Monday, October 19, 2009

Wedding Memories

Wedding Memories - one of the joys I have is in creating replica's of bridal party dresses. When the replica was requested to duplicate a young girls dress, it warmed my heart to know that there was a little girl who was going to be overjoyed with the love and thoughtfulness that the bride put into the gift.

This particular order started out with one dress in March, later to be commissioned to take on replicating three more once she saw my work. The additional dresses (including the one pictured here), all different, were made with Dupioni Silk fabric, satin ribbon, and this particular dress had two layers of tulle overlay.

This order was special, as it was a request for a gift for the young girls in the bridal party. Usually I get the request for just the bridal dress to be replicated. Although I take great joy in creating bridal replica's as it allows my creative skills to be used fully for something that can be simple through intricately elegant. It is another source of joy to create replica's for young girls. One knows that they will treasure their gift of love, bringing back many memories.

You can view more pictures, showing all three dresses at
The pictures will be moved once I start a new custom order, or after a few months.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

To Alter or Not to Alter

One of the things I enjoy providing my local clients are quality alterations. In doing so, I like to make sure they are getting what they want, as well as what they need.

I had the pleasure of meeting a new client today, who was looking for someone that had flexible hours to work around her work schedule, but also someone who would be honest with her. Recently, she lost 30 pounds, but also had some alterations already done to the garments she had. She brought a suit jacket and four pairs of slacks that she felt were not fitting her well. As she tried each item on, the jacket being the first, she realized that the jacket actually fit her quite well. I couldn't see anything that would warrant an alteration as a necessity.

What I thought was going to be a very expensive job for the client and timely one for myself, based on what she shared on the phone, turned out to be a less costly situation.

As she tried each item on, I listened to her and learned that she had started to do more exercises. So, even though she wasn't planning on anymore weight loss, the clothes could continue to change how they looked on her. Yet, with three pairs, I made some adjustments that made an obvious difference in how they would fit.

One of the things I won't do is provide alterations that are not necessary. It is not fair to the client to spend hard earned resources on something that will not make a difference for them. They are depending on me to provide a fit that will allow them to feel good about how they look in their clothes, and in the case of this clients clothing already being altered, whether more alterations can be done. I will educate them where I can, show the suggested changes and let them decide whether it provides them the look they are seeking, prior to them leaving.

My goal, is to help my client feel comfortable and confident when their garment is altered. This is why I take the time needed in the first fitting.

May we all strive to look our best, feel confident in who we are, while living our lives to the fullest.

Davina Dawn Sewing Specialties

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sewing for Thumbelina

Sometimes I relish the time I acquire that allows me the freedom to work on things that I haven't had a chance to. One of the things I enjoy making are things for my website. I get to choose the fabric, the notions, the pattern, and the choice. There is something relaxing about making something for fun.

Thumbelina was a doll that I adored when I was a young girl. My mother made me give it away when she felt I was too old to hang onto it. So, who would have thought I would eventually be making doll clothing when my girls were young? Who would have thought that Thumbelina would have returned into my life.

I do have a Thumblina, that I acquired on Ebay a few years back. I search high and low for one that was in good shape and still movable when her knob was turned.

So, it was a pleasure to make a nightgown to include on my site that fit Thumbelina specifically. Thumbelina looks beautiful in this new gown. It doesn't have lace, as I wanted to provide a simple gown first. More outfits will be added to the site as I can make the time to create for her size.

This nightgown is made with 100% cotton flannel, has a two button hole closure, and a cute little pink bow button on the bodice. The flannel is a cute flannel that has baby toys throughout. The bodice is fully lined. All seams are finished preventing the opportunity for fraying. Elastic on the wrists of the sleeves, and folded-over hems for the sleeves and hem of skirt. As always, looking to provide a quality product for those seeking quality craftsmanship. Check out Thumbelina's page at to see the different views.

Those who enjoy collecting dolls, or have a special girl in your life with a body size of Thumbelina, will enjoy this page.

Have a delightful and restful evening.

Davina Dawn Sewing Specialties

Monday, October 5, 2009

Giving Life to the Frayed Edges of Towels

Today I was catching up with the laundry. The benefit of having children is that they help with the chores. The disadvantage is that they don't tell you when things need mending. So, when I take over this particular chore, due to school schedules, I discover what needs mending.

So while I was washing/folding towels and jeans, I discovered again how towels that might be just over a year to two years old, still had plenty of life in them, yet the edges were coming apart. You know how it is, where the threads start to fray away from the edges, so you begin cutting them each time you wash them because there really isn't anything wrong with the towels. Seeing this was the issue with a few washcloths and a couple bath towels, I brought them over to my serger and took care of the frayed mess.

What I do to preserve the life of the towels, so we don't need to cut them down into rags long before they need to, is serge the edges. I have done this to my towels and washclothes for quite a few years. If I get new towels as a Christmas gift, I just put them aside as our summer pool towels. They can also be used for the kids bathroom. I have not had any future issues with the towels until they are ready for the rag bin. And, the nice thing in doing this, is that edges remain the same for many future uses.

I do provide this service to local/nationwide customers who have quality towels, with plenty of life left, yet are frustrated having to cut the threads all the time from washer/dryer wear. They don't look like store-bought towels with the hemmed edges, but they stop fraying, no longer getting caught up in the washer or tied up in the laundry, and look nice and neat.

For myself, I use whatever thread I have in the serger as all I'm looking for is a quick fix. For customers who want a color to closely match their towels, I will do my best with the limited serger threads I have in stock.

