Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Giveaway and Review of Dalai Mama Patterns

Comments on this giveaway are now closed. Thanks to all who entered!

I have a wonderful giveaway for you this week from Maria of Dalai Mama Patterns. Maria makes the sweetest sewing patterns designed for dolls. I had the pleasure of trying out one of her patterns this  weekend. I made this little sundress for one of my own dolls... a boo-boo doll that I decided to keep.
The pattern is Sophia and Julia. I didn't have time to make the little romper but can't wait to as it's super cute!
The pattern is very simple to understand and is chock full of color photos to guide you along. The doll wearing this dress is 19" and she looks great in it!

Now let's hear from Maria herself.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I've been a creative person my entire life- I'm not a huge fan of the term "artist", and "craftsperson" doesn't exactly describe what I do either.  I just really love to work with my hands and have been lucky enough to earn a living income doing so for the last 10 years.   I was a goldsmith in my previous life, but these days I'm primarily a stay at home mother to a marvelous little two and a half year old.  After leaving my full time gig in jewelry when I had my daughter, I started teaching community college and adult education classes in metalsmithing at our local arts center a couple nights a week. I also have a small repair and custom jewelry business that I run from my home studio.  In the summer months, I love camping with my family and puttering in my garden. The rest of the year, I think, eat and sleep skiing.  
How did you get started making children's things?
Before my daughter was even born, I started using independent designers' PDF patterns to sew dresses for her- they were so much better than the commercial patterns I grew up with and I loved the idea of supporting other crafty folks like myself.  A couple years later when I finally found the perfect waldorf doll for her, I went searching online for sewing patterns to make her doll a suitcase full of outfits.  I figured it was a great way to use up tiny pieces of fabric that I had been hoarding or to upcycle clothing that I couldn't bear to get rid of.  When my search for patterns came up mostly empty-handed, I drafted a few myself.  Each pattern I made worked better than the last and before long, I had amassed a huge collection of clothing and a mountain of tissue paper pattern pieces.  I realized I had a unique product developing before me, so I found some freeware for vector editing (line drawing, drafting, etc) and went to work digitizing my pattern pieces and writing instructions.  A couple months later, I opened up shop on etsy with 4 designs  and the rest they say, is history.  
What inspires you?
My students, who continue to produce beautiful work with their basic skills and limited understanding of their materials.  There is a lot to be said for simplicity.  Also my friend Kathleen, a clothing designer who creates couture fashion from recycled cashmere sweaters- her talent as a seamstress and her color sense are second to none.
What is your favorite thing to do together with your children?
I'm extrapolating a little bit, but I am so excited to teach Summer how to ski this year.  I've been an avid skier my entire life and I cannot wait to share this love with her.  I also love dancing with her- she's got some serious moves and she's always been the life of the party.

Here's what Maria is offering one lucky reader;  winner's choice of 3 of her patterns, up to a $20 value.

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post.

For more entries;
Add Dalai Mama Patterns to your Etsy favorites
Like her on Facebook
Like This Cosy Life on Facebook

Want more entries? For every friend you refer to Maria's Facebook page you get one entry. For it to count they must LIKE and POST on her timeline letting her know you sent them.

This giveaway is open worldwide. I will draw a winner randomly December 11, 2012.

Interested in me hosting a giveaway for your shop? I love being able to give free/no strings attached exposure to my fellow WAHMS. Feel free to use the contact form at the top of the page to drop me a line.