Urban Entrepreneur – Sew Fun Doll Clothes

Far from the traditional outfits you’d usually find on these pretty dolls, Sew Fun Doll Clothes specializes in making offbeat and fantastical outfits that any one of us would LOVE to have! It seems almost unfair that the dolls get all the fun. The lovely Urban Entrepreneur Cher joins us today to tell us how she made a growing biz out of making one-of-a-kind embroidered outfits.

SEW FUN etsybanner

Bram's Bride lace top hat

I assume the love of dolls and doll clothes came first. What got you into all that?

I’ve been sewing since junior high, but started sewing doll clothes when my daughters got their American Girl dolls as gifts many years ago. I loved the historical outfits and stories those early Pleasant Company dolls came with, but since we couldn’t afford to buy that many doll clothes back then, I started sewing for my daughters’ dolls.

Bram's Bride

My girls are now grown and on their own, but making doll clothes gives me an excuse to still play with dolls!

Cheshire Grin

What then started you into embroidery?

Several years ago I was using a Brother sewing/embroidery machine as a back-up machine, but I had never used the embroidery attachment. On a whim, I decided it was about time to see what it could do … and as anyone who has done machine embroidery knows, it didn’t take long to become completely addicted! It was only a matter of months before I outgrew that little Brother machine and upgraded to a Viking embroidery machine so I could do bigger and better things.

Cogs Butterfly

What made you take the plunge into starting your own store?

I love sewing, I love making doll clothes, and if I didn’t sell what I make, or want to make, I’d run out of room to store all my creations. I opened my Etsy shop, SewFunDollClothes, in 2008 to fund my addiction! And I am so grateful that people like my doll clothes enough to keep me sewing full time.

Dracula Tee

Where did you first find Urban Threads?

I saw several Etsy sellers using UT designs on baby clothes and thought it would be fun to play with putting some of UT’s designs on my doll clothes. Did a quick Google search, landed on your website. Perfect timing too – it was right when I was starting to prep for Halloween, and there are no better Halloween designs than UT!

My Stitch Witch Halloween outfit did so well, I knew immediately that I would be using Urban Threads designs a lot more from then on.

Little Red_1

What kinds of folks are your customers? Who do you hope to cater to?

I sew for a wide range of customers. When I first started my shop, it was moms and grandmas buying gifts for their daughters who love all things girly. I still love creating the cute girly outfits for them, as that’s where I got my start. There is also a growing number people looking for doll clothes for boy dolls – moms, grandmas buying for their sons’ boy dolls, and adult doll collectors customizing their American Girl dolls into boys.

Poe's Muse_2

Once I started using UT’s designs, I was able to offer gothic, fantasy, and steampunk doll outfits to teen and adult doll collectors adding to their collections. I love the diversity of my customers, I never get bored with just one style.

Steampunk Christmas

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since you began?

Biggest lesson for me was that, while it can often take me longer to get decent photos than sewing the outfit did, getting good photos is extremely important, especially when presenting outfits for doll collectors. I’m still learning which backgrounds and lighting work the best, how to take a decent close-up, and even which doll model shows off the outfit best. With what I know now, I really wish I could go back and re-take photos of some of the outfits I’ve done in the past!

Stitch Witch

Where would you like to see your shop in one year? Any fun stuff planned for the future?

When I started my shop on Etsy, I never could have anticipated where it would be today. It seems to work best when I let my creative whims lead the way! But I’m pretty sure it will include more steampunk, some adventurous outfits for boy dolls, and some UT designs on leather.

Western Steampunk

I am just in love will all these little outfits. That steampunk dress and the tiny matching top hat? To die for. Seriously, I wonder if we could briber her into turning these out in slightly larger sizes? It’s always so fun to see someone who gets to turn a passionate hobby into a thriving business. There’s nothing better than doing what you love! Thanks, Cher, for sharing your story with us. If you love her stuff, be sure to visit her super cute Etsy store to see even more.

Do you use Urban Threads designs to create one of a kind products? Want to see your story or your store featured here and join our gang of Urban Entrepreneurs? Send us an e-mail at blog@urbanthreads.com with a link to your store/website or attach sample photos, and you could be featured!

