Danville seamstress outfits Barbies and brides

December 29, 2004|BOBBIE CURD

Teresa Scott doesn't seem anywhere near her age, but perhaps it's because she plays with Barbies.

Scott, 35, has been sewing and making outfits for dolls since she was 13.

"My family says my talent is going to waste since most of what I make is for them," says Scott, who lives in a Danville apartment with her mother, two daughters, and her brother.

Last year, however, she did sell her first doll wearing one of her outfits.

"My insurance man was here, and he saw one of my Barbies with a dress I made on it, and he offered to buy her for his new wife," Scott says.

Since then, Scott has been making custom dresses, and some patterns she's imitated from television or magazines, for a small customer base. They're more than just Barbie outfits, which aren't too shabby either.


She has a collection of 40 or so dolls arranged in an orderly fashion modeling the different outfits she's created.

They range from a Salvation Army suited Barbie, in what appears to be the original uniform, to a Vegas showgirl, scantily clad and very intricately done.

"I watch a lot of TV, and I just imitate what I see," Scott says.

A variety of costumes from different ethnicities, cultures

And the fact that she watches a lot of National Geographic and The Discovery Channel explains the wide variety of costumes from different ethnicities and cultures displayed on her shelves.

"This one is from India, and this is from China, this is a Zulu princess from Africa, and this one is Aaliyah's outfit from that 'Queen of the,' you know. That movie," Scott says, not wanting to say the unfavorable word in the title.

She explains all this as if her creations are very simple to do.

"Patterns? No, I don't use them. They drive me crazy," Scott says.

Scott takes one doll from the shelf. It's wearing a silken wedding dress with a hat to match.

She made the design for a client who wanted a specific style of dress for her wedding, so Scott had an idea.

"I made it for the Barbie first. She saw it and liked it, so I made it in her size."

Scott's mother, Billie, stands proudly by, running to fetch this or that outfit to show off her daughter's talent.

They unzip and spread an off-white beaded wedding gown from her closet that has the appearance of a dress straight out of a boutique.

"I've taken about two years to make this one just because I've used pieces of material here and there to finish it. But usually I can finish one of these in a day," Scott says.

Scott pulls out an album to give visual effect for an entire wedding she put together for a friend, from the wedding dress down to the bouquet the bride carried.

"Usually, I get the measurements and the material, then if I have one full day to sit down and work with it, the bride can get the dress to press it the next day."

Flexible on her pricing scale

Scott says that she can be flexible with her pricing scale. But with charging $200 for a detailed, beaded, fringed and perhaps personally designed dress, any seamstress would surely question where exactly the flexibility would come in.

Her positive energy must be what fuels her design and seamstress talents; all of the costumes are very lifelike and colorful on her dolls, and her wedding dresses have the appearance of ball gowns.

"I would like to be able to afford a house so my whole family can live in it and have more room," she says. "If we could have a big enough house, I'd have room to run a business out of it, and put my two daughters to work for me. My brother said he'd be a delivery guy for me, so hey, there we go!"

Scott makes anything from a pillow case to a wedding dress; anything that material can be put to use for.

"My favorite is making flower arrangements, if I had to pick one," Scott says. One of her arrangements was purchased by a physician's practice in Danville and is a fixture in its front office.

Scott says if she's ever asked to make something that she hasn't made before, her response is "I'll figure it out. I can make anything."

To reach Teresa Scott, call (859) 236-4206.

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