Monday, July 13, 2015

Featured Etsy Shop: American Planet & Giveaway!

- This giveaway has ended. Winner announced here. -

L&L is honored and happy to feature the Etsy shop American Planet, created by Ms. Char Nathanson this week! We adore her stylish modern designs and fell in love with her practice of using upcycled fabrics, as well as donating a dollar from every purchase to charity. She has very kindly agreed to join us for the interview as well as donating a beautiful outfit for the giveaway! ^_^

The interview is presented first, followed by the review, with the giveaway details at the end of the post.

AP = American Planet

~Interview with Char Nathanson of American Planet~

Sam: Welcome everyone, to this week’s latest Etsy feature!
Cecile: We are très excite to introduce everyone to Ms. Char Nathanson, the seamstress behind the Etsy Shop American Planet.
Sam: Her shop features an array of modern outfits, sewn from up cycled fabric she selects at local thrift shops. All of her pieces are not only beautiful but have a story and personality.
Cecile: Please help us welcome Ms. Nathanson to the studio!

Cecile: Bonjour Madam Nathanson! Merci pour sharing your time with us today and answering some of our questions. I will begin with asking how did you get involved with sewing and designing?
AP: I started sewing when I was 10 years old. My grandmother taught me to sew by hand. In Junior High School is was mandatory for girls to take a cooking class & a sewing class.

Initially I was looking forward to the sewing class. There I discovered there were only 7 sewing machines for 35 girls. We had to take turns using the machines. Back then, I was painfully shy, so I rarely asked to use one. Instead, I stitched my projects by hand. The teacher was very impressed at the quality of my work. The seams of the book bag I had finished were flawless. However because I rarely used any of the machines, I got a "C" in the class.

After receiving this mediocre grade, I became obsessed with learning how to properly use a sewing machine. A neighbor of mine let me borrow hers, and I spent hours tinkering with it. Eventually I taught myself how to complete an entire project on a sewing machine. At first I made stuffed animals for friends. Soon after that, I began sewing my clothing. We did not have much money, I would create pieces using thrift shop finds combined with on sale fabrics from other home sewn projects.

(Fun note: My life in my high school, I would say, was like "PRETTY IN PINK" by John Hughes. Molly Ringwald's character was "me". The poor kid home seamstress with dime store fashion sense.  Minus cute pink car and cute pink phone!)

Cecile: You are so admirable! To be motivated instead of put off by your grade!
Sam: I agree, and because of that you now not only have the skill to sew beautifully by hand, but by machine as well. If I may ask Ms. Nathanson, of all the doll options, why did you chose to sew for American Girl dolls like us?
AP: I was a huge Barbie fan when I was a little girl. Every holiday, my grandmother would present me with some new dresses she had created for my Barbie---All hand-stitched. Her craftsmanship was extraordinary! I really appreciated all the love that went into each and every item she made.

My own daughter never cared much for Barbie Dolls.  However, when we received our first American Girl Doll catalog in the mail, she had to have one! She had two dolls - Josephina, and a doll that looked like her. Because the dolls were so expensive, I made outfits for each doll, using the fabric from dresses that my daughter had outgrown. So that is when up-cycling first started! The dresses that I made became so popular, that her friends wanted doll clothes too.

Fast forward to 2012. I had to quit my job as a pre-school substitute teacher because I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I needed something to keep me busy, so I decided to revisit the idea of sewing and selling doll clothes. AG Dolls really had become even more popular!  After a lot of research, I opened my etsy shop April 1, 2014. This was perfect for me. I could sew on my "good" days, and work on marketing & social media on the days on my "bad" days.

Sam: It must be challenging to manage your fibromyalgia while still running a business, but it seems you have found a wonderful balance on how to best use your time.
Cecile: Oui! It is very efficient, but everything you do seems efficient Ms. Nathanson. I know you use upcycled fabrics to create your outfits, but when did you start using upcycled fabrics? And why do you like to use them?
AP: The idea of using upcycled fabrics first began when my daughter was a young girl.  I was making clothes for her doll using dresses that she had outgrown for material. When I opened my Etsy shop, I wanted to continue this tradition.

