Stitch Craft Create Blog

Sew Along Winner and 10 Questions with Joan Hinds

Thank you to everyone who participated in the March Sew-Along with me! I know I had a great time, and I really hope you did, too! To refresh your memories, we made this cute doll jumper from the book All Dolled Up for the sew along:

from All Dolled Up

Joan Hinds, author of All Dolled Up, reviewed the photo submissions and has chosen a winner based on:

the quality of the dress construction
the use of spring/summertime fabrics
the creative quality of the submitted photo

And the winner is . . . . KIM!

A cute dress and a really beautiful photo. I love how colorful this outfit is! 

Joan said, “I like the bright, colorful fabrics and the use of machine embroidery around the bottom of the skirt. The photograph is creative with the depiction of the tea party in the grass.”

Congratulations, Kim! Your dress is adorable, and I’ll be contacting you about your prize.

The judging was very difficult because all of the your submissions were wonderful! Here are just a few of the many submissions we received:

Made by LaVee. The striped fabric is so sweet! And a great photo! 
Made by Marcia. I love red and aqua together – and look at those cute duck buttons!

Made by Joan. The matching hat is so cute – what a great spring outfit!

Made by Judy. Fantastic fabric choices – very bright and cheery!

Made by Carolyn. I love the watermelon fabrics and buttons! Perfect picnic dress.

Made by Kelly. These contrasting purple and aqua fabrics are so pretty together.

And I finished up my dress, too! I’m really happy with how it turned out, and I have to say, for having never sewn doll clothing before, this pattern was extremely easy to follow.
My finished dress!
Joan was nice enough to stick around and answer a few of our many questions! Here’s a little info about our guest judge today, Joan:

As the owner of Fancywork and Fashion, Joan has written fifteen books of doll clothing patterns, as well as two books with machine embroidery and international embellishment ideas. Her latest book, All Dolled Up, has clothes and accessory patterns for girls and their 18” dolls. Joan has also designed a variety of doll clothes patterns featuring current fashion styles that girls like to wear today and specialty patterns such as international costumes, princess designs, and Halloween costumes. The company additionally sells sewing notions, doll accessories, and machine embroidery designs for 18″ dolls and 15″ baby dolls. She publishes a quarterly newsletter for those who love to sew for dolls.
In the fall of 2011, Joan appeared in a two-part series called “30-Minute Doll Clothes” on Sewing with Nancy. A book featuring patterns for ten outfits and detailed instructions accompanies the programs. Each garment can be sewn in 30 minutes or less, which makes them fast and easy to sew.
Joan loves to travel the country sharing her knowledge of sewing and embroidery. Her work has been shown in Sew News, Designs in Machine Embroidery, and Creative Machine Embroidery magazines. Joan and her husband reside in Minnesota. With two grown children and one grandson, they are thoroughly enjoying their empty nest.

10 Questions with Joan Hinds:

Question: When did you start crafting? What craft did you start with?
    Joan: I started crafting under the picnic table making doll clothes out of Kleenex for my Barbie dolls. I took a needlework class when I was 8 years old at the YWCA on Saturday mornings with a memorable instructor. She was a young woman who shaved her eyebrows and penciled a little line way up high on her forehead. My family is full of artistic and creative people, but no one does any sewing or needlework. I took a few beginning classes in junior high school, but I am basically self taught.  

    Q: What other crafts do you do besides sewing?
      Joan: Needlework is a big passion for me. I have done some scrap booking and paper crafts too.

      Q: What made you decide to write your first book?
        Joan: With my former business partner, Jean, we developed clothing patterns for the 18” doll, such as American Girl®. We thought making a book of patterns would be unique and separate us from other designers.

        Q: What is the best part about writing a book? What is the most difficult?
          Joan: The best part of writing a book is the idea that anything is possible. Developing the concept is very exciting and I love to shop for fabrics to make the best combination of colors and patterns. The worst part is the deadlines! I also hate eliminating ideas as the book subjects are narrowed down.

          Q: How do you get inspired when you’re feeling a lack of creativity?
            Joan: I like to look at my fabric collection. I read clothing catalogs and interior design magazines to look for techniques and color combinations.

            Q: What is the skill or technique that most intimidates you?
              Joan: Manipulating the computer in design work.

              Q: What’s the best advice you could give to a new sewist?
                Joan: Take a class to learn basic sewing techniques. Invest in the best equipment you can afford, even if it is a pair of scissors or pack of needles. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination and try new ideas. Don’t copy the designer’s idea completely—try a different color or type of fabric.

                Q: What’s your favorite sewing blog, and why?
                  I still gather most of my inspiration from more traditional avenues—books, magazines, etc. But I love all of the opportunity and inspiration the internet provides to designers and sewists—it’s very exciting to explore!

                  Q: What tool, notion or material can you not live without?
                    I couldn’t live without my sewing machine. I also keep sharp pointed scissors handy at all times.

                    Q: How has sewing changed your life?
                      The cliché answer is that it allows me to express my creativity. I enjoy that aspect, but it also has enabled me to make gifts with love for my friends and family. As an author and designer, it has allowed me to make a career out of my passion.

                      Thanks for being with us today, Joan! Don’t forget—we still have great sales going on in the Martha Pullen Store this week. All Dolled Up is 50% off this week (a savings of almost $14!), so if you’ve enjoyed sewing along with me and are ready to try your hand at doll clothes construction, pick up your copy today!
                      Thanks again to all of the entrants for sewing along with me, and congratulations to our winner!
                      Happy Stitching,

                       Kelly is proud to be an editor for F+W Craft. She’s also a quilter, blogger, sister, daughter, best friend, sewist, fabric hoarder, travel enthusiast, unpaid theatre critic, tap dancer, piano player and cupcake baker from Cincinnati, Ohio. Kelly loves all things quilted and stitchy, and enjoys sharing her creative process here and at Stitchy Quilt Stuff.

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