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Wellie Wisher Wardrobe

Posted by Erin Hentzel on Oct 5th 2021

For me handmade has always been a huge presence in my life. I grew up wearing handmade clothes. In fact, I would only get one store-bought outfit per school year. Everything else was handmade. When I was old enough and was proficient on the sewing machine, I made my own clothes. I continued to make my own clothes throughout my life, from school clothes, costumes, and prom dresses to upcycling old clothes for an on-trend look. It's just what we did.

Naturally, I sewed a lot for my kids. Writing my new book, Doll Studio Boutique, had me feeling all the feels as I remembered watching my daughter twirling and playing in her handmade skirts. She was a picky girl when it came to clothes, rejecting most store-bought clothes and opting for mom-made clothes. This skirt was her favorite. 

So naturally, my mind kept wandering to those memories and I wanted to include this skirt design for these cute rain boot wearing dolls: Wellie Wishers.

My youngest is such a free spirit and so independent. She always found a way of asserting her autonomy whenever she could. Choosing her clothes and dressing all by herself was a big part of her early childhood. I think that's why she liked wearing her rain boots. And yes, she wore them with her skirts and I adored the way she looked in them. (I wish I had found the missing box of photos to show you just how cute she looked in her skirt and boots together. The box has a couple years' worth of photos. Moving houses has created so many challenges.)

I made so many of these skirts. Skirts were her favorite. She even wore skirts instead of the uniform shorts when she played soccer in kindergarten. And they never slowed her down. Her coach and other parents used to say she was like a little Mia Hamm. Maybe her skirts were like her superhero cape.

For about 3-4 years, she wore skirts almost exclusively. No matter what the weather. Her preschool teachers used to plead with me to have her wear more "Oregon winter-friendly" clothes, but sometimes those kinds of statements scream, "challenge accepted." Just ask Mrs. McCaffrey, my middle school sewing teacher, whom I drove nuts by sewing all the projects she told me I shouldn't, such as shorts with a zip fly and knit garments. As for my daughter, she continued to choose her skirts and exclaim, "I don't like Oregon. It's cold in Oregon."

Later, when she was older and in middle school, she told me that she always prefers handmade because it's more special. She said a part of you goes into what you create. It's true. As I would sew for her and her siblings, I would think about them. Think about their laugh, their joys, and who they are, what I love about them and what makes them special and unique. For this girl, I joyfully handmade many of her clothes for years, and for her dolls and special bear, too.

It was so nice to revisit this time in our life and recreate some of both my daughters' favorites for these adorable dolls. I'm so excited for Doll Studio Boutique to meet the world this October and see what other people create with the patterns.

Doll Studio Boutique includes so many patterns to choose from: 4 dress patterns, 4 top patterns, shorts/pants, 4 skirt patterns, PJ sets with slippers, hats, bags, and headbands. More photos of the dolls wearing the designs can be seen in my announcement post on AveryLaneSewing.com here.

Be sure to follow my blog, AveryLaneSewing.com, for the Launch Challenge, in which participants will create a mix and match wardrobe for 14"-15" dolls using the patterns in Doll Studio boutique. The grand prize is a gift certificate to Ruby Red Fashion Friends for purchasing a doll of your choice.

Happy Sewing!

~Erin

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