I have had my professional business license to make and sell garments for a decade now. I thought it would be fun to round-up some of the more interesting makes and share some back story for each.

It was almost impossible to keep from sharing everything I have made. Making things strikes a deep nerve of joy inside me and I love everything I have created.

This was my 2018 birthday suit and my favorite photo. Can you see the people painted in the background? Artwork by The Mural Machine.

You don’t realize how far you have come until you look back at your first digital pictures. I made this in 2007 from a photo in a magazine. My picture is blurry and all my crap hanging out of the closet is a distraction. I wish I still had this cape though.

In 2009 I was a private nanny. During those years I opened two etsy shops and got my first small business license.

By then I had seven years of working at Hancock Fabric under my belt where I learned great customer service and that was ready to start sewing for people. Being a nanny is no joke. It’s a busy day working with small children. I found making dolls to be something I could easily pick up and put down during that time.

This was my first custom long distance project. I was asked to make an outfit from a picture of a doll for Mardi Gras.

2009 was also the year I did my first fashion show. A group of my dear friends were kind enough to model for me and I was also a model in that show.

Between 2009 and 2012 I did tons of art shows, fashion shows, photo shoots, practicing on friends and building my skills through hands on work. I was building my portfolio because I knew I found my calling.

In 2012 my nanny job came to an end. Jesy Anderson and I started our first brick and mortar shop, Sew Dayton. For four years we taught people to sew, learned to do many different alterations, sold fabric and did custom sewing projects. One of my favorite memories was giving my own mother a sewing lesson.

We learned so much valuable information and I would not be where I am at today without that experience. I was also learning to blog and I started the Dayton Garment Designer Meet Up group during those years.

During the Sew Dayton years I pushed myself hard to learn new skills and created tons of side projects. I was really starting to feel professional at this time although people had called me a professional seamstress for years.

These are just a few of the projects I did. There are so many it was hard to choose favorites.


In 2016 we both went solo and I changed my business name from TracySews to Tracy’s Sewing Studio. I thought it sounded more professional and I could still use all of my same online accounts. I continued to learn new skills adding menswear, swimwear and my own draped designs to the mix. I also started sewing for Dayton History in 2016. I joined the Kettering Arts Council and am currently learning to make pants that fit me.

Jump to 2019 and I cannot believe it has been another 3 years. Today, I mostly alter formal dresses at my Rosewood Art Centre studio. I look forward to new adventures and opportunities as they come. Thank you for being a part of my story.

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElresh

Dream it! Sew it!