Kathi Mendenhall founder of La Petite Belle Patterns continues to produce new fashions for miniature dolls and creates custom costumes and accessories for other figures including French Fashion Dolls. (www.minipatterns.com) She began in childhood making Barbie clothes and her own clothes advancing special occasion dresses such as Christening and wedding gowns. In 1992, she focused her attention on miniature dolls, 12” and below. In 1998 Kathi joined the International Guild of Miniature Artisans and in 1999 had her work juried and was selected as an Artisan of the Guild.
Kathi researches costume and creates fashion from the inside out in as historically manner as possible given the size of the figure she is dressing. She finds it challenging to complete all the undergarments in a miniature without losing the unique detail and quality of a figure that is only 5” – 6” tall. “It is all in the fabric selection!”.
Having taken classes from notable artists such as George Stuart, Patricia Rose, and Deb Woods, Kathi has recently started to sculpt. She is a volunteer editor of the free Artisan in Miniature web magazine, has been featured in Casas de Munecas Miniaturas, as well as written articles, tutorials and had her work featured in Miniature Collector, Dollhouse Miniatures and American Miniaturist magazines.
“I am aware of the many naked figures out there and found I could not create for them all so I began the pattern company so people could finish their own costuming. I know the challenges of bringing an idea to life. It is often frustrating to have a picture in your head, and have it flow to through your hands.”
“A long time ago, I was told, ‘If you want to become an expert at something, teach it.’ Students can teach us more than we ever thought. They show us new ways to think, new technologies, and new products. I teach often at miniature shops, on-line chat groups, local Fun Days, and conventions.