Worker Bee Sewing Co. is a small, in-home sewing and crafting business located in beautiful Berea, Ky.
It all started very humbly and by accident. My husband bought me a sewing machine on Valentine’s Day several years ago because I needed a stress release from caregiving. I was helping my aging and ill parents, and learning something fun was a way to get lost in my own world and forget about the worries around me. I learned to sew by watching online tutorials and through trial and error, which led to making gifts for friends and family. One machine led to another, and soon I was making more than I could store. People began requesting items. Laura, my daughter, helped me form an Etsy account and list, photograph, describe and mail orders. Because I am always working like a busy bee, and because I truly love bees, we decided on the Worker Bee name. Fabric is my nectar. I’m addicted to it!
In 2018, I discovered machine embroidery and I began specializing in doll making. Each doll has a special personality that I love bringing to life. Folk art, contemporary role models and characters from history all inspire my process. I think about how I can construct them in two dimensions using sewing and machine embroidery patterns that relate to their body type. My daughter and I choose fabrics for their skin tone and clothing that best represent their image. The patterns I purchase are very detailed and are often combined to produce a unique one-of-a-kind design. I use a computer software program to format and then stitch out using the in-the-hoop machine embroidery method and partially assemble them with a sewing machine. I hand-sew my dolls closed and, after turning right side out, stuff them with Poly-Fil. Sometimes I add character-appropriate accessories, such as shoes, hats or simple clothes. My goal is to keep the body structure simple but add unique features. Recently, I have integrated specialty threads such as metallic or glow-in-the-dark.
My background is in early and elementary education, so I am passionate about making dolls that inspire and/or can be accompanied by a book to teach a lesson. I also make custom dolls and animals using client-provided garments of personal significance, which preserve memories and provide comfort. Additionally, I combine free-motion quilting, applique and embroidery to make wall hangings, table runners, pillows and other home decor. My purpose is to provide a quality, handmade heirloom that will be cherished for generations.