Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Interview with Patita Taylor

Integrity Toys Dynamite Girls Aria, modeling Patita Taylor outfit
I had the pleasure of meeting Patita Taylor at this year's Barbie convention where she is a regular attendee and salesroom vendor. She is also a regular attendee at the IFDC in Las Vegas.

Her outfits are meticulously handcrafted--starting at just $35, you can get an outfit, including a cocktail dress, matching belt, hat, shoes, bag, and earrings--all packaged beautifully in a gift box. I left her table with more than one outfit in my bag, and an agreement for her to do an interview with me for the Fashion Doll Review!

About Patita's business:

How long have you been in business? How did you get started?
I started sewing about three years ago. I had sewed some 40 years ago, and I met this young lady and asked her how to make a dress, and from there I just kept it up.  I really don't have a business; I only sew for the convention and if someone wants me to make a dress for them only.

Where can we find your outfits? 
If someone wants an outfit, they contact me email patita@patitataylor.com

I notice you sew for 11" sized dolls. Is this how you got started, or did you work in another field first?
I got started just by making 11" sized dolls clothes for Barbie. People want me to do clothes for them, but I just want to stick to the small stuff.

How long have you been designing outfits? Do you sew other items as well?
I really don't design, I just use pieces of different patterns. I just go to different stores and if I like a fabric I buy it.

What is your workspace like? Does it work well for you?
My workshope is one of my bedrooms.  It does not work very well, because it's kind of small.

Where do you get your inspiration? Do you generally decide which outfits to sew first, and then choose fabric and supplies, or do you let the fabrics find you and inspire you?
My inspiration comes from people wanting to redress their dolls.  I do not really decide which outfit to sew: if I like an outfit I will sew it. If I love a fabric: ask myself, would this look good on a Barbie? Yes? Then I buy it.

What is your favorite part of creating a doll fashion? What is your least favorite part?
Will it look good and will other people like it as I do? The least favorite part of a doll fashion is cutting the outfit out.

When you create fashions, how much do you keep your collector in mind? Do you mostly design what you like or what you enjoy collecting? Do your collectors have a predictable style?
I keep in mind the size of the prints on the fabric, color, and what a collector would buy. I design mostly what I like and what someone else would like for their doll. I sometimes wonder what style people would like. Some like vintage--pencil skirt or a full skirted dress. Color plays a big part with the style also.

Have you ever created an outfit and decided to keep it for your own collection instead of selling it? (I think if I were talented in sewing, I'd be doing this all the time, LOL!)
On items that I sew sometimes I like to keep the outfit for myself, but I have to let them go to the convention.  If I don't sell the outfit at the convention, then it comes back home to my dolls.

Do you have favorite places to shop to add your stash of supplies?
I like to shop at F and H Fabric and Jo-Ann's.  If I am in a mall and they have a fabric store, I will visit that store.

About your own doll collection:

Do you collect dolls yourself? How long have you been collecting?
I only collect Barbie dolls, and I have been collecting for over twenty years.

Do you have themes in your collection? What sorts of dolls do you collect?
You can say I do have themes in my collection, but I buy what I like.  I only collect Barbie dolls, I have attended the IFDC, but sell the doll. I mainly go to this convention to take the classes they have to offer for making things for your dolls.

Do you have a current favorite (or a few favorites) in your collection? 
I do have a favorite doll: Bob Mackie's Starlight Splendor.

What sorts of things attract you most about a doll?
If I like a doll I buy it. Sometimes when I like a doll I buy three to four at one time.

Do you sew for your own doll collection?
I usually don't sew for my doll collection--only if I use them as models to display the outfit.

What really got me started in collecting was when I was a little girl around 6 or 7, we lived in projects and my mother could not afford to buy dolls all the time. When it was trash time, me and my sister went around digging in the trash cans and found Barbie dolls. Boy, do I wish I would have held on to the first ones made in 1959!  

Then also my father asked me one Christmas what I wanted, and I told him a Chatty Cathy doll, he did not get me that doll, and it hurt my heart. So my mother said I just went crazy when I was able to buy them for myself.  I also bought lots of Barbies for my daughter, because of what my father had done to me.  She gave them away when she was about fifteen. Boy, was I mad, because she did not tell me until years later when I got back into collecting dolls!

Silkstone by Mattel modeling Patita Taylor fashion
Silkstone by Mattel modeling Patita Taylor fashion
Silkstone modeling Patita Taylor fashion
Silkstone modeling Patita Taylor fashion
I took a similar fashion home with me! Modeled by a Silkstone
Patita Taylor, modeled by Silkstone
Patita Taylor modeled by Silkstone
Model muse by Mattel in Patita Taylor 
Two gorgeous Silkstones in Patita Taylor fashions
Silkstone in a Patita Taylor fashion

All photos are property of Patita Taylor.

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