The third installment of the March Talent Showcase is Florance of Mizzfitzdolls! I’m excited to introduce her to all of you because she does some great one-of-a-kind embroidered pieces plus she’s sort of local to me, being in British Columbia as well. Let’s ignore how big the province is, shall we?
Hello Florance! Tell us about yourself.
I’m so pleased to be able to be a part of your March Showcase Michelle, thank you!
About me… I’ll focus on the journey that lead me to designing and creating for Blythe. I studied costume design at the University of Lethbridge completing my Bachelor of Arts and Science and continued on to an MFA in design for theatre from the University of Victoria. Staying home and raising a family ultimately won out over a glamorous career in theatre and movies. Fast forward a number of years and I started recreating a design I’d developed back in the 70’s, one of a kind hand embroidered patchwork jeans that I shared in an article for Altered Couture magazine a few years ago. I started thinking about how adorable my jeans would be in miniature and I had this huge love on for Blythe so the two just went hand and hand leading me in to the world of designing and creating fashion for this amazing doll!
How did you discover Blythe?
I kept seeing these funky little dolls with the most amazing eyes! I’d always been a fan of the retro big eyed children art so these dolls really intrigued me. I particularly loved the customized ones and being on a budget required me to purchase very carefully…I found a new doll artist who was brilliant and I bought my first Blythe from her…and my second too.
Who is in your doll family currently?
Rose and Amelia are my first two customized Blythe dolls by artist Paula Saraivia of Kawaii Bjus. Cleo my third custom Blythe was purchased from a fellow Canadian whom I’m pretty certain customized this lovely girl. My most recent addition to my Blythe family was the first doll customized by Maria Zuniga and Penelope is the name I’ve given her. They are my precious models and work really hard for me….without much reward since I sell the clothing right off of them, poor dears.
I also have a huge collection of MH dolls, many of whom I customized myself.
How did you get started sewing for Blythe?
As a designer it was so wonderful to discover Blythe doll bodies, traditional, Licca, Azone. I’d been designing and selling MH fashions quite successfully but had let it slide upon receiving my first Blythe. I spent days sketching designs and creating prototype garments for this fabulous doll. As I said in my intro I had the idea to recreate my hand embroidered patchwork jeans in miniature for Blythe and that was my catalysis for reopening my Etsy shop with focus on Blythe fashion.
What was the first thing that you sold for Blythe?
I posted photos of my original little jean sets on Instagram prior to listing them in my Etsy shop and they sold out immediately. That was a wonderful and positive occurrence! It certainly made me feel that I had made the right choice by following my heart to create the miniature jeans for Blythe.
In a sea of Etsy shops, what would you say sets you apart from the other clothing designers for Blythe?
It’s definitely my hand embroidered patchwork jeans. There are so many talented and passionate Blythe clothing designers on Etsy as well as those that sell in other venues…a new designer must have a special niche if they hope to get noticed. I put my heart and soul into creating my designs and I believe it shows.
What is one of the challenges you’ve faced with creating clothes for Blythe dolls?
I had to redesign my basic jeans pattern a couple times because Blythe’s bum crack was showing when she sat down…it drove me crazy LOL! For me that issue had to be resolved prior to offering them in my shop. It was actually an excellent opportunity for me to create a few different pattern options to use as the foundations for my hand embroidered patchwork.
What is a tool that you use that you cannot create without?
The haemostats and kelly clamps I use for turning those darn tiny pant legs and sleeves!
Tell use a bit about your typical day creating for Mizzfitzdolls?
On days I can dedicate entirely to my creative process…this is how it goes. I wake early, shower and dress and head downstairs to my workshop (which I’m very blessed to have) by 8:30 am. Typically I have a few different designs I’m working on all at once, it’s my nature. I’ll get lost in my ocean of fabric for a good hour…choosing the perfect combination of colours and patterns for the project I’m currently working on or perhaps a future one, this is my favourite thing to do creatively. I’ll cut and machine sew until lunch time, take a break and then continue on until around 2:30. It’s a guarantee that I’ll then come back upstairs with a handful of items for hand stitching or embroidery while I watch Netflix. I keep my sketch book floating around the house with me so I can put any ideas on paper right away so I don’t forget.
Can you tell us about any upcoming projects you have going on?
I’d love to vendor at the 2018 BlytheCon in Los Angeles so that’s definitely upcoming if I’m fortunate enough to be chosen. In anticipation of that possibility I’ve been creating pieces that get put aside when completed so I have stock to sell…worse case scenario is that I’ll have a full Etsy shop if not…it’s a win/win.
What’s one of your favourite aspects of the Blythe community?
Everyone that I’ve had the opportunity to come into contact with since starting to design for Blythe have been so very friendly, positive and encouraging!
Thanks for participating in the March Talent Showcase! What’s some advice you have for someone who’s starting out sewing for Blythe?
Thank you Michelle! My advice for someone just starting out sewing Blythe clothes would be ‘practice makes perfect’…and keep a seam ripper close at hand. Seriously though…just relax and enjoy the process, start off sewing a simple basic one piece dress by hand before proceeding to machine sewing. Creating your own Blythe fashions can be very rewarding!
You can find out more about Florance and Mizzfitzdolls on Facebook, Etsy, and Instagram.
Mizzfitzdolls Outfit Set Giveaway!
Florance has generously decided to give away an adorable outfit set for Blythe! This outfit consists of the embroidered patchwork jeans, the sweater, and the necklace.
The giveaway runs until Saturday March 25th 2017 at 11:59pm Pacific. The draw will be held on Sunday March 26th 2017 and the winner will be announced on BlytheLife.com. Remember to use a valid email address for all comments. If you win, I will be contacting you for your address and forwarding the information onto Florance so she can send you your prize.
Please only use one email address per person, those using multiple email addresses for more entries will be disqualified.
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