I hope that you find this to be a helpful tip, or a service that you might consider taking advantage of the next time you discover your towels have too many threads when washing.

Have a delightful day filled with blessings,

Davina Dawn Sewing Specialties

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Love of Creating with Thread and Fabric

Sundays are days of reflection for me. I can take a look at my past week and contemplate the week in front of me. It allows me to evaluate what I can do better, what skill I can enhance, or even what new skill I can learn.

This last week I have been blessed with an opportunity to begin a project for a bride-to-be, working on American Girl dress replica's for girls that are a part of her wedding. Pictures have been provided, and fabric from the girls dress are provided as well. It is a unique opportunity that allows me to take part in a celebration that others are unable to experience. I will also be preparing to replace a lining in a quality dress coat, where I need to create a pattern and order specific lining that will last a number of years for long lasting use.

The first dress that I'm working on, is actually one of three, and added to a dress I had already completed in April for my client. Each dress will require a pattern designed specifically for each doll, and each dress is different than the next. I sent my first preliminary pictures, which allow my client to make comments, and share changes that are needed. In this case, I will need to remove a ribbon (that I had only pinned). I'm waiting for an answer to one question, then I will be able to proceed and complete this first dress. Because this client has three dresses, I can begin the next dress while I wait for the answers.

The love I have for sewing is a gift that I can give to others as a service in craftsmanship. My goal is to provide a quality service and/or product, and a personal service that others feel that they are part of the decision process of what they receive in the end.

As I begin my work for others, I seriously take a look at what it is I'm making, always trying to get a solid idea of what the client's expectations are from me. I communicate with them to be sure that what I am doing is exactly what they want. I also give my work to God, asking that He allow me to use my hands in a way that will bless and honor Him yet also allow me to use my hands in creating something of quality for my client.

I am fortunate. I have a gift that others are not given. They have other gifts that I am sometimes a recipient of. As I create custom work, provide alteration and mending service, and even online products, I always want to present the best possible work that I am capable of doing. My sewing business is a service that others pay for, where they can expect professional, friendly, caring and quality service.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Concord Monitor's Capital Business Connections special advertising supplement

Today, Friday, Oct 2nd, my local paper, The Concord Monitor, published a special advertising supplement where I placed my first large advertisment. Below is the portion of the advertisment where they provided a brief write-up of my business.
Laura, of Davina Dawn Sewing Specialties provides a variety of seamstress services to the community and abroad. From alterations, mending (including bridal and formal gowns), refashioning already-owned clothing, custom infant and children’s clothing (including christening and baptismal gowns,originals or refashioned from bridal gowns), other dress attire, and more.

In 2000, Laura opened Davina Dawn Sewing Specialties to create custom doll clothing for the variety of play dolls that were on the market. Serious dollcollectors contacted her, requesting custom outfits for their vintage andcustom dolls as well as miniature bridal gown replicas.Laura, who has lived in the Concord area with her family for the last 22years, says her business grew naturally. "While I was homeschooling our daughters," she says, "they kept asking for certain doll clothing. As friends and family saw my work, they asked if I would sell them, which started my business beyond just making doll clothing".

Laura’s work has been featured in magazines, and has created custom dollclothing for professional doll designers.

In addition to her delicate and beautiful work in miniature and personal service, Laura creates a range of accessories, infant and toddler blankets and quilts, therapy rice bags, totes, home decor and other gift items. Flexible hours are provided so that she can work around customers work schedules.

When Laura isn’t busy working or spending time with her family, she’s donating her time and sewing skills to the Family Place at Concord Hospital to create special shirts for mothers of preemie infants.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Colors of Fall & Fisherman's Lap quilt

Good morning. I have decided to add a blog for my website, to provide an area where I can share thoughts, new products and provide an avenue for customers to leave comments and ask questions.

October is like a new beginning. Here in NH we begin our days with a new tapestry of color as we experience God's beauty throughout the hours of each day. The colors change so quickly, and look brilliant whether the day brings rays of warmth and sunshine or rain. It's an amazing time of year.

Last night I worked on a new lap quilt. It is called "Gone Fishin' ". Initially I was planning a simple infant/toddler quilt, but as I put the fabrics together, I realized that this particular quilt would be a beautiful gift for someone who enjoys fishing. Whether you have a child that likes to go fishing with their daddy, a hubby or wife who would love to have a lightweight quilt to keep the chill at bay, whether on the couch or in the car. Another person I thought of was a grandfather, who might reside in a long-term health facility, that would really appreciate keeping their legs from being chilled.

The quilt is made from a large print fish fabric that has beautiful colors. With the thought of creating a quilt around this piece of fabric, I went shopping to see what I could find to compliment it. In doing so, I found that it was really difficult to find the perfect blue that would match the blue water colors in the initial print. Then I found this beautiful fabric I choose as the backing, that has fishing creels, reels, fishing poles, etc, with a neutral tan background. Taking this into account, I brought the backing together with the colors in the main fabric on the front, and used a brown print that pulls the quilt together. For the filling, I did not put a heavy polyfil or warm'n natural fill, but rather used ecology cloth, that actually makes it lightweight, yet heavy enough to keep the chill off. With this idea, the quilt can be used in many climates, including FL where many from NH seem to travel to in the winter, cool months.

I added pictures of the above quilt to my page where one can view other quilts that are for infants/toddlers

With the cool autumn weather, I am thinking of warm items to create for family gifts as well as gift items for my website.

I do hope that today brings you much joy, filled with God's beauty and love.