As a young child I grew up with a grandmother who, as well as making clothes for us, made clothes for our dolls.
If your doll was broken then it was taken to the dolls hospital and fixed.
We all know that so many of these wonderful skills have taken a back seat to shop purchased items, but I have to say my love for handmade items remains strong.
Let me introduce you to a new monthly feature on the blog where you will get to meet inspiring people with a variety of wonderful skills and small businesses.
This month I am introducing you to Alexandra Yount owner of Ally Sews.
How old were you when you started to sew/make dolls clothing, how did you learn and what inspired you to start your business?
I was 12 when I first started sewing. I learned the basics and made a few small projects in my highschool home-ec class. I loved it and begged my mom to put me in sewing classes at the local quilt shop and she did! I had a really great sewing teacher and was there for a year, I learned a lot of basic garment-making techniques, she taught me how to do the simple things, well.
I sewed mostly clothes for my little sister back then but I practiced drafting/creating my own patterns on her stuffed dolls and I guess it stuck, I definitely enjoy sewing for dolls more than anything else.
Please share with us more about the items you make?
The whole ‘creative process’ is fun. Finding a fabric, figuring out what I’m going to make and then cutting/ironing/sewing until it’s finished is awesome. I’m pretty impatient sometimes, once I start a project, it has to be finished and I can’t do anything else until it’s done. Sewing for dolls I think there’s more freedom, you can make whatever, mess up etc. I mean it’s not like they’re going to judge.
Your attention to detail is amazing! How do you put so much detail into a tiny item of clothing?
Thank you, it looks harder than it is 😉 haha! I’m not really sure, just practice I think. After you’ve made the same thing 500 times over, it’s simpler to do. I remember the first time I tried to make a barbie dress and it took me like 3 hours and was so annoying to sew, but I kept making more.
How long does each item take you to make?
I’m not really sure, I’ve never actually timed anything but I’d say 15 mins-1 hr per dress/outfit depending on what size doll it is. The smaller the doll, the harder making its clothing is.
What do you like to do when you are not sewing?
Besides fabric shopping and planning new projects I don’t do much else but sew lol!!
Where do you find inspiration when creating new clothing?
I search Pinterest, Instagram and magazines mainly for baby and toddler clothing, which is what inspires my work most. The style of my doll clothes is more childish, I would say. I like to create doll versions of outfits/dresses you would see on a little girl.
What advice would you give other young people wanting to start their own business?
Love what you do, more than anything. Starting a business can be hard work, but is so worth it.