Monday, October 4, 2010

Meet the Maker Monday: ThEm DoLLz

Jen Musatto of ThEm DoLLz stitches loveable monstrosities in a mix of fabrics. Meet the maker behind the monsters here and if you dare, visit her shop at:

How do you make ThEM DoLLz?

Ideas usually come to me when I'm lying in bed at night. I have insomnia, so I often lay there and think about faces. Once I have an idea, I scribble it down on paper. Later I pick out fabric combos, buttons, and hair color. I don’t use patterns. I like flying by the seat of my pants. My favorite part is turning the fabric outside-in and seeing what the doll looks like!

Where did you learn your skills?

Uh ... skills ... hmmm ....

Being creative and crafting has always been a big part of my life. I learned to sew a straight line with a machine when I was 7. My mom taught me how to make a simple quilt for my dolls. A few years back I got a sewing machine for my birthday from my husband. I practiced stitches and sewing pillow cases. Since my dollz only have a front and back, they’re similar to making pillow cases. Pretty simple.

Describe your workspace.

Right now my workspace is my living room and kitchen table. I have several totes of fabrics, buttons, thread, floss, and my sewing machine. My husband surprised me for my 35th birthday by building me a studio in the basement. I'm planning out where I want everything to go, buying shelving, and picking out paint colors. So excited!

What inspires you?

Definitely my two sons. My older son just started drawing monsters that he’d like to see come to life as a doll. His ideas are awesome. I find a lot of inspiration in the drawings of Tim Burton, Kathie Olivas, Mark Ryden, Ray Caesar, and John Casey. I love Low Brow art. Nature inspires me. I've always wanted to make a giant plush tree with several faces. I love flowers. Simplicity is beautiful.

How do you promote your work?


I love doing shows as well. My customers have been my best form of promotion. I have a few customers who have spread the word about my dollz to their friends and now their friends are customers.

How do you fit plush-making into the rest of your life?

I have a few hours a day when my youngest son naps. I also stay up late and work when everyone goes to sleep. I'm always tired :(

What advice can you give makers who dabble in plushiness?

Just dive in! Make mistakes!

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