How did you get interested in sewing / creating accessories? Especially for dolls?
I have sewn since I was a little girl–lived on a farm and made my own clothes all my life. I first started sewing for dolls when my aunt got me interested in making American Girl doll clothes–sold them at bazaars, our Farmers Market, and on eBay. Then one customer asked if I would sew clothes for My Twinn so I added that to my inventory.
What about Diana made you a fan?
I was never really a doll or Diana fan–guess I was to busy working, taking care of my house, and traveling to foreign countries because my husband was military.
What drove you to create the reproduction clothing / accessories for the Princess Diana dolls / and now the Duchess Catherine dolls?
In 2002 the same customer asked if I would make clothes for Diana–I was so busy doing the other outfits that I just put the idea on the back burner. Finally in 2003 I decided I would do it. I won the bid on a Franklin Mint doll on eBay and thought I was ready to go–however my friend said I needed the vinyl doll, not the Elvis doll, so I sold that one on eBay and purchased the right doll, and have been making Diana clothes ever since. I have made 125 different outfits that Diana wore.
I am aware that at one point in time there was a gal who made fabric to match many of Princess Diana’s actual dresses but to the scale of the doll….. how do you find the fabrics you need for these reproduction outfits you make – no need to give away any secrets – just a general reply. What & how do you search for the fabrics / materials?
When the lady was making the fabric, I was an ardent fan–in fact I still have some of her fabric that I haven’t made into outfits yet. We don’t have many fabric stores here in Alaska, but I check the ones we have whenever I go into the stores. If I find something I can use, I purchase it then and keep it until I make the outfit. I seem to have “radar” when it comes to fabric store, I have even purchased fabric in foreign countries when we have traveled overseas.
What keeps you creating the outfits / accessories for these dolls?
I love to sew and this gives me a chance to do it. I have several of Diana’s books, so I just look at the pictures, make a pattern (out of an old sheet), sew it together to make sure I have the right pieces and it fits, and away I go. Many of my customers ask for certain outfits–they have to give me the book/page or a picture and I will do it.
What would be the ultimate Diana doll outfit / accessory for you to create? Or if you have already created it – what outfit was it?
That would be the pleated gold gown designed by Bruce Oldfield on 1985 which she wore to a Barnardo’s fashion gala. Some books say it was silver and other books say it was gold. I have never been able to find the right fabric no matter which color. (Picture 13)
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