them. Skylar was quick to volunteer to make a tutu for each doll. She enthusiastically tied yards and yards and yards of tulle into fluffy tutus. I took on the role of making leotards. We finished the ballerina outfits off with ballet slippers. But this was not enough!

Throughout the year, as I was sewing, I made an extra piece of whatever I was working on and set it aside for our doll project. This allowed us to give each doll a second outfit, complete with shoes.

Thinking of these little girls and realizing some of them are in the hospital, we knew they would have trouble keeping track of their new dolls and their wardrobes. With this in mind, we picked up storage bins for the clothes and then packed each doll in her own It’s Sew Susan bag, made by Robert.

In the end, we had a wonderful time with this. It feels so good to bless these girls in this small way. We want you all to know we couldn’t have done this without your help. 10% of what you spent in our Etsy shop went into purchasing the dolls and wigs. We hope knowing about YOUR part blesses you, too.

Susan