•How it All Began
Before redirecting The Dollies’ Dressmaker business from clothing for antique and reproduction dolls to clothes for American Girl dolls, Cindy Hernandez found there were many websites offering modern clothes for the dolls. But she was hard pressed to find any period clothes for these historical dolls, and so in 1998 Cindy launched her premiere website offering her niche product of historical clothes. People of all age groups became satisfied customers of the period clothes—girls with their first American Girl doll, mothers and grandmothers purchasing birthday gifts, fathers sending Christmas gifts to their daughters, and serious collectors of American Girl dolls. Since 1998 many others have entered that historical niche, but as often is the case, the original remains the one to copy! The quality found in the clothes from The Dollies’ Dressmaker is still exceptional and second to none.
•Training and Experience
Cindy Hernandez studied at Ray Vogue Fashion Design School in Chicago and has years of experience sewing for designers at a clothing manufacturer in the Chicago area. In the 1990s she designed and constructed clothing for French and German antique and reproduction dolls, some of which won awards, ranging from baby christening gowns to ball gowns. Three of the award winning dolls can be seen below.
Her clothing designs for the American Girl dolls were introduced in 1998.
Blue Ribbon and
•Authentic Styles and Unique Creativity
Cindy uses her knowledge of fashion history to insure authentic period styles in her costuming. For the American Girl doll clothes, quality fabrics and modern sewing techniques are used. At times she utilizes vintage fabrics and trims in special period garments. Her workmanship is second to none and her creative flair produces unique costumes for dolls.
These are not run-of-the-mill items; they have distinctive qualities which place them in a category of their own–clothes for the persnickety American Girl doll.
•The Dollies’ Dressmaker Name
During the 1860s the world was changing rapidly. Domestic life had been drastically altered by the development of the sewing machine and now few dresses were made at home without the use of one.
During that time entire books and periodicals were devoted to teaching little girls the art of dressmaking for their dolls. One of the periodical published in London and Berlin in the early 1860s was Dolly’s Dressmaker. It contained pictures and patterns for doll clothes, described the clothes and told how to make them.
With the recognition of the doll world by the creators of high fashion and the great increase in the number of Paris shops devoted to dolls and their trousseau’s, the dolls of the well-to-do were often dressed according to the highest fashions of each year.
Cindy Hernandez’ interest in 19th-century clothing spurred her decision to first make clothes for the French and German dolls of that period, and later for the American Girl dolls. Her trousseau’s for both types of dolls hark back to that time period and carry on the tradition started so long ago in Europe.
Therefore, when deciding on a name for her business, Cindy naturally turned to Dolly’s Dressmaker—with a twist to the spelling.