 

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15 Responses to “Urban Entrepreneur – Sew Fun Doll Clothes”

  1. 1
    Empress says:

    I’m a huge fan of Cher’s Etsy Shop, SewFunDollClothes, for her unique Steampunk fashions which incorporate Urban Threads embroidery designs. A few of Cher’s creations can be viewed on my Pinterest Board at http://pinterest.com/MaisonEmpress/empress-secret-closet/
    I’ve purchased several outfits from Cher which incorporage UT’s embroidery designs and I’ve been pleased with every aspect. I highly recommend Cher’s Etsy shop as a source of unique, well executed Steampunk dsigns featuring UT’s embroidery.
    Empress

  2. 2
    Empress says:

    I’m a huge fan of Cher’s Etsy Shop, SewFunDollClothes, for her unique Steampunk fashions which incorporate Urban Threads embroidery designs. A few of Cher’s creations can be viewed on my Pinterest Board at http://pinterest.com/MaisonEmpress/empress-secret-closet/
    I’ve purchased several outfits from Cher which incorporate UT’s embroidery designs and I’ve been pleased with every aspect. I highly recommend Cher’s Etsy shop as a source of unique, well executed Steampunk dsigns featuring UT’s embroidery.
    Empress

  3. 3
    Michele in IL. says:

    wow, these clothes are amazing! I just love them! That hat is the best! Is the pattern on the web site?

  4. 4
    Jim Miller says:

    Love the doll clothes. I sew AG clothes, too. Where did you get the brick backgrounds? Are they wallpaper or poster board or something else? Thanks!

    • Cher says:

      I’ve purchased several photo backdrops from SwankyPrints at Etsy. It’s easier to set my camera light & color settings having a consistent background!

  5. 5
    Caroline Gerneglia says:

    Those clothes are wonderful. Do you downsize the embroidery designs or just use the smallest that UT designs?

    • Cher says:

      I try to get the size most appropriate for where it’s going, but do have to re-size sometimes (my Viking machine does it effortlessly!). I usually get the smallest size for tee shirts, but do get some medium size designs when I know they’re going on the back of a doll coat.

  6. 6
    Charlene says:

    I just love Cher’s work! The doll clothes look so well made!

  7. 7
    Elaine says:

    OH OH OH these are so cool. LOVE them. Thanks for the ideas! E

  8. 8
    Rebecca Ball says:

    Love these clothes. I would wear most of them myself! :o)

  9. 9
    Elle says:

    Beautiful clothes! I make AG doll clothes too and husband is getting me an embroidery machine (getting a really good deal from a friend)! Is it easier to embroider the material first then make the item of clothing (most likely a t-shirt) or vice versa? Can’t really find any information and since you are an expert I hope you could shed some light on this to help a machine embroidery newbie. I thank you in advance for any advice you can give me ;)

    • Cher says:

      Elle, Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond! For the doll tee shirts, I usually make the tee shirt first then embroider it. For the more intricate steampunk outfits, I embroider the fabric first so that if I mess anything up, it doesn’t ruin the entire piece! It’s also easier for me to center the design on a teeny tiny cuff if I embroider first, then cut out the pattern piece. Good luck with your embroidered doll clothes – and have fun!!!

  10. 10
    John Lu says:

    Wow! It is definitely a cool and fun doll clothes. I think my daughter will love this doll clothes if I purchase one of the doll clothes. You really have a potential in sewing, from now on I am your big fan. I hope you will continue your journey. Good job! PlatinumSouthStore.com

  11. 11
    joanna lovato says:

    These are awesome. I’ve never had an American Girl Doll, nor did my 2 daughters. But, I did have one doll and a woman who worked in the movie studios costume design departments made me a whole trunk full of doll clothes. This was the early 1950′s. The coats were even lined! Underpants, slips, mufflers, etc.. I kept them all these years and then gave them all to my Grandson about six years ago. His Grandfather had an absolute fit about HIS Grandson playing with dolls. So I’m not sure what has become of them??? Until seeing this article I didn’t think anyone was going to so much work anymore. Best Wishes to you and your business. You are one of a kind. I hope that some are saved for a Museum.

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