Today we would like to introduce you to
Etsy shop AveryLane
AveryLane has been selling on Etsy since May 2008, they sell sewing patterns for dolls clothing and accessories, specifically designed for American Girl Dolls, Bitty Baby, and Bitty Twin Dolls. Today they are going to give us a little peak behind the scenes of their Etsy shop.
What motivated you to start your shop?
I've been sewing since I was a young child and sewing has always been a big part of my life. I thought it would be fun to try to earn a little money doing something that I love and it would allow me to continue to stay home with my kids. I think this is similar to many Etsy shop owners, which may be why it felt like a good fit from the start.
I first joined Etsy to buy fabric. It was over a year later that I opened my shop. I started selling children's clothes, because it looked fun. The Etsy community felt supportive and encouraging, so I took a chance. My shop and business has evolved from that feeling and my passion for sewing.
What is the story behind your shop name?
As a teen and young adult I made lots of clothes for myself. When I started having kids, naturally I sewed for them. Having 4 children within 6 years meant I didn't have as much time for sewing as I would have liked. It wasn't until my 4th child was born that I began sewing clothes as a necessity.
My youngest daughter was extremely particular about what she would wear. She had some tactile sensory sensitivity, and at one point, she refused to wear most store-bought clothes. She preferred to wear her mom-made skirts and dresses, so I complied and sewed.
Several of the moms at her preschool asked if they could buy my handmade skirts--their girls wanted to wear those ultimate twirl skirts. As I began selling more and more skirts, I decided to open an Etsy shop. Since it had been my daughter, Avery, who prompted me to sew this style and it was her school mates who started me on this path, I decided to call my business "Avery Lane".
What is your favourite creations from your shop?
The Sabrina Dress pattern is my favorite dress design. The Sabrina dress was in my head for a long time, a classic, elegant style with a bateau neckline or boat neck (sometimes called a "Sabrina" neckline). I admire Audrey Hepburn for her many qualities: kindness, philanthropy, class, and of course, her timeless style. The dress was designed with her in mind, specifically a dress she wore in the movie, Sabrina.
My new book, Sew in Style-Make Your Own Doll Clothes, is also a favorite project, but it's a collection of 22 patterns-not just 1 design. It brings back many childhood memories for me, memories of sewing as a young girl for my dolls and stuffed animals. It's different than anything else in my shop. Not only is it a published book, but it's the first time I designed patterns for children to sew, instead of adults.
I worked for over a year and a half on my book. I spent a lot of time thinking about how I teach children to sew and how that differs from teaching adults. I wanted my book to be written in a kid-friendly language, and I wanted the patterns to be simple enough for children to sew by themselves, like I did as a young girl. This was the biggest challenge, to create trendy and stylish designs that were simple in construction.
It was a great experience, and I love my book. It's an awesome feeling to think that my book may help young people catch the sewing bug :) and feel the joy of creating something with their hands.
What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
Any handcraft or art is very personal for the artist. When a person makes something with her hands, part of herself goes into her finished product. In this way, the artist is sharing a part of herself with others. If she is creating for a specific person, her feelings for that person also goes into the finished piece. It creates a connection.
When I sold children's clothing, it was so rewarding to hear how my dresses and skirts became favorites of the children who wore them. Now that I sell sewing patterns, I love when people contact me to let me know how they've enjoyed creating with my patterns, or even when they contact me for help. I could talk about sewing and fabric for hours. These conversations make the connections even stronger.
What do you do when you aren't working?
I mostly do the mom thing. Our home is very busy and often really noisy. We spend a lot of time at the soccer fields and at music concerts, doing crafts, and baking. We love watching documentaries and movies together. My husband and I like to take walks after dinner, and we all love going to the beach.
When not doing family stuff or Avery Lane sewing and blogging stuff, I teach sewing through the parks and rec and volunteer as a 4-H sewing leader. Believe it or not: I also still sew for fun, when I have time. I love sewing clothes for my daughters and myself. My youngest still insists on mom-made clothes. She hasn't worn a store bought swimsuit in years.