I'm Sheryl. I wanted to learn how to make clothes.
What a minefield! It seemed to me that to learn to dress make, I had to do it 'on the job'. Because, yes, sewing is one of those things you ave to actually DO to begin getting better at it.
I scoured the internet for suitable first projects. I had sewn before, but mostly just cushions and curtains. I knew my way around a machine.
I made endless Pinterest boards of quaint tea dresses that I coveted being able to whip up but they all felt out of my reach.
I didn't want to pick something that was above my skill level.
I didn't want to buy metres and metres of expensive fabric to 'play' with (I knew I might screw it up!). The sewing groups on facebook I was a member of were full of posts along the lines of 'OMG - I messed this up' and 'I accidentally cut through this, what can I do?'. I knew it wasn't going to be easy.
I didn't want to feel that I had to wear something I had 'experimented' on if it was less than good - or worse - because I felt that I had invested a load of money in fabric and time in making it that it gave me a guilt trip if I didn't actually wear it.
And, I didn't want to go in blind without a helping hand or someone to turn to that knew what they were doing.
Thankfully, that was all a LONG time ago... So what changed?
I made my own way to teach dress making and sewing in general.
My Breakthrough moment
I took inspiration from my daughter - I could practice dress making in MINIATURE.
Not for clothing for her to wear though, I didn't want the pressure. But FOR her, now that sounded just the ticket.
By making her a Dolly, I was able to relax and learn all the techniques I needed for bigger projects stress free.
You see, a rag doll is very forgiving. She becomes better the less perfect you sew her. This was my idea of heaven.
No expensive amounts of fabric and notions. With Dolly any 'mistakes' became acceptable personalisations! Above all, no one to judge my creations .. just the look of pure joy on my little ones face when a new costume was revealed (no matter how rough around the edges!).
It struck me that there may be other people feeling like this.
So, I made a Dolly Kit and a video vault to show people each step of the process to make their own Dolly.
I have gotten better at making videos since then - take a look.
So how could I help?
I decided to roll everything I had learned and roll it out into the universe as bite size monthly dress making lessons using Dolly as my muse.
Each month, I send our members a specially curated box of fabrics, notions and a pattern to make a new outfit or costume for Dolly. Each box is designed to teach a new sewing skill. It's a totally risk free project - you can be as neat or as slap dash as you like and Dolly will be gorgeous all the same.
There are many costumes and outfits to create for Dolly, all teaching you something new about sewing and dress making.
Here's some of my favourites:
Then something amazing happened!
I landed a two year contract with Create and Craft TV. I have been having so much fun at the studios in Peterborough and everyone there loves Dolly!
This is me with Dean, Kristine and Nigel and a few other crafty nutters! :
Not bad for a Cornish lass, huh!?
'Do' to learn - The ultimate, fun solution
Remember, I said you need to 'do' to learn? Well that is exactly what Dolly is for.
With the Dolly Pattern subscription club, I have made sure that you can:
- Double your sewing confidence on your first outfit
- Access a special video vault where I walk you through each project step by step
- Make something beautiful, personal and judgement free.
- Use the right fabrics in quantities that won't hurt your pocket or ego!
- Enjoy being on a sewing journey with many other learners in the same boat.
- Move on to more challenging projects and even full sized dress makes.
Of course, to start, everyone needed to make Dolly herself. I decided that anyone wanting to join and learn would get a FREE Complete Dolly Making Kit - the same one as I sell on Create and Craft TV. But more than that, the free dolly kit is my way to say thank you to everyone joining me on my crusade to inject a bit of fun into the sewing world.
And so, if you are interested in joining the costume club and receiving an exclusive costume kit and all that educational value to make your dress making better each month for a year, please visit https://www.dollypattern.com/pages/dolly-costume-club
I will drop you an email to let you know that I have reserved a free dolly making kit for you that I will send with your first monthly box when you decide to join us.