Peggy, from the Etsy store Peggysprozac, makes some amazing cheerleader uniforms and school sports gear for American Girl-sized dolls, as you can see by the beautiful photo accompanying this post. I interviewed her recently and wanted to share some of her helpful advice on sewing athletic gear for dolls, machine embroidery, recycling fabric, and goal-setting.
Here’s the interview I did with Peggy for your perusal:
Question 1: On your Etsy store, Peggy’s Prozac, I see that you have different sizes of dolls modeling your handmade doll clothes. Which dolls do you sew for, and which ones are your favorites?
I started my shop sewing for the 15 and 18 inch doll. My favorite dolls to sew for are baby dolls in all sizes, so I expanded the shop to include some other doll sizes. It can be a challenge keeping up with the variety, though. Although I take requests, I try to keep those at a minimum to avoid pressure deadlines. Sewing reduces stress for me, so I opened my shop with the outcome of reducing stress doing something I love.
In the last year, I purchased an embroidery-only sewing machine for the purpose of doing special orders. If the team name isn’t too long, I can personalize the cheerleading outfits. I can take requests for specific teams, if given enough time to do the project. I sell mostly football cheerleading sets, and the selling of them depends on who is winning and their fans. Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, and Pittsburgh Steelers have a large following, but it varies each year.
Question 3: What type of sewing machine do you use? And is there a type of sewing machine that you prefer? Why do you prefer that brand?
I have a Janome Craft 9000, a New Home Serger and a Janome 200E Embroidery machine. I bought all my machines from a dealer who offers classes and assistance when needed. I think it’s important to have guidance as sewing machines can do a lot of unique things if you know how to use all of the features.
Question 4: You told me you’ve been sewing for over 50 years. A lot of people who visit my website would love to learn some tips and hints from an experience seamstress like you. What sewing tips and/or special tricks do you use?
I cut out doll outfits all the time and stack them to sew according to color. It saves time in threading my machine, especially the serger. I will sew all the outfits in one color that I have cut out before moving on to another color.
That’s awesome advice! I’ve never thought about that… Do you have any money-saving advice for seamstresses?
I buy all of my fabric and notions on sale and a lot of my fabric from the remnant bin. This helps keep the cost of my hobby down. In addition, I recycle infant and children’s clothing into doll clothes. Some of my cutest outfits have come from recycling.
Going green is always a great idea! What projects do you see yourself working on in the future?
I set yearly goals to try new things. In 2015, it was the embroidery of names on outfits, along with trying out new patterns to expand my creativity. I bought two new sewing feet that I still need to try out before the end of the year. When I want to do something new and don’t know where to start, like hemming chiffon, I check the Pinterest board for guidance.
Thanks for sharing your advice with us Peggy. One last thing, if you don’t mind… Where can people find your doll clothes if they’re interested in buying them?
Okay… There’s bound to be a story behind that name! But maybe we can save that story for another interview!