I really enjoy using upcycled materials because you can tell exactly how the textiles have reacted to lots of washing & wearing. Sometimes you buy fabric "off the bolt" and after just a few washings, the material can pill, fade, or fray. Also, I like to believe that when someone donates an item of clothing to charity, there is good karma that comes with that item.

Sam: You are making me so excited at the prospect of reusing fabric! What are some of your favorite places to look for fabrics? What makes a piece of fabric stand out to you? Perhaps Cecile and I can go take a look after this.
AP: My favorite places to find clothing to upcycled is Goodwill, small town charitable thrift shops (every city I visit----I see what they have!) I love resale boutiques in Palm Springs for high quality upscale items ---cool denim jeans, blouses, dresses, dress slacks, & tops.

What makes a piece of fabric stand out? The texture, the colors, if it's a print - the scale. The scale of a print is vital for doll fashion. If the print is too large, the outfit doesn't work. My standard is this---if I wouldn't wear it, (or a teen-age girl, more accurately) the dolls won't either!  It's always a compliment when a young person says "That doll outfit looks like something I have in my closet!"

Cecile: Ah, hearing you speak about the texture, the colors, the print of fabrics… it gives me so many ideas!
Sam: Yes, you have given us some fantastic tips for thinks to consider when we go browsing for fabrics at a local thrift store. It sounds like a treasure hunt when you put it that way.
Cecile: Ms. Nathanson, what is your favorite part of what you do? What about least favorite?
AP: My favorite part--- The creative process. Shopping at thrift stores and finding a perfect item to create doll clothing from. I recently discovered light wash denim jeans with tiny white polka dots. That will be fun to use!! I put together entire outfits, so it's cool to go through my entire upcycling stock, and think---"Would this make a good skirt? ...."or shorts?" ..."what's style & color top?" The creative process always fascinates me. It can be a great deal of trial & error!! But that is what makes it fun.

My least favorite part---- NOT ENOUGH HOURS IN THE DAY!!!  I always wish I had more time to experiment with designing. I would like to make all of my own doll shoes. Between construction & production, social media, marketing, packaging & shipping, bookkeeping, ---and being a wife, mom & grandma-- I could use an extra day each week!

Cecile: Ah, we are much alike, you and I, Ms. Nathanson! I also like to put together my outfits, and I never feel like I have enough time in a day.
Sam: Yes, but you are referring to not enough time in the day purely for shopping, while Ms. Nathanson has quite a bevy of other responsibilities she works on.
Cecile: If only I could have a bevy of clothes in my closet!
Sam: … Well, Ms. Nathanson, could you please share with us what or who inspires your creativity when sewing outfits?
AP: My creativity is inspired when I travel to different cities. I like to people-watch. I enjoy looking a shop window displays, to get a feel of what "looks cool". Fashion Magazines are a good source of inspiration.

Sam: What excellent suggestions! We must ask our Big Person to take us traveling more often Cecile.
Cecile: Mais oui Samantha! And I could certainly use more window shopping and magazines. All for inspiration of course.
Sam: Of course.
Cecile: With so many sources of inspiration, do you ever get a creative block Ms. Nathanson? If so, how do you overcome it?
AP: Yes!  I get a creative block once in awhile.  For example, when I try out a new pattern, and it doesn't quite accomplish the look hag I am going can get rather frustrating. When that happens, I simply take a break!! I leave my sewing studio. Close the door. Go for a walk. Watch a movie. Bake some cookies. Do anything BUT sew. Then when I return, I feel energized and ready to create again.

Cecile: Take a break? C’est bein! That’s great! I love to take breaks as well!
Sam: My dear Cecile, you must realize you first must be working in order to take a break.
Cecile: Ah, you must not focus on such minor details Samantha.
Sam: Now Ms. Nathanson, I know you not only sell on Etsy, but have also sold your work at craft shows as well. Can you tell us a little about how selling on Etsy is different from selling at craft shows?
AG: Selling on etsy is different that selling at craft shows, because customers can't "see & touch" your products. They can't meet you in person. Craft fairs are a lot of fun because of the human interaction. I love talking to people about what I do. I have participated in a few one-day public craft shows. Shows can be quite valuable for making contacts and meeting people.

