Years ago, in 2012, I often wondered if my little “shop in the woods” would make any impression at all on the Big World of Online Selling. I was up against trendy, bold colors, hipsters, and moms with young children; people who were moving up in the world, but only in a different direction, and…much, much younger. I was worried, apprehensive, and like a new kitten anxious to leave Momma’s care, I ventured out, timidly testing the waters.
I started off with a few antiques; some vintage glasses (bought by a lady who wanted to start off her morning with a beautiful glass of juice) and an antique washbowl that went to be in a bathroom as a sink. Then I hit the big time.
I wanted to buy some vintage tablecloths for my kitchen table, and placed a bid on a box of linens. I’ve done hand embroidery and really love the time spent in stitching, up and down, through cloth to make beautiful creations; I still have a few pieces that I sewed many, many years ago. Well, I won the box. And the shipping cost me more than the box itself.
I wanted just a few pieces and couldn’t bear to see the rest tossed in a landfill. All of the hard work that the stitchers had done to make their beautiful creations, only to be left unwanted and dumped. I knew firsthand how long it would take to stitch up just one pillowcase and I had many in that box of linens. So I redirected my shop and decided to re-create functional items with the vintage embroidered linens. I mean, why not carry vintage with you?
Fast forward five years and a wonderful customer bought five little notebooks from me. One thing led to another, and before too long I was making things specifically for her. In particular, pillow covers and, most recently, an entire wardrobe for several dolls.
The most fun of this last project was Miss Bunny. A stuffed rabbit that needed a wardrobe change. She was one of those “primitive” dolls, with tea stained fabric, and simple lines. I’m sure you’ve seen them. When she came to me, she had a piece of cloth slipped over her head and a piece of string wrapped around her waist, holding up an apron. Yes, she certainly needed a make over!
Michele, my customer, was hoping I would come up with something fun and gave me “free reign” to design the dresses as I saw fit, yet keeping the country cottage theme. I decided to keep them simple, not complicated, as that fits in with the theme, and still lets Miss Bunny’s originality shine through.
When Michele sent Miss Bunny, she also sent some beautiful fabrics for Miss Bunny’s new outfits. Fun prints, and wonderful soft colors all in a country cottage theme. First, I had to design a pattern. The bunny’s gotta have a new dress design! After designing it, and keeping a master on a brown paper shopping bag, I had Miss Bunny sitting next to my sewing machine all the while I was making her clothes. At first, she was in the buff,
But as time went on, she was dressed and loving her new outfits. Here are just a few:
Well, needless to say, Michele loved all the outfits. She commented on her Facebook page that she bought the bunny several years before, saying that the country cottage style fit more in her current decor. It’s fresh, warm, and inviting, much like Michele. Don’t you think Miss Bunny looks more “Country Cottage”, than “Primitive”? And then she gave me the nicest review!
Here are the dresses laid out, and photographed by Michele, who is an excellent photographer (I could learn a thing or two from her!)
Fun, fun, fun and such a great customer!