Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Featured Artisan: Joyfully Sewn


Please give a warm welcome to EtsyKids Team member Joyfully Sewn Designs to the blog.

What do you make and what was/is the inspiration for your shop?  Sewing is my specialty! I make mostly little girls' dresses, jumpers, skirts, and peasant blouses, but I also branch out into doing ladies skirts sometimes. Little girls are easier to fit into standard sizes though, so a lot of my ladies skirts are custom orders. :)

Pink and Brown Sundress
I learned to sew mainly from my Grandma. She passed on not only the skill of sewing to me, but also a love of sewing. I love to use my talents to bless others. I first began doing custom sewing for friends who had a hard time finding modest, feminine clothing for their daughters and themselves. I love creating pretty, cute, modest, and girly outfits! I'm always thrilled to see (or hear about) someone wearing (and ENJOYING) something I've created and sewn. :)

Tell us how your creativity has woven itself into your life’s journey to make you what you are today.   After I graduated from high school (I was home educated), I decided to make one of my little buddies a special outfit for Christmas. It was a rather challenging pattern, but I stuck with it and it turned out adorable. The little girls' mom very soon after, asked if I would be willing to sew some jumpers for her. I said yes, and from there, I received more and more requests from other busy mamas who didn't have time to sew. Little by little my confidence and skill level increased.  In the Fall of 2009 I finally decided to branch out and open an Etsy shop. I was rather scared to do it though! Would anyone actually buy my clothes? I knew the people here locally liked them, but would others? Was my quality good enough?  As people began actually buying from my shop, requesting custom items, and leaving feedback, my confidence increased even more. When others besides just friends commented on how well made my garments were, that helped me to realize that I could truthfully claim excellent quality for my work. I do my best with every item I make, and lots of time and love go into each one.

What is your vision for the future of your business?  My main goal for my shop is to help provide sweet, modest, feminine clothing for girls that lets them BE little girls instead of trying to make them look like miniature movie stars or something. I'd also love to be able to the place where I was getting steady sales instead of just a few here and there. :)
Chocolate Dots Jumper

Tell us about your typical day.  Much of a typical day for me is spent at the sewing machine. :) Usually I get up around 6:00, have my Quiet Time with the Lord, exercise, get ready for the day, and eat breakfast. Around 8:30, I spend some time on the computer checking my shops, my blog, and e-mails. Between 9:00 - 9:30, I head down to the sewing room and start in on whatever project I'm working on. I sew and listen to my favorite Classical Music station or audio books until lunch. After lunch I usually spend another 1 1/2 hours on the computer working on whatever I need to work on (blogging, e-mails, listing new items, etc.). Around 2:00, I head back to the sewing room for another 2 1/2 - 3 hours of sewing. Between 4:30 - 5:00 I'm found in the kitchen working on supper (I'm the main cook in our home :)). After supper, I usually spend a few minutes checking in a few places on the computer, and then it's back to sewing. :) Mom usually joins me around 7:30 to work on the ironing and we'll often watch a teaching video (or sometimes a fun movie) while we work. About 8:30, I'm ready to stop sewing! I then usually work on the computer some more until bed. :)

Are you trained as an artist?  If yes, what degree(s) or certificates do you hold and where did you earn it/them? If no, how did you learn to make the items you offer in your shop?  No, I've never had any official training as a seamstress or designer. Everything I know I've either learned from my Grandma, my best friend's mom (who gave me some sewing lessons when I was about 12), or I just picked up on my own. I've learned a lot by trial and error. :)

In what other areas of your life (or interests that you have) do you see your creativity shining through?
I really don't know how to answer this one. :) When I'm not sewing, my favorite things to do are cook, read, spend time with my family, and be with children. I love caring for and teaching children and I have always had a love for them. Maybe someday I'll have children of my own, but for now I just have to "borrow" them. :) Every Sunday I teach Scripture Memory to the children (ages 5-14) at church and I LOVE it!

Pink Peasant Skirt
What is one thing you will be going out of your way to learn more about in the coming year to benefit your business?  I'm really considering making patterns for a few of my skirt designs. I've never done any kind of tutorial or e-book, so it will take some effort and learning, but I think it would be a good challenge.

You can find Joyfully Sewn Designs here:

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