SMS Doll Fashions was a project started by me and my ex-boyfriend (high school sweetheart!) back in 2008. I was fresh out of college (20yrs old) graduating from FIDM, and was unemployed and uber bored because I was unable to find a stable job in the industry. This was also around the time when the economy started to collapse and everyone was losing their jobs.. (I know, perfect timing right?) So while I continued to patiently apply for jobs I decided I wanted to keep my brain fresh by designing my own clothes like my classmates were. I've never owned a dress form before because I couldn't afford it (and no job!), so I really couldn't make my own clothing unless I was awesome at patternmaking (and I'm not). So as practice I wanted to start small (literally!) before I ever decide to start sewing my own clothes.
Around that time I had an interest in Asian Ball Jointed Dolls. I call them the ultimate Barbie dolls. You can do anything with them! These dolls first started in Japan made for adult collectors and artists - you definitely can't play Babrbie and Ken with these! Their looks are influenced by anime, built with a height range of 16"-24" with movable joints and realistic customizable features. The popularity of these dolls eventually inspired Korea and China to design their own brands of ABJDs. Another thing about them is that they are ridiculously insanely expensive.. I could never have been able to afford a true Japanese Asian Ball Jointed Doll back then.. So my sweet boyfriend at the time bought me an affordable one from China instead, and I loved it. I worked on her and customized this gal to my liking: eyeballs, eyelashes, cheeks and lip stain.
Yes, these dolls also get their own set-in eyelash packages that are worth just as much or more than the kind we use.. unbelievable.
This doll came to me naked.. how rude! But that's the point of the doll; you spend $$$$ on one completely naked and maybe even one without eyeballs, so that you can spend more $$$ on accessories and sh*T. Ughh.. what an investment! Just like the American Girl doll today, which is even more ridiculous because I think those dolls are so ugly.
So, being broke, using my leftover pattern paper and muslin from school, I draped and drafted patterns right off the doll. I would then buy cheap fabric from school or tear pieces off of old clothing to use to design pieces of her outfit. My first and proud design was the Strawberry Babydoll Dress. After designing that cute old thang, my boyfriend came up with the idea of having a small business for designing Asian Ball Jointed Doll clothing. It was such a cute idea at the time and I loved it. It was definitely a motivator for me to design and be creative. It was also a great way to keep my skills fresh from school. So I designed as many pieces as I could while my boyfriend designed my website and store for me (how cute!). He decided to name the store by the first initials of my name, Stephanie Marie Surtida. And that's when SMS Doll Fashions came to life.
Eventually I got myself a doll-sized dress form to work off of so I didn't have to keep marking on my doll's expensive skin. My interest then grew more and found myself working non-stop all night every night.
This is a sweater dress with a lined hoodie I made out of my old fleece pants. I bought some heat transfer skulls and hearts prints and thought I'd try em out for this hoodie! She wears a heart on her sleeve :) !
This is another hoodie I made out of my Playgirl fleece pants. I cut out the area with the logo to use as the front body piece of this hoodie. I also have a grey version of the hoodie as well. I was pretty impressed with myself making a hoodie! Now if only I could just make me one... Below are all the other outfits I've made.. Unfortunately none of them have ever been sold. My relationship with the dude ended before this little business could ever get started. We were still kids too with no money.. The only small production I made was from one style and it was the Strawberry Babydoll Dress. Since that time, I've learned that being business partners with your lover, friend, or family never works out. But anyway, I'm proud of my work. I think I take more interest in making doll clothes than human clothes. It's less of a risk taker and the market is less demanding. What I also loved about doing this was that I could freely make anything I wanted without having to meet the needs of the current market or trends :)
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