Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
Hi! I'm Shelly and I design and create easy-to-sew doll and toy patterns which I sell under the name of Gingermelon. I feel extremely blessed to have such a wonderful imagination and I really enjoy doing what I do!
I live with my hubby of 21 years and our two grown boys in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.
Tell us a bit about the book?
I had such fun working on this book! The main idea for the book is a basic doll that can be personalized to suit anyone's style. I've included many options for customizing the doll such as making it as a boy or girl doll, with light, medium or dark skin, creating fun hairstyles and accessories such as a pair of glasses, a sweet little mustache, smiley eyes and a beauty spot. Themes include a Princess with sparkly tiara, a Flower Fairy with wings embellished with tiny crystals, a cute little Schoolgirl with tartan skirt, blazer and satchel, a Ballerina with tulle tutu and many more!
What was the inspiration behind it?
I was contacted by the publisher and asked if I'd be interested in writing a pattern book based on a little doll with a variety of different themed outfits. Of course I was thrilled and honored, but at the same time quite nervous because I'd never done anything like that before. All in all, it was a wonderful experience which I thoroughly enjoyed and learned from!
Which is your favourite project?
Though I enjoyed working on each of the projects for the book, I'd have to say that I have two favourites - the first is the School Girl and the second is the Bedtime Girl. I really had fun designing the blazer and satchel for the schoolgirl and I just loved creating the little bunny slippers for the bedtime doll!
What is your craft space like?
We live in a corner suite flat with great big windows that let in lots of natural light, so I've set up a small 'studio' next to our living room where I do all of my designing and sewing. There's not a lot of room, but I'm surrounded by piles of pretty felts, oodles of colourful embroidery threads bits and pieces of lace and ribbons, buttons and pattern pieces. And also, I have a lovely view of the Fraser River and the Strait of Georgia, beyond which I can see the mountain ranges on Vancouver Island.
Have you always been creative?
Definitely! My earliest memory of being creative was when I was about 7 years old and in my opinion I had created a spectacular masterpiece done in crayon on the wall above my bed. Needless to say, my parents weren't as impressed! Ever since, I have kept my drawings in sketchbooks and notebooks!
When did you first start crafting?
I must admit that I was never really the 'crafty' sort until I started doodling around with the idea of creating a little doll. My first attempts were absolutely abysmal, but with determination and perseverance, I eventually came up with a style that I liked. I have a huge box filled with all my odd and downright scary-looking dolls that helped hone my sewing and designing skills!
Who are your crafty heroes?
I love collecting all sorts of books and magazines that inspire my imagination. Some of my favourite crafting magazines are Mollie Makes, Art Doll Quarterly and Prims.
Where do you find inspiration?
Many of my creations are inspired by the adorable style of Japanese Kawaii, which essentially means 'cute'. I also find inspiration from animated children's movies, vintage children's books and Japanese Shoujo art, and I particularly love vintage illustrators such as Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone, Charlot Byj, Mabel Lucie Attwell, Beatrix Potter, Takahashi Makoto, Junichi Nakahara, oh, I could go on and on!
What's next for you?
I'll keep working on new pattern designs and I'm also planning on creating a few video tutorials with sewing tips and techniques geared towards beginner doll and toy makers. I hope to inspire more people to give doll making a try. There is something really special about making something by hand. Not only is it fun, it's also a very rewarding experience!