I actually prefer Etsy because the format works well with my schedule. Having Fibromyalgia, I can sew on my "good days", and do my social media marketing on days I need rest. I can close my shop on vacations. There is also a lot of support on Etsy.

Sam: Thank you for sharing your insight with us. We have never seen or visited a craft fair before and it is quite interesting to learn the pros and cons of participating in one.
Cecile: We are nearing the end of the interview Ms. Nathanson, and I have saved the most important question for last. One of the things we most admire about your Etsy shop is your charitable donations. How did you come to the decision to donate a dollar from each sale to charity? What charity(ies) do you like to support?
AG: I donate $1 from each sale (sometimes more!) because I feel it is very important to give back. I have volunteered my time for my entire adult life (Girl Scout Leader for 25 years). I have donated portion of my shop sales to The American Cancer Society, ACTION, an anti-bullying campaign, and to our local food pantry. This year's proceeds will go to Alzheimer's Awareness in honor of my grandmother, who taught me to sew.
Cecile: C’est très bon! That is a wonderful cause to support and we are happy to assist in any way we can.
Sam: I must agree Ms. Nathanson, it is always such a delight to meet people who give back. Before we close, is there anything you would like to share with the readers? Any advice?
AG: I want to let folks know that Pixie Faire has great patterns for AG Dolls. I use their patterns for my shop.   Everything is pdf, very convenient!! A resource if you are making doll clothes, they have patterns for all abilities. If you have a passion, and you believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything!  It sounds incredibly corny, but it's true. You can't be afraid of making mistakes...or you won't do anything. I have always been a "self-taught" kind of person. Being set-taught has served me well. With Etsy, I did my homework, read up on what was needed, and researched what successful shops have done.

Cecile: Samantha, do you forget Lissie’s one word bonus or she will be raging all day.
Sam: Oh yes! Thank you for the reminder. Ms. Nathanson, your 1 word bonus is: Avocados or Ale?
AG: Avocado!!

Sam: Thank you so much for your time today Ms. Nathanson, and for answering our questions. Please join us in giving her one more round of applause!
Cecile: If you would like to stay up to date with the latest news and releases from American Planet’s shop, you can do so at the following links:

Direct link to Etsy Store:

Sam: Now we will move to Marie-Grace and Lydia Charlotte, who will review the beautiful outfit Ms. Nathanson sent us to review!

MG: Merci Cecile et Samantha!
Lydia: Hello everyone! Marie-Grace and I are eager to show you our thoughts on this beautiful outfit created by Ms. Nathanson, that Marie-Grace is modeling.
MG: It is important to point out that every outfit American Planet has is different, but we wanted to show you the quality and aesthetic we admire about her outfits.
Lydia: After the review, Lissie and Sawako Lilly will explain how you can win your own American Planet outfit in the giveaway. Let's begin!

Lydia: This lovely sheath dress is form fitting but comfortable, and comes with a necklace and matching shoes.

MG: Ms. Nathanson herself made the necklace to match the dress!

Lydia: The shoes slip on easily with no velcro to get caught in socks or stockings.

MG: Look look! The back of the dress is just as well made as the front!

Lydia: I see it closes with a zipper.
MG: Oui Lydia Charlotte, it is great because mes cheveux, my hair does not get caught. You can probably also see the clasp for the necklace.
Lydia: Yes I do. Was that difficult to get on? It wasn't too tight was it?
MG: Non, c'est facile! It was easy!

Lydia: Let's take a closer look at the dress itself now. Did you know this dress was made from material originally a part of a quilt?
MG: Ah, the print is the perfect size! Even if it looks simple, it is so chic, so elegant.

MG: Here is a closer look at the back of the dress.

Lydia: Now this particular outfit uses a zipper closure, but not all of Ms. Nathanson's outfits do. Some use non sticky velcro, depending on the formality and style of the outfit.

MG: Now we will turn the dress inside out. As you can see, the inside of the dress is just as beautiful as the outfit of the dress because it is fully lined!

Lydia: On the back is the American Planet logo, meticulously hand sewn on.

MG: This is a close up of le manchon, the sleeve. You can see this part is lined as well and all the seams are neat and even for a good fit.

