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Is this really the fifth time I've made a Sophisticute collection? How did that happen? It started in 2016 with one dress. I'd recently received my first package of retro style fabric from the Japanese boutique brand, Antique Fabric Pinks and couldn't wait to get sewing. Around that time, I'd also been adapting some 1960s people-size patterns to fit Blythe. The one I loved most had a darted bodice, ruffled sleeve and a uniquely shaped skirt that was perfectly rounded and longer in the front than the back. With this dress, Sophisticute was born (though it took a couple more months for me to name it that). Encouraged by the positive response, I set out to make a whole collection...

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This is what always happens: I find a piece of vintage fabric that I cannot resist using right now. The latest case involved a piece of white floral lace I scored at a thrift shop on my mini-break in late June. It's not the most showy fabric, and it's not one of those crazy, psychedelic prints I'm so fond of. What this bit of sixties' goodness did have was major potential. I knew straight away I could create a new, layered textile with it. And so, in between creating sets for my massive collection of separates (yes, it's still coming), I whipped up a few summery frocks. Here's how it went. The lace is dense, which when sewing miniature things,...

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I'm writing this three hours before the new shop goes live with product. The listings are done and on a timer to appear in the shop at exactly 4:00 pm. The first email newsletter is written and ready to go for the same time. I've read and re-read the instructions on how to set up flat-rate shipping, double, triple checking and hoping that everything goes smoothly. Just as it is for an owner of a brick-and-mortar shop, the biggest questions on opening day are: will anyone show up? Will they buy anything? I sold on my first pieces for Blythe on April 17, 2013, in my Etsy shop. It was an order for a pair of sweet, fifties' style sleeveless...

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