Call me jennygrey, or Jen Eugley if you like. I am a Canadian-born fashion designer and seamstress for wardrobes of all sizes. I am truly excited to share my passion for both fashion and dolls, and to encourage those who love--or are even just interested in--sewing for these miniature forms. Welcome to the art that blends the best of everything: creativity, logic, pop culture, numbers, fantasy and imagination!
As a child growing up in western Canada, I used scraps from my mother’s sewing projects to design for my first muses: my Barbie dolls. For me, the process of molding a piece of fabric into a textile sculpture made me come alive. When I left home, I left my Barbie dolls behind to design for real, life-size women, like myself, with much different measurements. I ventured to Southern California to study fashion design and ended up falling in love with a cute American boy (isn’t that always the way?) and never went back!
The re-emergence of dolls into my life can be attributed to my inspiring friend, Alison. She made sure I had lots of opportunities to practice my emerging design skills by sewing for the dolls in her own collection; it was not a hard sell It was just the outlet I needed in the midst of my college studies to put my hands to something both creative and tangible. When my left brain was overworked, my right brain led me to my sewing machine and miniature wardrobes materialized.
My own doll collection grew quickly to include plastic, vinyl and resin bodies of all sizes: from Barbie to Tyler Wentworth to ball-jointed dolls. They never stayed dressed or on display for long. All dolls that entered my house were immediately put to work. In the small sewing corner of our 600 square foot apartment, they are quite often shivering in partial nudity, dressed only in pinned muslin pattern pieces of my latest designs.
The biggest kick-start to my evolution from life-size fashion to miniature was the Couture Doll Design Competition, in which I competed at the end of 2009. I expanded into designing for dolls I had never clothed before, as well as discovering my enjoyment in photographing them. Since then, my Etsy.com store has been my outlet for selling doll clothes to the rest of the world. I have completed some exciting (and peculiar) commissions for clients in the US, Canada and abroad; everything from ethnic and historical costumes to miniature replicas of clients' wedding dresses. I'm always amazed at what new projects come my way.
My newest endeavor is in the creation of doll furniture. Though my experiment has only just begun, my home is now cluttered with wood, paint, vinyl and power tools.
As for the non-doll aspects of my life: I am 28 years old and live in San Diego with my incredible husband of 3 years, who both enables and supports all of my hair-brained passions with remarkable understanding. I have just completed my Associate Degree in Fashion Design, which has also enabled me to design for the walking, talking, 80% water “dolls” all around me! I am a collaboration of my Canadian roots, my American day-to-day life, my passionate brain and my compassionate heart.