Lydia: Here is a close up of the necklace, one of my favorite parts.
MG: It is your favorite color, is it not, Lydia Charlotte?
Lydia: It really is. I love the extra accessories Ms. Nathanson always includes with her outfits to give you a complete look.
MG: Now that you have seen a testament to the workmanship and skill of Ms. Nathanson's work, we will now move to Lissie et Sawako Lilly who will tell you how you can enter to win another one of Ms. Nathanson's outfits!

Lissie: Mwahahahaha! It's all us now Lilly! All us! Prepare for launch off!
Lilly: Lissie, we're doing the giveaway, not commandeering a space shuttle.
Lissie: Eh, the concept is the same. Tell them about the awesome space uniform we're giving away while I go ready the blasters!
Lilly: Ahem, please excuse Lissie, she has a lot of pent of energy from waiting til the end. Today we're giving away a fun, casual outfit for your doll from American Planet, complete with a T-shirt, jeans, clogs, and a matching backpack!

Lissie: Anyone who is anyone can enter! Even if ye be from across the ocean and beyond into the depths of the universe!
Lilly: But if you are under 13 years old, you must ask your parents to enter for you. And please remember to leave your name with your comment. You can do so by using the "Name/URL" option when you comment and putting your name down in the Name section and leaving the URL section blank.
Lissie: Blogger is a load of metal rusty tips when it comes to mobile comments!
Lilly: What Lissie means is that it seems like we've been having trouble with getting the comments to work on mobile devices so if you are having trouble entering your comment from your phone or tablet, please try again on your desktop or laptop computer. We do our best to confirm every entry we receive so if you don't see yours, please try again.
Lissie: Alright, that's the training co-pilot Lilly! Prepare for countdown! 10... 9... 2... 1...
Lilly: Good luck everyone!
Lissie: GO!!!

- This giveaway has ended. Winner announced here. -

The giveaway will run from July 13 - July 23 (midnight Central USA time).

To enter:
Visit American Planet's Etsy Store by clicking here and then come back and comment with your favorite item in her shop and why.  

For bonus entries:
Favorite American Planet's Etsy store. (include username in comment for verification)
"Like" American Planet on Facebook (click here to go to the page) (include username in comment for verification)
"Like" Lissie & Lilly on Facebook (click here to go to the page) (include username in comment for verification)
Follow/Google+ this blog. (If you are already a follower/google+, just comment with your account. ^_^)
Share about this giveaway on social media (Facebook, Your Blog, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Google+, Pintrest, other forums, etc.) - Be sure to include the link(s) to your post(s) in your comment so we can verify where you shared. 
*max 5 additional entries*

The winners will be announced in 2 weeks on Friday, July 24th on this post, so check back then! ^_^

- This giveaway has ended. Winner announced here. -


  1. Love the Amanda!!

  2. The Gigi - love the colours of the skirt and flip-flops!

  3. OMGosh, these outfits are darling. I think my favorite is "The Gigi" because it is an outfit my 10yr old would wear! So perfect! Thanks for a chance!

  4. I already "like" Lissie & Lilly on FB. Username is Mary Kate Finney.

  5. I love The Amanda. Favorited the store and liked both facebook pages. Username is danisjennjenn or Jennifer Wallbank

  6. The Alex. It's so preppy and cute!

  7. Favorited her Etsy Shop- Jessie Goodwin

  8. Liked her Facebook page-Jessie Taylor Goodwin

  9. Liked your Facebook page, Jessie Taylor Goodwin

  10. Google + followed your blog, Jessie Goodwin,

  11. My favorite is Lauren and the Addison. I like then as they are very versatile and they both have pink. I love pink.

    1. Okay....the one is actually red....but I still like it a lot. :)

    2. I love the "Charli" because it is cute and sassy just like the name.

  12. Oh man I really love that outfit! It would look outstanding my Girl, Dawn! She has light red hair. It would be so cute. I know and she would also share it with DD girls, Julie, Caroline, Ivy, and Grace too if anybody ever asked.

    I've saved/favorited your etsy shop because you sew me!!!!!!! Lol???

