Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Year for CSBSEWS American Girl Doll Clothes

CSBSEWS was very busy during the holidays. And now I am busy getting CSBSEWS ready for the new year and January 2nd, 2010 re-opening. I have made a lot of changes to the store. (Thanks to the folks at BISI for updating options on the stores). The design is new. Also, I have started a new category "Films and Fairy Tales" and am creating clothes based on stories and films. On the plus side, there are many characters to choose from. On the down side, it does take time to create the outfits. (I really don't mind). I have also introduced a new shipping option, First Class mail. A buyer can choose from first class shipping or priority mail shipping. First class requires the use of a mailer to stay within the 13 oz weight limits. Items shipped priority mail will continue to be sent in white gift boxes. Shipping costs are rising, and I felt it was necessary to give buyers a lower cost shipping option.

The blizzard has slowed down, actually halted trips to the fabric store, so I couldn't create as many new items as planned. But the thaw is coming and I will be working with the sewing fairies (me) until the store is fully stocked again.

Please visit and see the changes for yourself.

Hears wishing a Happy and Prosperous 2010 to each and everyone of you!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Childhood Holidays..Dolls and Dreams

My most treasured holiday memory involves a doll and what I thought was an impossible dream.   During the 1950's many families were just starting out.  Men had returned from the war and were attending school, and getting their first jobs.   My family was no exception.  We were living in an apartment in Houston, Texas where my father was interning at a local hospital so that within a year he could take his exams and begin practicing medicine.  At that time we were surviving on a very small amount of money.   In early November, my mother and I went downtown to shop.   In those days there were no shopping malls as such so we visited the downtown shops and department stores.   We passed a small toy store and in the window was the most beautiful doll I had ever seen.  I know now it was the Madame Alexander Godey Queen Elizabeth doll.  I stared and stared at the doll, and finally my mother led me away saying, "Yes, it is beautiful, but it is too expensive." 

As Christmas approached I wondered if there was any way I would receive that doll for Christmas, and dreamed about her constantly.  Finally, Christmas morning arrived and I was almost afraid to go out to the tree.  I didn't want to show my disappointment and upset my parents.   But, as you may have guessed, when I stepped into the living room, there, under the twinkling lights of the tree, was the doll.   Words cannot describe how I felt that morning.  It was a miracle and to this day I have no idea how they did it (there were no such things as credit cards in those days).   I suspect helpful relatives.

The reason I share this experience with all of you is so I can shed some light on why I love sewing holiday dresses for the American Girl Dolls.  I know that many young girls today want activewear and modern clothes for their dolls.  But I have never forgotten how beautiful my doll looked under the tree and I imagine a young girl opening the box with a beautiful, sparkling dress for her doll and loving the magic of the moment. 

Here are the first dresses I have sewn for the holidays.  I love them all, especially the velvet dress for Samantha.  Hopefully there will be more.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Victorian clothes are so attractive to me.  I'm not sure why I (and many, many others) share this love of women's and children's clothes from the late 1800's - early 1900's.   I particularly love the "over-the-top" versions of these clothes, as expressed in French fashion magazines of the time.   And made so exquistely for the dolls of that era.

I have tried to recreate two of these dress for the American Girl Doll.   It was an interesting experience.  It took time to find the fabrics locally, (ah, to have a Mood Fabric Store in Oklahoma!) and to create my own dress patterns.   The dresses were expensive to produce as the fabrics and trim were costly and the construction was time consuming.   But I had the satisfaction of completing the victorian dresses and hope to do more for the spring line of clothes.  These items are available now at CSBSEWS American Girl Doll Clothes

The rose print dress reflects an American Victorian doll dress, while the silk dress and bonnet are modeled on the French Victorian style.

For those more interested in today's looks, I have added new winter items for the modern American Girl Doll to the offerings at CSBSEWS.  


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Working with wonderful fabrics

Our evenings are cooling down and the days are getting shorter. I am looking forward to putting out pumpkins and straw and greeting all the trick or treaters in our neighborhood. I have created two halloween costumes for American Girl Dolls. One is a traditional witch with a twist. Her costume has a sparkling witch design on a net layer and the dress is trimmed with sparkling sequin trim. The second costume is for all girls who love fairys. These are the only halloween costumes that will be offered at CSBSEWS this year.

As I wrote in my earlier blog, I am now getting wonderful fabric from a local fabric store that specializes in fine, fine fabrics. These fabrics and trims spur my imagination and I can't wait to finish an outfit and move on to the next. I picture an American Girl Doll owner opening a present during the holidays and seeing one of these beautiful ensembles. (I always send my items in a white gift box). I think these dresses qualify as very special gifts.
I'm adding items daily so stop by CSBSEWS.com often. OR follow me on twitter. You'll get a tweet everytime a new item is added.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Spent the last 2 weeks preparing for the upcoming Holiday Season. Created 2 outfits as "teasers" for the offerings to come. Both show the quality of clothes that will be offered in the coming months. I am now shopping at the "uptown" fabric store. All the clothes made for the upcoming season feature very high quality fabrics not usually seen in American Girl Doll Clothes.

This embroidered sparkling gown is just beautiful and photographs cannot do it justice. I have a close up photo of the fabric in my store.

The outfit for Julie is made from the finest woven wools and the colors reflect that. Update: Sorry, it sold ... but there will be more winter outfits.

Other housekeeping tasks - I've updated my logo and am very pleased with it. I've received positive feedback from viewers. And had a little bump with the website last week, but it was my doing and the good folks at BISI and the BISI community helped me fix it. Hint: Don't expect to see any quotation marks (") anywhere on my site ever again.

New customers are finding the website and I am encouraged by everyone's feedback. And looking forward to the Holiday season.

In the meantime, enjoy the last few days of summer - many children are back to school in the next week or so. Remember when school started after Labor Day?


"the only place housework comes before sewing is in the dictionary"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Even with Storms and Power Outages

We had storms and power outages Monday evening and Tuesday. This weather is always fun for us, as one of our dogs (a lab/chow mix) loses her mind (even with drugs)when there is thunder and lightning. Our other dog (a German Shepherd) then tries to help her calm down and all you-know-what breaks loose. Needless to say, no one slept that night. Then after the storm ended and the dogs went to sleep, we couldn't sleep because there was no power and we were too hot to do much of anything.

Anyway, in spite of all this, I managed to finish Kit's school dress and list it in the store. I am going to work on Felicity now .. write more when something is accomplished.

Monday, July 20, 2009

End of Summer Just Around the Corner

Seems just like yesterday I couldn't wait for spring weather, the gardens, the pool, the HOT weather. Now its the end of July, and there are signs of the coming fall season. Back to school for the children, and thoughts turning to the holidays.

I am going to have an end of summer sale the 1st of August, as I still have some summer clothes left.

For fall I found a wonderful vintage "Gunne Sax" style dress and interpreted it for Julie. I had previously created a vintage dress for Molly from an old Butterick pattern picture. I believe that dress is still in the store.

I purchase a new, bigger sewing machine (the other one I had was described by my neighbor, a professional seamtress also, as a TOY). This machine should help me speed up the process. But I do want each item of clothing to be very special, so there is no way I will ever get to the point where I can create more than one or two items a week. so I send a newsletter to customers and encourage them to check back often so they don't miss an item they were looking for. I believe this will become more important as the holidays near.

Speaking of holidays, I am going to make fancy witch costumes and fairy costumes for the AG's for Halloween. I'm looking forward to creating these items.

That's all for now, back to the sewing room.

"The only place housework comes before sewing is in the dictionary"