Hello! My name is Sylvia Bittner and I’m the designer and creator of the doll fashions you’ll find on this blog.
Since I was a child, I’ve loved sewing by hand. My very first sewing projects were making clothes for my Barbie dolls from scraps I found in my mother’s sewing room.
Fast forward a few decades, and I’ve returned to my first love of making doll clothes. Only this time, I’m using vintage cotton or linen hankies as my fabric of choice.
After making about 100 hankie dresses, I decided it was time to start selling them and opened my Etsy shop, Hankie Chic.
My muse is the Silkstone Barbie doll, a collectible doll with the weight of porcelain, but the durability of vinyl. I also own Victoire Roux, Poppy Parker, vintage reproduction and model muse Barbie dolls. My designs will frequently fit more than one doll body type.
I use a variety of patterns in my work — some vintage commercial patterns, some patterns I’ve purchased from mini designers, and some patterns I’ve drafted myself. I just love taking a bodice from one pattern, a sleeve from another, and a skirt from somewhere else to create something new. And the lovely border prints and designs in the vintage hankies continue to inspire me.
How many hankies do I have? Probably over 1,000 in my stock. Where do I find them? Antique shops, eBay, and Etsy. My goal is to use the design on the hankie in such a way so that you don’t even know it’s a “hankie dress.”
Because I sew my doll dresses entirely by hand (that’s right, I don’t use a sewing machine!), each dress takes approximately 12-20 hours to complete. And each dress is fully lined, because Barbie deserves the best!