  13. The Addison! So super cool with the belt and boots!

    1. Oh and my Etsy username is hsnell

      FB username is Heather Greenfield Snell


  14. Love the Gemma!

    Etsy karastevens2
    Facebook kara.stevens.921
    for additional entries

  15. KarenHawkins49@gmail.comJuly 13, 2015 at 3:40 PM

    Third time should be the charm huh. I especially like the Whitney due to the visual effects and the flirty style. Liked all the Facebook pages as well as the etsy shop. What a great way to market your creations. I love the upcycles. Such a great idea. Etsy name is bearlystringingalong. Facebook is Karen Hawkins

  16. I love The Hannah!

  17. My favorite outfit is either The Hannah, The Kara, or both.

    I've liked both Lissie & Lilly and American Planet on facebook as Rachel Koppleberger, and I've favorited their etsy store as NatureFairy/Rachel (

  18. The Sadie is adorable, wish I could find it in my daughter's sizes!

  19. You have the coolest giveaways! Thanks!

    I really love what American Planet does... love the idea of recycled stuff and how wonderfully good they always make them look! Plus, I love that there are complete outfits!

    My favorite is "The Addison" Eco-Friendly Plaid T-Shirt Dress and Cropped Jacket. Love the colors and style! And the boots!

    AP Etsy shop has been in my favorite store for a long while now (Sophie Trahan - Sophinette).
    I "like" AP on Facebook.
    I "like" L&L on Facebook.
    I shared you post on my Pinterest:

  20. "The Lauryn" my granddaughter would love this one because she loves pink and Paris and purses. So that would be the one I would pick.

    1. I like animal Planet on Facebook.
      I favorite Animal Planet on Etsy.
      I like Lissie and Lille on Facebook.

  21. I adore the The Sadie" Trendy Tee, Skirt Overalls.mthis outfit will look adorable on my doll Daisy!

  22. I love the Gigi ensemble ! What a super cute breezy summer outfit with the halter top, maxi skirt , bracelet and sandles! Just what I want to wear!

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. I love the Gigi. It super cute and different, something you won't find made by AG,

  25. The Whitney is my favorite. It's sweet and simple and the ruffled flats are so cute!

    1. I liked Lissie and Lilly on fb, user name Winter Perucci Boomershine

    2. I also favorited her shop, user name Winter

  26. I like the Whitney. It is so cute and the belt adds such a nice accent.

  27. My daughter just asked if we could find some trendier outfits. She loves the Felicity, jean shorts and the giveaway set! Liked and followed: username aacklam and amandaacklam@gmail. Thanks!

  28. I would love to enter! I really like "The Gigi". The skirt has blue in it(my favorite color) and and the whole outfit looks very cute. I love the flip-flops! Thanks for the giveaway!
    ~Christian Homeschooler

  29. I would love to enter! My favorite item in the shop is "The Olivia". Thanks for the giveaway!


  30. I think my favorite is either the Alexis or the Sadie!

  31. All the outfits are adorable. My favorite outfit is "Gigi" because this is very casual and something cute my daughter's would love to wear. Thank you for the opportunity to enter for thr giveaway.

  32. I love the "Harmony" outfit. My DD and I LOVE anything butterflies and that outfit is so earthy! Love the hobo bag too!

    I have favorited the American Planet Etsy store and the Harmony outfit. My Etsy user name is: butterflywings71
    I "liked" American Planet on FB: Lisa Collins
    I "liked" Lissie & Lilly on FB: Lisa Collins
    I shared the giveaway on FB at:

    Thank you for sharing the American Planet shop! I love finding out about new shops and I will visit frequently!

  33. I am in love with "The Charli"! The Olivia is cute too.
    etsy username SimpleighElegant, Facebook Leighanne Renae (for both American Planet and Lissie and Lilly)

  34. I love "The Harmony". It all ties in well together. The extra accessories really set it off. My favorite part is the T-shirt

  35. I love them all but to choose one I have to say "The Bethenny" the shoes, the backpack, cute little shorts and top oh my! just too cute.

  36. I liked the denim shorts, "the addison", "the gemma", "the sadie", "the alex", "the gigi", "the chloe", "the witney and "the shondra" I follow this blog and I also favourited the etsy page

  37. Well, it depends on whom you talk to. I love "The Bethanny." Red is my favorite color, so I adore the T-shirt! Whitney (#58) likes "The Chloe," with it's wide skirt and sweet shrug. Jessa (#4) favors "The Harmony" - she loves bright colors and t-shirts with wild prints on them.

