Barbie for big girls.

High Toned Hankie Chic

I stumbled upon another fantastic Etsy site the other day and just received my first item.  The very talented Sylvia Bittner of Hankie Chic makes these wonderful ensembles out of vintage handkerchiefs.

Hankie Chic

(Photo credit: Sylvia Bittner)

How cute and inventive is this?!!  I was so intrigued by this product, I had to ask Sylvia a few questions.

1.  Where did you get the idea to do this?

I got the idea for making Barbie dresses from a book, Hankie Couture, by Marsha Greenberg. I found the book while I was trolling JoAnn Fabrics a year ago. It was love at first sight. I bought the book for inspiration and then directed my husband to the nearest antique mall to stock up on hankies. Since then, I’ve made close to 100 dresses, some from patterns I’ve drafted myself (such as the outfit you purchased) and some from patterns by others or commercial vintage patterns.

2.  Are you a fashion doll collector and if so, what do you collect?

I didn’t own a Barbie at the time I bought the book, but I’ve made up for it since then. I started by collecting most of the Barbie Basics dolls, and then moved on to vintage reproductions, and now Silkstones. I currently have 70 or so, but I’m thinking about downsizing and selling some of the model muse dolls on eBay and just concentrating on Silkstones, since most people seem to want to purchase clothes that fit Silkstones.

3.  Where do you find these glorious handkerchiefs that you use?

I look for hankies everywhere … Antique shops, EBay, Etsy … I travel frequently instate for my job, and out of state on vacations, so I’m always looking for antique shops wherever I go. All the hankies I use are vintage and I’ve been blessed to find some really beautiful ones. You can see my entire hankie collection on my Pinterest board, on the board, my vintage hankies.

I want to extend a huge “Thank You!”  to Sylvia for being willing to be interviewed for the blog and for doing such amazing and creative work.  I love it!  And folks…these beauties aren’t just for Silkstones .


Model:  High Toned Rayna

Purse:  Redefined Accessory Kit by Integrity Toys

Shoes:  Gift from a friend ( love ya!)






21 responses

  1. leslie quinn

    Fantastic idea,love it

    May 7, 2013 at 6:17 pm

  2. Darling dress … thanks for sharing!

    May 7, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    • Isn’t this a cool idea?! Glad you like it Judy. 🙂

      May 8, 2013 at 7:37 am

  3. Sari D

    Love it! There was a lady at a local show here a few weeks ago that made dresses for all sizes of dolls out of hankies that she smocked at the top. More of a Skipper type dress. I got one and it looks really cute on her.

    May 7, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    • Pictures! We need pictures of all adorable dresses like this. 🙂 That sounds adorable. I am amazed at how creative people are recycling these fabulous handkerchiefs. So cute!

      May 8, 2013 at 7:38 am

  4. Great interview, Rebecca and Sylvia! I just love these dresses. The peplum is especially adorable. Congratulations, Sylvia!

    May 7, 2013 at 7:08 pm

  5. bvisayc556

    OH, how gorgeous and I love Syliva`s, such talent and vision.I am always visiting her Etsy store to see what extraordinary hankies she finds to turn into these amazing fashions.

    May 7, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    • Thank you Brenda! It is amazing to see what Sylvia does with these isn’t it?!

      May 8, 2013 at 7:39 am

  6. Great designs – I’m excited!

    May 7, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    • 🙂 Thank you for the comment Karin.

      May 8, 2013 at 7:40 am

  7. Wow! That’s really cool! I’ve seen hankie dresses before, but they were mostly Blythe dresses – kind of cute girly style. I never thought this could work for more elegant dolls as well! Another thing on my – Must try it some day – list 🙂

    May 8, 2013 at 12:41 am

    • Oh this would work for Blythe really well! Yes, definitely more feminine designs with these. That’s why I put this on an edgier doll with the more modern shoes…to show that it could work for a more sophisticated style too. You should definitely add this to your list of things to try. You blow my mind with the things you can do and your photos. 🙂

      May 8, 2013 at 7:42 am

      • Aww! It’s so nice of you to say that! I’m blushing 🙂

        May 8, 2013 at 2:53 pm

  8. Alexandra in France

    Fantastic fashion from Sylvia, I always love to see her ensembles on Etsy ! I have the Hankie Couture Book from Marsha too, and it is a great source of inspiration with so many beautiful fashions …
    Love your beautiful pictures too Rebecca !

    May 8, 2013 at 1:28 am

    • Thank you so much Alexandra! I am glad you liked the post. 🙂 It does not surprise me that you, Brenda and Hilda follow Sylvia’s Etsy. Master seamstresses follow each other for inspiration. 🙂

      May 8, 2013 at 7:44 am

  9. Very cute and inventive! I wish I could do things so nice like these. The photos, as always, are very beautiful. I liked a lot!!!

    May 8, 2013 at 6:31 am

    • Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed the post. I am always amazed at peoples creativity. It is always a pleasure to showcase someone’s fabulous work.

      May 8, 2013 at 7:46 am

  10. What a small world!!! Sylvia visited my shop a couple weeks ago, purchased a doll and left me her business cards. I was so impressed by the pictures on her card, I asked her if she wanted to do a few of her dresses on consignment and she said yes!!! They are so cute – when I saw your post yesterday I could not believe it. It really is a small world sometimes. Love the one you purchased – it’s so much fun to see all this your photos here also!!

    May 8, 2013 at 1:26 pm

  11. Great find, Rebecca- and with the right accessories it looks SO modern!

    May 8, 2013 at 1:51 pm

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