CNCHnet . . . The Textile Arts Webzine of the Conference of Northern California Handweavers

Vintage Fabric Transformed

I have been collecting vintage materials since1982 at thrift stores.  Presently I pick up vintage materials on Etsy and Ebay.  A few years ago I was given a treasure trove of vintage handkerchiefs. After 72 loads of hand washing I had lots of  “new” fabric to work with.
I started making hand sewn doll clothes with the vintage materials and hankies using vintage patterns which I found in library books.

slinky dress


napkin dress

Country Girl

swirly dress

Butterfly #2


Romantic Tulips and Ribbons

I am presently doing hand sewn hankie and vintage material doll dresses using a mix of patterns including patterns I have designed myself. At this time I’m making dresses for American Girl and Barbie and similar sized dolls.


Autumn Leaves with Dogwood


Perfect Pansies


Peace and Love

I sew by hand because I sew fast and well.  I like to showcase certain patterns in the material in my work.  I enjoy the sense of immediacy when doing a small object and I am always surprised at how the dress turns out. I don’t sew on a machine because, should my machine eat a hankie or some chiffon, that fabric is over and part of the series is lost.


Carneval #3

I enjoy making doll dresses with vintage materials because each is unique.  I can read the materials and see part of the finished dress, but I  still am surprised by how the finished dress looks.  By the way, all the clothing is lined with new material to stabilize the vintage fabric.

My work is considered  Romantic.

Cheryl has been involved in the fiber arts since her teen years. She started with weaving and dressmaking, received a degree in Studio Art from UCD and, in the early 2000’s, was known for her miniature quilts. She sells her doll clothes on Etsy at cfcfdoll.

Click for the next article