  38. I love 'The Gigi' outfit. It ties in so well, and I love the colors. It looks like something I could wear!
    I would love to enter this giveaway!
    Thank you,
    Hannah M.

  39. I love "The Harmony". I wish I had an adult size outfit just like it! It reminds me of how I dressed in my high school years :) Love the colors too!

  40. Also, I 'liked' American Planet AND Lissie & Lilly on Facebook :)

  41. Wow I love them all but my favorite would have to be "The Reese" When I looked at it it reminded me of fashion, pretty and cute. Username is AGLover11

  42. We LOVE "The Harmony" outfit! It is beautiful! My daughter loves butterflies. We would like to be entered into this awesome contest!
    Chrissy and Alyssa

  43. I favorited American Planet's Etsy shop- chrissytomalinas. Liked Lissie and Lilly on Facebook. Liked American Planet on Facebook. Following your blog- Christina Tomalinas. I also pinned to Pinterest here: Thank you for this giveaway! Chrissy and Alyssa

  44. I really like "The Hannah" outfit, because it's my name (he he), and because it's pretty close to what I wear every day. I love a soft hoodie, comfy shirt, and nice jeans.

    I favorited American Planet's Etsy shop - jonasgeek
    I liked American Planet on Facebook - hquantz
    I liked Lissie & Lilly on Facebook - hquantz

  45. Heck, never mind like. I went ahead and bought the "Harmony" outfit. It'll work perfect for the new doll.

    I also really like the "Addison", and already had her shop favorited on Etsy.

    1. For my dd's new doll. I felt like I needed to clarify. Her name is Rhonda (the doll) and she's a STEM girl with twin younger siblings.
      She'll need the large purse for carrying their stuff and occasionally her own things.

  46. I love "The Felicity"! It's cute, chic, and I adore the purse. It would look great on my daughters Kit.

  47. Liked American Planet Dawn Calgaro

  48. Liked Lissie & Lilly Dawn Calgaro

  49. Shared on Twitter

  50. I adore the Hannah outfit... I like the casual ness.

  51. I think my daughter would really like the Lauryn. The pink and green colors are preppy and adorable.

  52. I like American Planet on Facebook- Kimberly Goepfert.

  53. I like Lissie & Lily on Facebook- Kimberly Goepfert.

  54. My favorite item in the shop is The Lauryn. I like all parts of it but especially the apron and tote bag.

    I favorited American Planet Etsy store. user name johannatexas

    I liked American Planet on Facebook. user name julie.bishop.921025

    I liked Lissie and Lily on Facebook. user name julie.bishop.921025

    I pinned the giveaway at

  55. We really like the Lauryn. We have our own version of Grace's Patisserie (see it on our facebook page) and think Sarah, the purveyor of the patisserie would look quite stylish in this outfit!

    We liked AmericanPlanet on Etsy (LemonBayDollCo),

    and on Facebook (

    We talked about the giveaway on our Facebook page:

    We tweeted about the giveaway on our Twitter page:

    Michelle from Lemon Bay Doll Co. on Etsy

  56. My name is Mackenna and I liked the trendy skirt overalls because they were so stylish modern and adorable

  57. Hi it is Kenna and I liked the wounded warrior project

  58. I really like the "Olivia" with the striped shirt. Very cute! I already like Lissie and Lilly on fb and favorite American Planet on etsy (autumnleaf77). I just liked American Planet on fb (Brandy Novak.)

  59. The Alexis! Love those high top silver sneakers! I like Lissie and Lilly on Facebook!

  60. I like "The Gigi" Maxi skirt, Halter top, Bracelet, Flip Flops.. it's really cute.

  61. I fav'd the shop, user name gkran.

  62. I posted here:

  63. The Gigi is wonderful! I want a people version too! ;)

  64. I like "The Kara". Love the print on the shirt! Also, purple is my favorite color! I wish I had one!

  65. "The Charli" is really cute - I love the colors in the shirt. Thanks for sharing this interview and running the giveaway!

  66. I loove the shandra