What’s Up With Little Miss Shabby?

I don’t know if any of you have been wondering where “Little Miss Shabby” came from…I haven’t shared much of my backround here on my blog.  So, here goes…
Shortly after I got married, which was 13 years ago yesterday, I became very interested in fabric.  I had never sewn before but fell in love with textiles and had to find an outlet for my fabric buying.  After realizing that I couldn’t just buy fabric and have someone else create for me(namely my mom), I decided to learn how to sew (I had never sewn previous to this–no home ec.–nada).  It started simply with rag quilts and some knotted blankets and then quickly moved into more complex things–I quickly realized a love for applique and many of my early quilts are hand appliqued.
After my oldest daughter was born I became more interested in children’s clothing and embarked in a slightly different direction for several years.  I began making little appliqued jeans to match some of her tops and realized that there was quite a market for this sort of thing and so “Little Miss Shabby” was born.  For several years I made hundreds of appliqued jeans as well as complete custom outfits.  I sketched up my own applique patterns and for the most part appliqued ready made items(jeans, tees etc.).
I had a wonderful photographer friend who photographed the sets that I listed with my boutique group on Ebay.  In the above set, I enlisted the help of my mom to make the little shirred top(she is such an excellent seamstress)–I then added the appliques to the top and jeans and the ruffle to the jeans as well.  I don’t have an embroidery machine–all of my appliques are heat bonded and then machine stitched using a tight zig zag stitch(satin stitch).
I did a bunch of different things for people visiting Disney:
(this was on a top–the face is handpainted)
For a 4th B-day party with a Strawberry Shortcake theme:
Here my daughter, Chloe, is modeling one of the made to match jeans that I made–the top I didn’t make–just the jeans to match.
Anyhoo, you get the idea–so, I ran my happy little business for several years until the month before my 2nd daughter was born.  At that time, I was getting pretty burned out–since my patterns were from scratch they required a fair amount of work.  Someone would contact me saying that their 6 year old was having a birthday and she likes pink and princesses and unicorns and they would want me to design something for her to wear for her party.  So, I’d sketch it up, discuss design ideas, fabrics etc. and once everything was approved I’d get cracking.  It was a lot of fun but I was super busy and wanted more time to focus in other directions.
I had planned to take some time off when my youngest daughter was born (which I did).  And after that, I got sucked back into quilts–shortly after my youngest daughter was born, I discovered the wonderful world of flickr(bees,swaps,quilt alongs etc.) & that’s where I’m at now.  I’ve been focusing on quilts/fabrics etc. for the last year really enjoying every minute of it.  I find that I really need an outlet that allows me to be creative or I go a bit crazy and get quite snaggy. =)  I kept the name Little Miss Shabby after closing my business–it’s kind of cutesy, but it works for me.
So, there you have it…in case you were wondering. =)

Comments (11)

  • Thanks for sharing! I was just thinking today how it is interesting to see how much my interests have kind of grown and changed since I learned to sew- which is not nearly as long as you!

    Also, those jeans are adorable!

  • whoa! look at you go!

    cute stuff… by the way. 🙂 (though I'm kind of partial to your quilting!). 😉

  • Love it! So much fun to hear about your history and background. Thanks for sharing!

  • You satin stitched those appliques on those little jeans? Wow, I'm totally impressed. Just thinking of maneuverability…

    And thanks for insight into you. Love it.

  • Thanks for sharing. I had wondered… Glad you're here blogging now!

  • cool, very interesting and your daughter is super cute! What great inspiration.
    I am glad your taking a rest a bit now though, two children is a handful on its own!

  • Thanks for sharing! Uuber cute stuff!!! I have a 20 mo old niece would look just darling in that stuff!

  • Love the story! Cuteness….just flowed over into your beautiful quilting, love your work.

  • Great story–and those clothes are so adorable, no wonder you were making 100s! Maybe one day you'll put your adorable appliques into a book for the rest of us!

  • I have always wondered why "Little Miss Shabby", so now I'm happy to know the story. Such a great story too! I think it's so cool to learn that you used to make such adorable custom outfits. I can see why you would get burned out, but it sounds fun. I adore that strawberry shortcake outfit!

  • I remember your listings on ebay…they were some of my favorites (along with some great designers/seamstresses like Sweet Feet Boutique, Ritchie*Rags, Kirsten's Kreations, Mamapatrice, ect). Does that date me? When my dd was small I was into the boutique clothing as well but when they get a bit bigger it's more fun to sew something that will last longer than a couple months — at least they can't 'grow out of' a quilt! LOL

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